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The only way this movie makes sense is for this to all be a hallucination. There is no camera. There is a camera. Which is it? If there is no camera, why are characters asking for the camera and reaching out their hand as if the camera is changing hands? In some scenes, the camera does change hands.. from the back seat to the front. If there is no camera, how is this happening? Or is this change in POV to throw off the audience? If so, that is highly lame. Especially when the explanation for all of the confusion is "just think about it." Not a found footage? Okay. Well I'm having a hard time understanding how this film explains the numerous camera effects and sounds that all direct the viewer to understand it is a camera. Wiping off the lens, water on the lens, lens cap on the lens, digital tape stress, rewind effects and noises. And yet, Simon doesn't have a camera in the mirror.
Most people don't enjoy movies that are confusing and touted as intelligent. If it is intelligent in design, there needs to be a director's cut to clear up a myriad of details.
The plot is centered around a camera which seems to be able to mark people who are about to die. Only the film's protagonist and cameraman, Simon, can see the blotches which obscure the faces of those about to be killed. Once it becomes apparent to Simon and his friends that something is terribly wrong with the camera, a considerable portion of the rest of the film are just scenes where Simon's friends try to get him to stop filming and Simon makes really lame excuses to keep filming.
The film isn't even 90 minutes long, but I wasn't even half way through it by the time I started to feel like it was just dragging on way too much. To cap it all off, there's a lame plot twist at the end which most people will see coming from the start of the movie. Yes, it's that predictable.
The only thing that I find interesting about the film is that fact that it's quite short yet drags on and on, making it seem like a much longer movie. I don't know if this originally started off as a short film project, but I feel like that's the only way it ever could succeeded. Cut out a solid 50 minutes and make it a short film. It might be more watchable then.
And this is where the film falls apart. There are dodgy ghostly visions of people and some of the characters go mad, but no real explanation is made. It's like there are a few events, spaced out, and a lot of ominous doom-mongering, but in the end little has really happened. I hated the incessant problems with the video camera which are vain attempts to make the whole thing scarier. It doesn't help that you actively dislike most of the main characters as well. I'm sorry, but the writer/director's refusal to provide clear explanations made me hate this one.
I then began fast forwarding looking for when something happens, I would often stop realize it was just people talking about nothing or footage of a picnic table. I kept moving on and I watched the parts that moved the story along. It took me at the most 15 minutes to get through the movie. Perhaps those are the parts that the horror websites were praising.
If you like watching people talk then you might like this. If you like horror movies where things happen and the heroes take action and there is some degree of suspense the AVOID WATCHING THIS.
I saw some references in other reviews about how this was not a found footage film. But there is not description for movies shot using one or more cameras to give the feeling that the events happen in real time. Or real time that has been edited together. Found footage has become a genre title to identify how it was shot. Not just video tape that was found and everyone in it dies.
I'd like to see a found footage style movie where the hero defeats the evil force in an exciting climax. Like Alien but with Signourey Weaver carrying a video camera and the ship equipped with cameras in all the locations.
The movie starts off with three friends, Simon and cute couple Eva & Rich, going on a roadtrip. The fact that Simon's girlfriend refuses to join them already sets the tone for some tension which just increases as the trip goes on. One thing is for certain, Simon has issues. Those issues revolve around an unhealthy obsession with a video camera.
The video camera is always running. And while Rich and Eva start running out of patience with their obsessive friend, Simon, evil events start to ruin their roadtrip.
First off, let me start by saying that the acting was great. It felt very real and authentic. They captured that feeling of initial excitement and then inevitable annoyance from being around the same people day in and day out. Especially with Simon due to his paranoid behavior.
The story is simple enough, yet what is happening with the video camera is much more complex. I was trying to figure out what was going on during the entire screening and while I definitely had my own theories, the film does an excellent job of explaining it without knocking you over the head with the answers.
The director gives the audience a lot of credit for being smart. If you don't pay attention the whole time, you just won't get it. The ending will not make sense or it might even make you mad. A second viewing might definitely be necessary for dummies who didn't pay attention the first time. I would love to see it a second time to just make sure that everything pays off correctly.
Though there aren't a ton of scares, the caliber of these scares was good. Especially one certain one which I will not give away (but you'll know it as soon as you see it). The sound and visual effects of the camera were very inventive and while I've seen some of them recreated in other movies lately, it says a lot that since Skew was made in 2005 (not to mention without the Hollywood budget), that this director wasn't copying anyone, but using his creative flair to make a true indie movie.
A valiant first feature debut and I hope to see more from this guy soon.