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As Carl Black gets the opportunity to move his family out of Chicago in hope of a better life, their arrival in Beverly Hills is timed with that city's annual purge, where all crime is legal for twelve hours.
A chain letter is forwarded to a one kid online, he decides to forward it to some of his friends. Those who forward the chain letter live, those who don't die.
The film Chain Letter went wrong in many places, so many that it pains me to write this review because that would mean I have to remember parts of the movie. Here is a film so boring, unimaginative and down right stupid that it almost doesn't qualify as a horror film. The one and only thing the film has going for it are some gruesome death scenes, yet even those aren't that great. So now that I have that one and only positive out in the open, let me address the numerous issues this film has.
For starters, the script. You should always start with the script, or in this case, lack there of. Chain Letter has a simple premise. People are dying because they don't forward a chain letter. Now, the direction the film could have taken and if they did, would have made it a hundred times more interesting, is a supernatural route. Instead, they went with some cult route that has a killer, deemed The Chain Man, tracking these kids down through technology and killing them with his chains. I had a good laugh seeing this monster type on a laptop.
The story had some interesting bits to it that are only mentioned and never explored. The cult of people who hate technology, is shown to us at the last minute and we never get the chance to go deeper than that. This part could have helped the film if they would actually pursue it, but they thought it would be more interesting to bore the audience to death. Both Keith David and Brad Dourif seem to be trying in their poorly written and underused roles, but even they seem to know they are in a stinker of a movie.
We never got the opportunity to like, or even hate the characters. I would hope that the film would at least make some characters clichéd enough to hate, but not here. These characters were so one dimensional I was surprised they got actors at all. I don't remember a single character from this movie, other than the detective and the teacher (David and Dourif). Sadly the film is too boring to even remember characters enough to hate.
There is no climax. The film has no rising action, it goes from one kill to the next. There isn't even a main character. Once you think it's the female, but then we end up spending more time with the detective. The movie doesn't know who's who or where it wants to go. It's a confusing mess, so much that we get to see the title sequence TWICE. We literally get to see the title of the movie pop up in the exact same manner twice. For what purpose? You either start with the title, or end with the title and go to black. Don't do both, then have a few minutes of random images afterwards. It makes no sense.
The writers, directors and producers have no idea what they were doing. The movie is competently done, but what good is that? The only people who seemed to know what they were doing were the special effects guys, dishing out the blood. The Chain Man is forgettable, this movie is a complete mess and I wouldn't even consider calling it a horror film. Delete this Chain Letter and move on with your life.
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