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Chain Letter (2009)

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Reviews: 46 user | 58 critic

A maniac murders teens when they refuse to forward chain mail.

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Title: Chain Letter (2009)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Jane Campbell
...
TV Announcer
...
Philip Campbell
...
...
Chain Man
...
Michael Grant
...
Johnny Jones
...
Brad
...
Rachael Conners
...
Neil Conners
...
Dante
...
...
Emo Girl
Eliot Benjamin ...
Kevin
...
Sergeant Hamill
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Storyline

A maniac murders teens when they refuse to forward chain mail.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

If you don't forward it, you die See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong bloody sadistic violence throughout, language and brief nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 November 2010 (Russia)  »

Also Known As:

A Corrente do Mal  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$143,000 (USA) (2 October 2010)

Gross:

$143,000 (USA) (2 October 2010)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Color:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Betsy Russell, who plays Sergeant Hamill, was a featured character in the Saw (2004) movie franchise. When the character Neil first receives the chain letter, the original 'Saw' is playing on his television in the background. See more »

Goofs

When Neil is attack, the hook is disengaged from the chain, in the subsequent scene it appears connected again. See more »

Connections

References The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A truly painful melange of inappropriate clichés, boring characters, senseless plot additions and obvious mistakes
29 May 2013 | by (Belgium) – See all my reviews

Positive criticism that's informed can help people understand better films that could be inaccessible. In the case of this film, I felt equally compelled to point out how utterly it fails in achieving any of the possible ways the genre can still positively influence our lives. This unfortunate cinematic waste of time and money is basically an extremely embarrassing collection of contemporary horror film clichés. It begins at high tempo with the immediate link to other modern-day doomsday horror-films which combine news reports with live action scenes to provide the action with some ominous credence. You learn quickly that loud and continuous shouting does not necessarily correlate with logic and plot interest. I usually like film inter-referencing but the reflexive pointing in this film is about as awry as the plot. Worse still, this psychopath with unexplained supernatural strength is connected to some sort of 'technology-despising' cult. The bandaged psychopath (who made me think of leatherface) who can still somehow work computers proficiently despite being unable to use his bandaged covered hands despises every danger Brad Dourif warns his class about at the opening of the film (and which you've already heard to excess in the news fragments) – technology provides as much evil as it does good 'somewhere out there' he decries philosophically but without the intelligence to back it up, I can only suppose this signifies some sort of transgression upon the all-sacred set of civil liberties North American culture actually believe it's always had some kind of unique access to (for anyone not living there such accepted truths seem far less obvious); and despite making proficient use of this technology to senselessly rip apart people who are unlikable but don't really deserve it, is apparently part of an 'ancient' cult that perpetuates the Chain Letter curse. The heroine, lo and behold, makes the blindingly obvious chain-mail link connecting the deaths and finds the website with the victims on it . . . and proceeds to pass the information to no one directly. There are serious problems with the logical choices made by the characters in this film and that ultimately result in their untimely demise, but personally, I was so uninterested in the underdeveloped and uninteresting characters I didn't really find it worthwhile to attempt to find out why they'd become victims anyway. Or the ludicrous connection between the 'iron chain links', smitten perhaps in the good old-fashioned way by a black-smith and I suppose some ludicrous connection is intended here to a closer relationship with natural forces. In comparison the 'email chain letters' bring about the death of everyone who disobeys them. If this chain letter curse is ancient, what people did they use to senselessly murder? People who made used of post-boxes or pigeon-post trainers? And what links the chains themselves to the members of the cult has is truly embarrassing. Bar codes, used on selling products in our capitalistic society, one may think, are tattooed on the arms of the members to demonstrate how numbers depersonalize people. Apart from the painfully obvious reference to capitalism, it is also a clear reference to the dehumanization of the Jews who were in a similar way tattooed therefore losing any sense of self. Apart from violent and senseless deaths, the victims in this film don't suffer any of these indignities; in fact it's the members of the cult who wear the tattoos. Anyway, science fiction has been denigrating the human race by assigning numbers for generations so one wonders which genius thought that particularly lame plot addition up. I mentioned when comparing this film to 'The thaw', a montage of news reports and flashy letters and numbers flying by. At least in 'The Thaw', atmosphere was created in a claustrophobic environment and time was taken to develop the characters. Both films, interestingly, made use of faded and unhealthy looking actors of previous well-repute, namely the legendary Brad Dourif or Cuckoo's Nest glory, of Excorcist III renown and unfortunately also for playing the doll demon doll Chucky. In 'The Thaw', a plump and tired looking Val Kilmer actually fulfills a very similar function as both a guest actor and an informative role that proves later to be essential to the plot. What Kilmer did in The Thaw was at least provocative and to some degree unexpected. The dynamic and appealing young cast got you interested in what was taking place around them and if there were prophetic lectures in 'The Thaw' at least they had some relevance to what would follow. The comparative subtlety of this turkey is like comparing eating caviar to plunging yourself willingly into an aquarium of hungry piranhas. As mentioned, I usually enjoy genres that reference others constantly, even if they do so constantly; here it was painful - the intelligence of the girls in the slasher films of the seventies we find amusing today seemed to me a hell of a lot less dumb today as each and every character bar one goes on using the technology which is so obviously killing them off. This film is just loud, ridiculously violent and unpleasantly so. But honestly I cared little for the characters that died (largely because of their inability to communicate well with one another about obvious things and the stupid choices any other idiot wouldn't make). I actually cheered when the lame and uninteresting heroine was ripped in two by who I assumed were her parents as they drove in different directions only to discover that their daughter had been 'chained' between the vehicles. At least the recurrence of this scene at the end definitively puts this piece of cinematic droll to sleep permanently. Apparently the talentless young set of actors in this film took part in similarly dubious horror duds like sequels to Nightmare on Elm Street. If someone sends you a ticket to this film, throw it straight in the dustbin. Please.


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