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It seems like I spend half my time watching poorly-produced and
horribly-acted movies with good stories and ideas, and the other half
watching well-produced movies with zero imagination and stock story
lines. "Elsewhere" falls into the latter category. The actresses (and
actors) are cute and do a decent job. (Keep your eye on the "weird'
girl.) The production values are quite good, with interesting, but not
impressive, cinematography. The whole movie is definitely not
low-budget in appearance or finish.
But the story and script are just awful...retreads of thrillers done hundreds of times before. Trust me, you'll pick out the bad guy within the first few minutes of the movie. No hints are required. There is very little tension in the movie, except for the few action sequences. Contrary to what you might expect from the tag lines, there isn't any "string" of mysterious disappearances. One girl disappears and, five years later, so does another one. The cell phone texting angle has been done many times before and much better, so no tension there. The typical (and stereotyped) red herrings abound.
Finally, towards the end of the movie, you get a scene which ought to be subtitled "Scriptwriters Got Tired Here" or "Director Couldn't Figure Out How to Film This the Right Way." Two teens try to sneak up on a farmhouse where a (potential) bad guy is sleeping by creeping through a cornfield. Since they want to be stealthy, they (of course) bring along fluorescent tube lanterns. No, nobody would notice THOSE being carried through a completely dark cornfield at night, would they? And who would ever notice the bright light coming form the completely unlit barn when the kids finally get there? Unfortunately, this is typical of the writing in this film.
Well-made, but still pretty worthless and unexciting.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I'd warn you against spoilers but then, this film spoilers itself in
about five minutes into. Okay, so this is what is called a fully
predictable film. We see the two HUGE archetypical stereotypes in
filmland, The Good Girl and The Bad Girl (Tania Raymonde is really
sliding), which they cared so little about they haven't even bothered
to change their character names, much: The GirlScout and DaBitch. Just
in case we didn't get it. In that aspect this film is just one notch, a
real tiny, tiny, tiny, notch up from R.L. Stines "Goosebumps", but that
show was GOOD in it's genre). Soooo, Bad Girl is a Slutty-ish Type of a
girl which does Slutty Things like plaster herself all over the net in
skimpy underwear (okay, okaaaay, it's NOT skimpier than yer regular ol'
beach wear, but hey, you get the picture) She has some Facebook type of
internetpage where she has like 800 'friends' ... per day. All male of
course. She has this super stereotypical Momma, who is Poor White Trash
Personified, who lives in a trailer(where else?) and who makes her
money by selling Stuff-Nobody-Needs over the phone. Good Girl is also
raised by a single mom, but this one has a good job and is Conveniently
Outta Town For The Weekend, so the pleasantries can ensue. Whateverrrr.
Anyways, then there's the Big School Dance (of course!) and Good Girl
wants to hook up with Jock Type of an A-hole, but of course him being
the Jock Type A-hole, he has to accuse her of being a prick tease when
she doesn't immediately handle his schlong, and she is rescued by Nerdy
Geek Boy (who's also handy with computers, works in the frikking
library(!!) AND he's on his way to Stanford!! Doesn't come any
geek-nerdier than that. So Nerdy Geek Boy rescues Good Girl from Gropy
Jock Type A-hole, they go outside and they see Slutty Bad Girl fighting
with her Dumb Ex-Boyfriend who is of course ... The Mean Aggressive
Type! Then of course we know that Something Very Awful will happen to
Slutty Bad Girl. Sure enough, Good Girl receives the obligatory grainy
video on her cellphone indicating Slutty Bad Girl is in Serious
Trouble. Obviously, Good Girl call Da Cops and we'd expect the police
to Do Something, but since Slutty Bad Girl is Poor White Trash and has
peeeed off the Teen Molesting Amateur Local Cop, nothing is done about
it, and nobody believes Good Girl. Then WEEKS go by, as Nerdy Geek Boy
& Good Girl do their Hard-Nancy-Drew-Boy-teen-detective thing. All of a
sudden, in a desperate attempt to rescue The Story Line there enters
Strange Religious Man, whose daughter, FreakyOutcastGirl turns out to
be the co-worker of Good Girl & Bad Girl. He's also IMMEDIATELY the
Main Suspect, and the viewer is never brought in doubt about that.
There's no intrigue, no multiple suspects, nothing. This is the
BigBadKiller, and there's very little suspense after that. The film
tries to imitate When a Stranger Calls and Scream .... BADLY!!! You
keep waiting for a plot twist but then the credits roll and you know
It's All Over.
The remarkable other thing is that they take a whopping 1h46 to tell this!!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Small Indiana town has a problem, it teen girls are going missing, though no one really is paying attention. When Sarah's best friend goes missing after meeting one of her on-line dates she's dropped into the towns underbelly. Nominal horror movie is really little more than a psycho on the loose tale with some mystery and fancy trappings thrown in. Not really original, much of the teen cast looks to be 5 to 10 years too old for their roles, Sarah's girlfriend seemingly about 15 to 20 years too old.Unremarkable in most aspects this seems to be a throw back to a quieter gentler time where movies were inoffensive. I'm not a fan and I doubt any one else will be too since the film, while well done in numerous technical aspects (the film looks good), too many other bits, including the plot, don't hang together. I would leave the film in its titled place and not take it home with you.
I started watching Elsewhere with a bit of mistrust,because I have
already tolerated too many juvenile thrillers lacking of any suspense
or ingenuity,reliant that the hypocrite independent "touch" will be
enough for distracting us from the same predictable clichés we also see
on commercial cinema.Fortunately,Elsewhere did not fall on that,and it
resulted to be much better than I expected.It has some important
fails,but it kept me entertained thanks to its competent
screenplay,solid performances and precise direction.
The story from this movie sounds as a modern and juvenile version of Blue Velvet.Needless to say Elsewhere does not reach that heights (it does not even aspire to) but it kept me interested because the story is well structured.However,it has various forced elements,at the same time there are a few occasions on which it believes it is more intelligent than what it really is.Another fail is that this film has a few scenes which could have easily been deleted because they do not add too much to the story.Nathan Hope's direction is solid because it is sober and the movie has a good rhythm and tone.The performances are competent.Anna Kendrick is more famous for her appearance on the popular film Twilight,where she did not have too much opportunity to stand out with her character.However,she brings a natural performance and a good presence on Elsewhere.Tania Raymond does not appear too much,but her performance is solid and her brief chemistry with Kendrick is very good.
In summary,Elsewhere is far from being a great movie and it is not very memorable,but it kept me interested and entertained.So,I think this film deserves a recommendation.
So many direct-to-DVD films, especially horror-thriller ones are
terrible that when something like Elsewhere comes along, some semblance
of hope is restored. Writer-director Nathan Hope has constructed a
mystery that while fairly easy to figure out rather quickly, still
holds your interest throughout just to see how we get to where we think
the story is going.
A lot of credit has to go to the cast. As the intrepid, intelligent, and likable lead, Anna Kendrick, now most known because of her role in the Twilight films, does a great job of making us believe that she cares deeply about finding her missing friend. She portrays a sense of screen presence usually not seen from actors of her age. Based on her work here, she, instead of Kristen Stewart, should have been given the role of Bella in the aforementioned vampire saga. It'll be interesting to see where Kendrick's career goes because she definitely has potential.
As the missing friend, Tania Raymonde has charisma, managing to make what easily could have been a despicably obnoxious character oddly likable, important because we actually care about discovering her fate. She and Kendrick share a nice rapport as well, almost instantly believable as best friends in spite of their varying personalities.
Strong writing and a dynamic cast make Elsewhere definitely a place worth visiting.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Elsewhere is a middling little concoction that's one or two ingredients
away from being really good. It's like a Nancy Drew Mystery without a
mystery but with a serial killer. Writer/director Nathan Hope came up
with a lot of nice ancillary pieces and then assembled them around an
empty core. The result is a promising beginning, an anticipatory middle
and a disappointing ending.
Jillian and Sarah (Tania Raymonde and Anna Kendrick) are teenaged best friends. Jillian is a rocker chick whose edginess hides a desperate desire to get far away from a life she hates. Sarah is a good girl and that's pretty much it. The character has the disposition of a coat rack and while Anna Kendrick makes a very cute coat rack, Sarah being such a non-entity becomes the biggest problem in the entire movie.
After a stretch of time where Jillian and Sarah lounge around doing terribly typical teenage stuff, Jillian disappears. Sarah investigates and with no help from her absentee mother, she turns to computer geek Jasper (Chuck Carter) for assistance. The only clue is a video sent from Jillian's cell phone that shows the inside of a school bus and then Jillian screams.
Sarah eventually discovers that Jillian is only one of several missing girls, but who is responsible? Is it Officer Berg (Jeff Daniel Phillips), the creepy local cop? Billy (Paul Wesley), the high school dickhead? Is it the unstable Patty (Shannon Holt), mother of a girl who vanished 5 years ago? Well, there's honestly not much of a puzzle to figure out here. There really is no series of clues in this story that eventually lead to the identity of the killer. There are only a couple of pathetic, obviously constructed red herrings inserted into the script long after a reasonably astute viewer has deduced everything for him or herself. I mean, the average episode of Speed Buggy or Jabberjaw had a more elaborate mystery to solve than this film.
That narrative weakness isn't that aggravating because writer/director Hope emphasizes the characters and their interrelationships over plot developments. The roles are all fairly clichéd - "girl acting out", "jock jackass", "super strict father" - but they're well constructed clichés and the cast perfectly provides the formulaic performances for which they were asked. Except for Jeff Daniel Phillips, who appears to be doing a bad Jack Nicholson impersonation all the time he's on screen. And the connections/confrontations between the characters achieve a certain believability. For example, you can feel the layered friendship between Jillian and Sarah and the long standing animosity between Billy and Jasper.
Unfortunately, the blankest and least developed character in Elsewhere is also the main character in the story. Sarah has the most lines and is in almost every scene, but has the least amount of personality in the whole cast. That's not Kendrick's fault. She doesn't do a bad acting job. There's simply nothing distinctive, individualistic or interesting about Sarah. Having such a void as the leading role undermines every dramatic aspect of the movie. It's not a fatal flaw but, geez, this thing would have been soooooo much better if Sarah has disappeared and Jillian had been the one to look for her.
Elsewhere does look good, moves at a satisfactory clip and has several effective though quite illogical scares. Combined with more than adequate acting in all but one case, that's usually enough for a film like this. But the emptiness of its plot and main character prevents Elsewhere from being fully entertaining. It's certainly better than most of the crap out there, yet there's no need to go out of your way to see it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I'm really surprised people are giving more that three stars here. The movie just started out really good, but just ended awful. I'll admit i watched it because Paul wesly was in it, but it made it seem like he was a main character, and he was rarely in the movie, plus his character made no sense. and I figured out who the killer was right away they made it so obvious. The main actress at least acted well considering this awful film. But there was this stupid scene where the father came into the daughters room and the main character was hiding behind the door (clearly could be seen) and the father missed her? there is no way, she wasn't really even hiding behind the door. another was when they show the mother of the daughter who was killed not caring then all of a sudden is crying in another scene, then that's it we never hear from her. I was hoping they would save the story and the mother would get involved but nope. so ya there it is..awful
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Elsewhere is set in a small US town where best friends Sarah (Anna
Kendrick) & Jillian (Tania Raymonde) work in a small town café
together, however Jillian has far greater ambitions & has set herself
up an on-line internet account where she poses for naughty photo's &
gets to turn anonymous men on all over the world. Jillain's ex
boyfriend Chris (Joshua Swanson is having a part & while Sarah wants to
go Jillain says she has other plans & hints at meeting one of her
on-line admirers cryptically called MrX, that night at the party Sarah
sees Jillain arguing with Chris but thinks little of it until she gets
a call from Jillain the next day asking for help. No-one seems to have
seen Jillian since the night of the party & Sarah becomes convinced
something bad has happened to her best friend & sets out to play
detective & find out what has happened but at the risk of her own
Written & directed by Nathan Hope I must admit right away that I though Elsewhere was as boring & rubbish a mystery thriller as I could have been unfortunate enough to have to sit through, seriously this is really bland & dull going for all of it's overlong 105 odd minute duration. For a start it's painfully slow, even having watched it all it felt like nothing barely happened, the mystery surrounding the disappearance of Jillian didn't do anything for me as she was fairly unlikable to start with & the the two-bit nothing excuse of a lame ending just makes you feel made at having wasted so much time on this. Basically it is never revealed what happened to Jillain, sure it makes clear that she is dead but the where & how are strangely absent with some rubbish about a guy killing her because she wanted to make him do bad things, yeah that's the entire plot & the script never goes into it any deeper than that. Is that dumb revelation really worth investing so much time in? No, it isn't & as someone who did invest the time I am fully qualified to say. There are various subplots that go absolutely nowhere like the sinister cop, Jillain's mum & Chris the boyfriend who are all totally forgotten about & barely make any sort of impact because their screen time & character's are so limited. The dialogue is bland, the character's are poor & the plot is just a boring whodunit with an extremely weak twist ending which doesn't really even qualify as much of a twist since it's what most people will be expecting.
There's a fairly strong anti-Internet char room type message going on here as that is more or less blamed for Jillian's death (but what about the previous victims?) & again religious fanaticism is also hung up as a great evil. Apart from a few drops of blood at the end there is zero gore here, I mean there isn't even a dead body seen & no-one is killed on screen either & it's just as dry as the Sahara desert. The whole film looks like an average made for telly flick with competent if bland production values & a totally forgettable small town setting. There is no tension, atmosphere, nothing builds-up & the cautionary moralising means you'll wish you were elsewhere to...
With a supposed budget of about $500,000 this has reasonable if bland production values. Apparently filmed in Indiana. The acting is alright but the cast can't help make this plodding nonsense any more enjoyable.
Elsewhere is a tedious mystery thriller that is neither mysterious or thrilling, it's predictable & boring & not worth wasting your time with. Get your entertainment elsewhere, but not this Elsewhere if you know what I mean...
Movie has okay acting, but the plot line is dull and clichéd, much like
every other aspect of the movie. Cinematography is pretty artsy and
tasteful, although much of it is blue-toned (reminiscent of Harry
Potter 7 Part 1) for added mysterious and negative effect. No surprises
with character development (there is hardly any) or plot twists (again,
none) and while you might like it to watch Anna or Tania, you'd be
better off watching the actors and actresses in better-formulated
movies. You'll spend a better use of your time.
Also, I have a BIG BEEF with the setting!!!
This is SO not Goshen, IN. None of the picture or sets they used are actual places or even close to it. And Goshen has never had mysteries like women disappearing because of internet creeps....Ugh, this irritates me when they try to cliché real towns. Goshen's not even that small! And in fact, it's very much into the modern age - bigger and better than Elkhart, the neighbor city I grew up in, that's for sure. School systems are excellent, the County seat and Fairgrounds are there (2nd largest Fair in the country, and no that doesn't mean it's hicksville, we had Lady Antebellum two years ago), some of the best craftsmen in the country, and even a college. Geez, it's not some "small-town Indiana where bad things happen and kids feel trapped" like this movie wants to make it into. As a writer myself, I firmly believe that unless you are very familiar with with the city or town you are setting something in, you just need to make up your own town. Otherwise you make an entire audience view it in whatever light you want it to be for your story, and that's not fair to the city or the people that live there.
Although the Movie Looks Pretty Good and is Slickly Presented for a
Very Low Budget Entry in the Teen Hottie in Peril Category, this is Far
from an Engaging Story and is So Bland, Considering its Subject Matter,
One Wonders, What's the Point?
If it's an Attempt at Making a Non-Gory, Serial-Killer, Social Media Warning, it Mostly Fails to Make an Impression, of Any Kind. It is Even Less than Mediocre Because it is Even Less than Anything Approaching Entertaining for its Target Audience.
The Acting is Universally Bad, Especially the Non-Hotties. The Trailer Park Mother is a Clichéd, Chain Smoking, TV Watcher who is So Familiar it Bores to Tears. The Shaking Alcoholic Mother of the First Missing Girl Overacts So Much it is Amazing the Director Allowed the Performance to Stand. The Male Actors, the Cop, the Nerd, and the Father are All just Awful.
Overall, it is Not Even Worth a Watch because it is Anemic, Embarrassingly Acted, and Fails to Deliver the Minimum of Suspense and Thrills that is Central to this Kind of Thing.
Note...For Fairness and Balance...there is one good Acting turn and that is Olivia Dawn York. She delivers the only believable Character in a Cast of Thespians who would have benefited from a Director that seemed to be Elsewhere.
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