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Legendary cinematographer scores big with this thriller
larry-4116 May 2008
Imagine if the award-winning cinematographer of the 2007 epic "3:10 to Yuma" decided to direct his own film. With over 40 titles under his belt, Phedon Papamichael is one of the industry's icons. Well, imagine no more. In the Brad Keene-penned "From Within," which had its World Premiere here at the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival, Papamichael takes his considerable expertise behind the camera and crafts an auspicious directorial debut in the Hitchcock tradition.

Something is amiss in Grovetown. The suicide in the opening scene triggers a mystery which will bring teenagers Lindsay (Elizabeth Rice) and Aiden (Thomas Dekker) together in a quest for the truth, both about the occurrences as well as themselves.

The performances of Thomas Dekker ("Heroes," "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles") and Elizabeth Rice ("Mad Men") are at the heart of the movie and it's their believability which makes this film so emotional and poignant. Dekker's frightening gaze and enigmatic demeanor never lets up, in perfect contrast to Rice's innocence and vulnerability. Veteran Adam Goldberg (Roy), Rumer Willis (Natalie), and Kelly Blatz (Dylan) are also standouts.

"From Within" is technically brilliant. The use of single-point lighting and color palette of blues and grays in interior scenes are especially effective in enhancing the shadowy nature of the story, with sunset shots that would likely have been scuttled in a typical Hollywood movie. Here, the dim light works to the film's advantage. The sound effects, along with the Jason Cooper and Oliver Kraus score, also play a particularly distinct role here and are a major plus. As in any film of this genre, visual effects are key and they are top-notch. Most of all, though, the camera-work is simply breathtaking. Shot in widescreen 2.35:1 aspect ratio, the chilling locations and copious use of POV shots enhance the Hitchcockian feel of "From Within" -- no surprise given the director's background.

Although the film's first act leans toward horror, it soon becomes apparent that "From Within" is a story-driven psychological thriller more than anything and doesn't need to rely on blood and gore, although there's enough to please fans of the genre. The film's many twists and turns will hold audiences' interest right up to the closing credits. A creepy tale with a strong message about religious extremism and tolerance make "From Within" more than just another gorefest. From Within is a solid thriller with enough suspense to keep the viewer guessing until the end.
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Good Job
samkan23 December 2010
Although this type of film has been done many times before there is always room for good writing, acting, camera work and directing. Hey, if one is going to enjoy a modest budget horror flick one must get past the fact the takes-place-in-a-town-with-weird-residents plus the supernatural-aspects-to-be-taken-for-granted are simply ingrained in the process. This setting and genre must either be accepted and enjoyed or ignored altogether.

That said, the acting is FROM WITHIN is exceptional. The teens (and they actually look like teenagers instead of dressed up 30-year-olds) are neither sullen nor over the top but anxious, indecisive, vulnerable; i.e., like real teenagers. Miss Rice in particular delivers her lines in convincing fashion. The two young male leads could easily slide into stereotypes but...well...don't. The adults, e.g., the sheriff and the preacher, aren't overbearing elders. All the adults, in fact, actually interact with the teens, whereas in many movies like this one there is the teen world (Read: real and emotional) and the adult world (Read: static and authoritative).

The supernatural aspect, while never believable, is thankfully modest in inception and use. If the final scenes are not edge-of-your-seat they hold your interest as to what's going to happen. Cool "twist" at the very end too. What's a 56-year-old movie snob watching something like this for? Hey, I'm entitled to some fun too. Most things like this are lucky to last 20 minutes on my screen. FROM WITHIN went the full micro-wave popcorn ninety minutes.
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Extremely Enjoyable
Woobs28 April 2008
I was lucky enough to see this movie at its premier at the Tribeca Film Festival, and I must say that I truly enjoyed it. Normally, I am not a huge fan of the horror film genre, but this film proved that it was much more than a "put 10 people in a house, and kill them off one-by-one" flick. I found the story line interesting, the cinematography on-point, and the acting, especially that of Elizabeth Rice, excellent. Contrary to the previous person's review, I found the cast to be quite likable, and I also appreciated the occasional shots of humor, particularly those from the visiting female cousin. One final facet of the movie that I thought was compelling was the musical score -- very effective in contributing to the mood. IMHO, From Within is definitely worth seeing, and it should do very well when it is released for general viewing.
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birdieleigh21 January 2012
I often come across people who prefer horror films that happen to have a good story. I, on the other hand, prefer films with a good story that just so happen to be scary. "From Within" is one of the latter. After having watched it, I'm surprised I had never heard of it before. It has a sense of overall quality unique to its class (relatively unknown, made for a Horrorfest).

The story is the movie's strongest point, with a plot that throws in appropriate twists without wavering from its core. From beginning to end, it is emotionally engaging and suspenseful. The character development exceeded my expectations as well, along with the performances from the cast. There is violence, but the film never drowns itself in gore. Most of the actual deaths happen just off-screen, giving you just enough build-up to use your imagination.

Supernatural horror/thrillers are a dime a dozen, and many of them fall short of expectations. "From Within" stands out among the crowd— proving that given a well-executed plot and the right casting, films of this genre can be as powerful as ever.
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Cliché ridden claptrap
Craig_McPherson17 July 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Something terrible is afflicting the small American town of Grovetown. A suicide epidemic has taken hold causing the townsfolk to kill themselves in assorted grisly ways. Sounds interesting? Think again. While the premise to From Within may look great on paper, this dreary, unimaginatively executed mess manages to make its 90 minute running time seem like an eternity.

Making its international debut at Montreal's Fantasia film festival, From Within starts off well enough. A goth couple sit by a riverbank sharing a touching moment, only to have their idyllic interlude shattered when the boyfriend inserts a revolver in his mouth and pulls the trigger. Cut to a clothing boutique in the small, tight-knit town of Grovetown and the brain splattered girl (Rumer Willis) runs in screaming that a strange woman is after her. From there suicides ensue as each person to last come into contact with each successive victim, takes their own life.

Cinematographer Phedon Papamichael (3:10 to Yuma) takes over the Director's chair and quickly squanders what little positive capital he manages to build in the film's promising first 20 minutes by telling a story that is both cliché riddled and devoid of any suspense. Townsfolk are depicted as hypocritical bible thumping stereotypes who spout words like "thee" and "smite" while toting shotguns, guzzling booze and boinking anything that moves. I suppose this may work with less demanding viewers, but somebody failed to remind screenwriter Brad Keene (The Gravedancers) that boat sailed away from the shores of reality a long time ago. Juxtaposed against these yahoos are the remnants of a family of wiccans who are bent on revenge for the townsfolk's burning their mother alive several years previous for being a witch. Turns out the suicide thing is a curse they've launched against the village that is now coming back to bite them in the rear after the religiously-conflicted Lindsay (Elizabeth Rice), recently smitten by wiccan Aidan (Thomas Dekker), becomes a candidate for the body-hopping suicide bug.

Given that audiences at fantasy horror film fests are generally sympathetic fan boys willing to overlook flaws that would appall most critics, it wasn't a good sign to hear the audience laugh at unintended moments. When you add to that the sounds of shifting butts in seats and sporadic yawns, it was apparent that even those friendly to the genre were looking at their watches and wondering when their suffering would end.

Really, when the best moment I can point to in a movie is when the theater lights came on, it's safe to say that this is one clunker that deserves a pass.
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A Final Destination movie that thinks its deep
kenmarino137 May 2008
I won't rate this movie a "1-awful" because the last 2 minutes were kind of fun. Too bad about the rest of the movie.

I didn't have high hopes for a movie that cast rejects from "America's Next Top Model," but the Tribecca Film Festival listed this film as atmospheric, smart, and scary...I'm not sure what film that was, but it sure as hell wasn't "From Within." Its boring and silly, and like other reviews mentioned it has so many horror movie clichés you can't help but shake your head and wonder if the filmmakers had ever seen a scary film before. The characters are textbook and forgettable, and one, the goth brooding cousin, at first seemed to be a glimmer of something slightly different, but she quickly deteriorated as every line was said in the same flat, mopey, wise ass delivery. Every actor seems to be playing their "type", like alcoholic, rebel, Goth, religious freak, etc.

If you like Final Destination movies but thought they should be dull, predictable, and have trite messages tacked onto them, From Within should rock your world.
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The best horror movie I've seen this year.
jimwestby17 August 2009
I can't help but believe that some people who rated this movie down, did it for their religious views. Thomas Dekker and the rest of the cast does a great job. Compared to the other review I read here, I have nothing bad to say about the actors. Sure, there are some stereotypes, but they all play them perfectly. Adam Goldberg, which I usually tend to dislike, does a terrific role as a redneck witch-hunter.

The movie starts off with a slow, atmospheric scene. Then with a loud bang, begins the nerve wrecking collection of a fairly large body-pile. I do enjoy these kinds of movies, who are not afraid of stepping on anyone's toes. They are the movies that expand our horizons, and allow others to stretch the boundaries even further. This is one such movie. And I do hope it will inspire others in the future.
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Great movie!!!
Lyserod1 May 2008
This movie is really scary. Better than anything I've seen in ages. It had me at the edge of my seat from beginning to end. Unlike other movies, the people in it feel real rather than cheesy Hollywood cut outs which made it even more frightening.

The acting is great. I think Thomas Dekker is super talented. He was great in the Terminator TV show and in "From Within" he's even better. I think the fact that he's being given a starring role means he's on his way to being a movie star. I also recognized Kelly Blatz from Prom Night and he was much better in this.

It's got a great story, it's full of tricks and turns from the opening scene. I've been so scared since I saw it, I've been afraid to look in the mirror (you'll know what I mean when you see it!).
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begob26 May 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Suicide stalks the population of a religious town, one by one, until the heroine must save herself by dispelling the curse.

This moves along at a fair clip, in Final Destination style, and the direction is good. The pursuit by dopplegangers is spooky, with a couple of mild jump scares, although the deaths are tame.

Not so sure about the writing, as there are some clunky scenes, stereotypical characters (plus the cousin was there just for plot purposes), and it all wraps up with a ... chase through the woods. There are not just one, but two unconvincing crowd scenes where extras gather around in circles. However, there is a neat twist at the very end.

The acting is OK, although the preacher's son seemed to have a giant zit under his makeup. Music lacked passion, but the piano nocturnes were good.

Overall it felt overstuffed with elements that the writer struggled to wrap together, and the logic of the story meant the baddies were right all along.

The long, scathing review just below is not unfair, but I found this passable entertainment.
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Soldiers of the Lord
claudio_carvalho20 October 2009
In Grovetown, there is a series of suicides after the suicide of an outcast teenager Sean (Shiloh Fernandez). His brother Aidan (Thomas Dekker) waits for the return of his cousin Sadie (Margo Harshman) to the family house for the funeral. When Dylan (Kelly Blatz), who is the fanatic Christian son of the reverend, beats up on Aidan, the undesirable youngster is helped by Dylan's girlfriend Lindsey (Elizabeth Rice) that drives him home. They talk about Dylan's mother Candace Spindle that had a grimoire to worship her pagan gods in a creek and was blamed by the god-fearing locals of murdering a man; then she died in a suspicious fire. Lindsey and Aidan befriend each other and sooner she finds that Sean has cursed the town with his own sacrifice unleashing an evil force that is leading the inhabitants to commit suicide. When Lindsey is chased by her evil image, Aidan decides to help her to stop the curse; but the price to be paid is high.

Last week I bought "From Within" on DVD without any reference, and I had low expectations with this movie. Fortunately I was wrong and I was surprised with this great horror movie. In this original story, the Christians are evil with their fanaticism, self-proclaiming "soldiers of the Lord" and capable of dreadful murders in the name of God. Further, the conclusion with no redemption is unusual in American movies that prefer commercial endings instead. The sweet and gorgeous Elizabeth Rice has an amazing performance and shows a perfect chemistry with Thomas Dekker. The unknown director Phedon Papamichael shows a promising debut, supported by a good screenplay and a cast with great potential. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): Not Available
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pointless and cheap horror film
Jamie_Seaton17 October 2009
Warning: Spoilers
this film is poorly acted and didn't shock me at all due to its unoriginality. i usually don't watch films like these because you already knows whats in store but thought i'd give it a chance, i'll listen to my conscience more next time !!!

i don't class Thomas Dekker as a good actor in the slightest but even he is too good for this role. i cant rate rate the main star of this because i've never seen her in anything else, she's in mad men which i really need to see..... so i'm not going to criticise her too much as she was OK i guess. on a whole the acting was really bad by all the other actors, the production of this was bad and just everything this movie has to offer is bad. it almost reminds you of those terrible Japanese remakes we've been seeing a lot of these days.

this is just another one of those that probably cost more than made more films. just stay with the more main stream horror films......... 3/10........j.d Seaton
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Not as good as 'The Ring'...but close enough
RhodesParis8 May 2008
If you are looking for a movie that involves long protracted scenes of torture or evisceration like Saw, Hostel or Captivity, this is not the movie for you. If like me you like classic psychological horror then you will love this movie.

The scares are pretty good and they come at regular enough intervals to keep you engaged while the story and the characters are really compelling. It has a really strong visual style, and like 'The Ring' there's an impending sense of doom that hangs over every scene, giving it a really awesome feeling of discomfort although I bet it was made at a fraction of the budget..

The plot is great, the story grabs you from the very beginning with an incredible opening scene which features a surprisingly strong performance from Rumer Willis (beware the haters). In fact it's overall really well acted. Thomas Dekker is…well Thomas Dekker and fans of Sarah Connor will not be disappointed, Adam Goldberg is genius and Elizabeth Rice is perfect as the main character Lindsay.

I saw it in a packed house at TriBeca and the audience reaction was pretty much phenomenal. I definitely recommend seeing it when it goes on general release. 8/10
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A critical look at a genuinely good and overlooked horror
rookpawn-3828818 July 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Most of the reviews are either complains about acting, or some praise directed towards unessential elements like where it was played or who did the cinematography etc..

I want to take this review to examine the actual storyline elements and show how this is actually a really good movie. Spoilers ahead.

From the beginning we see a young "dark and moody" couple that are arguably really cliche, but if you watch the rest of the movie you will see that the young man who we witness his suicide by gun, that he is part of a completely destroyed family that the "locals" wrecked. It just so happens that the "Christians" in town burned his mom alive in a hut and covered it up to make it look like an accident because they thought his mom was a witch. So, the two "goth" boys basically flee but eventually come back. The older one is in fact, reciting a curse at the beginning of the movie ,and that he knowingly is going to sacrifice his girlfriend as well as part of this larger scheme of taking revenge on the whole city that burned his mom.

Basically he's really wrong in doing this because its going to cost the life of his girlfriend, but at the same time he's trying to take vegeance for his mother against the town. What's interesting storywise is that this dynamic is rooted in both good and evil. Good because he loves his mother, so much so that he will act against those who killed her, but bad because paradoxically, he loves his mother too much that he can't see himself doing massive evil by killing his girlfriend (via the curse) as part of the necessary road to vegeance, which ironically, is exactly what Christians say about taking up the role of God to be the upon oneself to give judgement which is only going to lead to more misery.

The movie's main villain is actually the boyfriend amped up by a good old witchhunt, literally. We are introduced to him in the most disgusting way, he starts talking about his penis to his girlfriend's daughter. He is clearly filth, yet he marches under the banner of God. i definitely think the movie wanted to play around with this idea of not just hypocrisy, but a social order that doesn't root out these villains and insteads enables and empowers them as leaders in their city.

Yet at the same time the movie is presenting direct evidence of the eye-for-an-eye philosohpy that drives the older boy and its horrific consequences, that actually in some part, substantiate the claim of these disgusting so called Christians. I think in some ways, we are seeing a bit of the Hatfield and McCoys, and the tit-for-tat nature of vegeance. This is the core of my analysis, that the movie presents a very scary narrative in which many innocents are destroyed in this struggle, and we don't really side with anyone but are taken along for the ride. Very underrated horror movie and hats off the writer.
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Very intriguing movie! I highly recommend - pleasantly surprised!
delomatrix22 November 2017
I was very impressed with this movie, especially being it is from the 8 Films to Die For. Many of the "8 FTDF" are poorly made, have horrible acting and are just all around garbage. But not this one, this is a hidden gem.

Filled with a strong cast, good timing and interesting scenes, this movie was really fun to watch! I have to disagree with another reviewer who said that Blatz was a bad actor. I felt he was the BEST actor in this film. The one actor who was needs more acting lessons was Amanda Babin. Her 5 minutes of acting made the film feel poorly made and since she was bad at acting it really took me out of the scene. Also, the makeup/special effects on Michelle Babin (her twin) in the scene looked cheap. I really did not like this one scene in particular.

Besides this one scene, all of the other scenes where characters died were well done and the makeup/special effects looked strong. I would not say this movie is very scary but it was cool to watch and kept my interest the whole time. Overall, I felt this film had a unique story, one I've never heard of before (and I watch SO many horror movies). I really enjoyed the dark overtones and how morbid it was. The acting was great (besides Amanda) and I was VERY pleased with the ending.

BE SURE TO WATCH THIS MOVIE! It is streaming right now on HBO/GO.
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Like a made for TV movie on the CW
wayev25 April 2008
Warning: Spoilers
If you can get through the first five minutes of Rumor Willis "acting" (act scared, talk all shaky, keep acting scared) then you might want to have a pen to check off every horror movie cliché From Within manages to hit :

1. Small town evil (check) 2. Religious nuts/rednecks (check) 3. Outcast kid (check) 4. Good girl (check) 5. Bad parents (check) 6. Cheesy mirror reflection not doing what the person standing in front of it is doing (check)

From Within centers upon a suicide curse from a murdered witch's spellbook (no, really.) Said witch picked the wrong town to live in, seeing as its populated by holy rollers who don't take kindly to devil worshipin' and such. Her son, out of revenge, decides to unleash the curse on the town, one person kills them self, then another, then another, and the curse plays out like the Ring mixed The Hidden, if both of those movies sucked.

Zero scares, zero shocks, characters you couldn't care less about, a laughable third act admission by a pastor (can you guess??), this whole movie is like a Very Special Episode of the CW's Supernatural, minus that show's decent acting and creativity, and plus a heavy lame dose of a ''message" about religion somewhere among this mess. Save your money and wait till its on Sci-fi at 3 in the afternoon one Saturday.
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Not really scary...
paul_haakonsen15 August 2010
Alright, well I didn't really think this movie would fit into the "After Dark Horrorfest" genre, but apparently it did.

This movie was interesting, and yet it was sort of dull. Confused? Well I will try to lay it on the line. The interesting part was the who religious fanaticism going on through the movie, that they showed just how crazed some people can become and to what extends some people are willing to go. That is what I found interesting in the movie.

And the dull part? Well, basically the entire movie was just one long smear about nothing much in particular. There was very little happening throughout the movie. And what did happen wasn't scary at all, it was just a bit out there. And that was a major disappointment to this movie.

Now, I am not saying that this is a crappy movie, it does have its moments and there is a constant sense of dread laying just beneath the surface, but this dread never gets a real chance to shine through.

The movie is psychological, and that works very well in its favor, and the scenes that do draw on the supernatural, does work nicely as well. The whole part about being killed by yourself, and no one else but you can see what is going on, is kind of freaky, and that was the good part about the movie.

"From Within" took a sweet long time to tell very little, and that made the movie drag on forever and ever. There wasn't enough sparks and magic to make this movie all that interesting. Sure, the movie had potential and they were on to something with the story, plots and the twists in the movie, but it just didn't catch the bigger picture.

The cast in "From Within" was good, and I think they all portrayed their characters very well and in believable manners. So there is nothing to complain about here. The leading roles were portrayed well, and the supporting roles were the same.

The effects were good throughout the movie. They didn't revel in one grand CGI eye-fest after another, but rather made use of subtle effects and scary environments and small details. That is one of the cooler things in movie-making.

The ending was nice, although not a surprise ending. But it worked well enough.

I am rating this movie a 4, because of the story took forever to get you almost nowhere. But still, there were elements that managed to keep my interest throughout the movie. Now, if you are looking for a movie to scare the crap out of you, this is not the movie to pick. However, if you want a psychological movie with some underlying supernatural elements, this might be right up your alley. But be prepared for a very long storytelling...
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From Within
Scarecrow-881 April 2009
Warning: Spoilers
A "suicidal" curse has been unleashed on a bible belt Southern town of Grovetown due to the murder of a practicing witch who was accused of killing a local in a nearby river. The suicide of the witch's son at the beginning of the film, specifying a chant from the Grimoire, invokes the curse causing it to spread from one victim to another after each individual is forced to kill them self by the conjured evil(..the evil is a reflection of them, their fate shown right before the victim dies). Aidan(Thomas Dekker), is the remaining family member of the witch, her son, until his cousin, Sadie(Margo Harshman)arrives. Lindsay(Elizabeth Rice), is a pretty, kind teenager who offers an olive branch to Aidan when he's attacked by the local minister's vocal son, Dylan(Kelly Blatz). Lindsay and Dylan are an item, but this relationship deteriorates over time due to their differences towards Lindsay, he's a suffering victim whose mother's murder was covered up as an accidental burning, while Dylan sees him as a weapon of the devil who must be put an end to for the safety of his Christian flock. When Lindsay herself receives the curse, she asks Aidan for help while Dylan sets out, with help by local believers, Roy(Adam Goldberg)and Paul(David Ariniello), to purge their town of the evil that exists within.

As typical of films like these, Christians(..and their faith)is presented as backwards, ignorant, antagonistic, overwhelming, intolerant, and overly aggressive, even to the point of resorting to cruelty and violence(..obviously those involved in the making of this film presented this as a symbolic reminder of the "Burning Times") The witches, however, are presented as innocent victims, suffering indignity and wrath for choosing to refrain from the religion of those around them, in turn, victimized for whatever horrors might take place, just for what they believe in. A murder( the local minister, no less, covering up a homosexual tryst with the victim)begets another..the witch receives the blame for the crime committed in her backyard and is executed for it. We witness how Christianity is a harmful threat, riddled with corruption, and those that oppose the religion, are set up for potential's a presentation that is often brought to the screen this way which is a shame, because not all Christians are such loud, chest-thumping tyrants willing to inflict such damage towards unbelievers. The film's supernatural threat resembles those often seen in the Asian revenge ghost genre, with the setting of a backwater town full of Christian bigots the relative difference. Some recognizable faces pop up such as Bruce Willis and Demi Moore's child, Rumer, as an early victim, Jared Harris as her father, and a completely unrecognizable Adam Goldberg as a vulgar, often imprisoned, representative of the trailer park community, who Dylan uses as an enforcer(..of, course!)to settle "conflicts of faith". Laura Allen stars as Lindsay's alcoholic white trash step-mother Trish and Brittany Robertson portrays her school pal, Claire. While the threat of the curse is recognized, the evil Christians, led by the domineering, confrontational Dylan, are presented as the ultimate weapon of destruction. Through the materializing friendship between Lindsay and Aidan, we see a developing uprising against her for "consorting with evil." Blatant manipulative writing such as this rather irks me because it often displays such a general disregard for those who believe in something the filmmakers clearly do not, and this provides them with an opportunity to demonize them..a pulpit to use Christianity as a horrifying threat to the world that must be stopped, and only can through witchcraft. Not particularly violent, we watch as terrified victims are confronted by their frightening mirror images, soon perishing when there's nowhere left to run.
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not scary and not a thriller
haikoh21 March 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Let me start off by saying it is not a bad movie. Acting is pretty decent and the characters are nice and enjoyable to watch. There is however a great flaw to make it a good movie or at least to make it the movie it could be.

The story: So in a town people start killing themselves. At first they think its just some suicide pact but as more people die it appears to be something else. There is some sort of curse which makes people see themselves and then help/force them commit suicide.

If you don't want to know what will happen, don't read the following.

The story is not that bad and could actually be very nice and scary but the truth is that its really nothing of that at all. As the curse spreads you see who will be next in line to die and thus there is no form of tension at all. As the person sees his/her own image in the form they will die in, its obvious what will happen next in the movie. For example if the girl is about to drown, she sees her own image with a drowned face etc, making it easy to tell what will happen. This is a great drawback and makes it just another mystery flick.

The nice points are the ending which is kinda unpredictable and the way the makers show Christian extremists and their way of thinking.

In the end the movie was enjoyable but if you are looking for a scary movie or even a thriller you can skip this one. If you are looking for a flick with a little blood and some killing, you might like it.
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Blatz and Goldberg: the worst actors of their respective generations?
fedor814 December 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Conspiracy theorists should have a ball with this one: two Jews play small-town Bible-hugging baddies in a rabidly anti-Christian movie. You be the judge; I couldn't care less; both religions are equally silly.

Speaking of silly… Scene One. Two boys are sitting on a river-shore. They kiss. So is this horror film going to have a politically correct gay sub-plot, too?

No. It's not two boys. One of them is the daughter of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore, the appropriately titled "Rumer" Willis. If I had to choose between a ridiculous name such as Rumer, and a normal girl's name such as Susan, I'd go for Rumer too: it fits her like a glove. The lip-pierced boy sitting next to her is one of the annoying actors from another disastrous horror flick, "Deadgirl".

But FW has mercy on us poor viewers: only a minute into the movie, he shoots himself. He pulls the trigger and blows his tiny Hollywood brains, mere seconds after French-kissing Rumer. Coincidence? Kissing that woman would have driven the most mentally balanced man into suicide. But what about Rumer? When will she be killed off? How long before a hell's minion finally devours her or something? Not to worry, folks! Only a few minutes later, Rumer is killed off by the writers, too. Pew, what a relief! I don't have to watch this awful nepotistic produce for the rest of the movie.

For every talentless, unattractive Rumer/Aniston/Dern that gets a movie career handed to her on a plate - just because her parents have great power in Hollywood and choose to wield it unjustly – there are 10,000 gorgeous and far more skilled aspiring young actresses that don't even ever get to audition for a toilet commercial. The main victims of this nepotistic corruption? We, the viewers. On second thought, who'd want to play in a cinematic turd such as FW?

So it's quite fitting that Rumer's dad is played by yet another useless nepotist, Jared Harris, son of 60s movie star Richard Harris. Just watch Jared sob over Rumer's death: so utterly unconvincing; a perfectly awful display of nepotistic incompetence at its most horrible finest.

FW has the usual run-of-the-mill horror-film BS, the standard to-be-expected one-dimensional cardboard stereotypes from the Horror Movie Guide To Making Useless Fluff: 1) the wise-beyond-her-years goody-two-shoes no-character-flaws-at-all girly, played by Rice, 2) the town bully (this time not a jock but the preacher's son!), played by the amazingly untalented Kelly Blatz who grimaces his way through this as if suffering a perpetual overdose of uppers; a dilettante (with the right Hollywood breeding), 3) the sensitive/shunned quiet loner – this time made to look and act like a whiny, depressed Emo, with horrible front hair that probably prevents him from seeing what's going on in the movie – which would certainly explain all the stupid decisions he makes, 4) the primitive, morally corrupt and stupid step-father, played with over-acting gusto by the very useless Adam Goldberg, 5) the unsympathetic alcoholic mother who dates losers, etc.

Not to mention the usual boring clichés about small-town lynch-mob mentality and Christian fundamentalism. Hollywood, you damn bore, we know about self-righteous, corrupt, simple-minded Christian fundamentalists, you must have covered it in at least 90,000 movies. How about looking in the mirror for once, and giving us a movie about self-righteous, corrupt, simple-minded liberal Marxists, for a change? (The Christians worship the Big Black Book, the Marxists adore their Little Red Book; it's all the same crap to me.) At times, it seemed this movie focused much more on its obvious anti-Christian message than at furthering its horror plot – which appeared more like a sub-plot at times.

Plenty of extremely silly shenanigans going on here. Here are the "highlights": 1) The scene when the preacher's son (Blatz) gives an impassioned religious speech to High School kids – who listen in awe(!!!) - is RIDICULOUS, perhaps the stupidest scene in this astonishingly dumb movie. 2) I said "perhaps". A scene that rivals it is Rice's kidnapping. This horse-manure of a plot-device has to be seen to be believed. 3) When Rice enters Emo's house and starts reporting about possession – right after another spate of murders – Emo's cousin from NY starts playing tritonic (evil-sounding) chords on the piano. I guess the director must have given her soundtrack duties as well (and seeing as how she can't act at all, that's just as well: makes herself at least useful that way). 4) The moronic plot-twist that has the hated outcast family at the center of the evil-demon witchery – making the movie's entire anti-Christian message almost obsolete! It turns out that the evil redneck (Goldberg) and the grimacing Blatz were RIGHT about wanting to kill them. Duh. (Who wrote this crap?) 5) Goldberg's utterly cretinous speech just before he burns Emo's piano-playing NY cousin.

6) And you'll never guess FW's amazingly idiotic major plot-twist: it turns out the town's head preacher had a GAY AFFAIR with the boy who drowned in the lake, i.e. he was the one who had killed him! You've got to love the unintentionally comic mind of this turd's hopelessly confused writer.

At first I was confused why Emo took the cousin's gun along with him. We all know that emos are spineless pacifists who would never shoot anyone – apart from themselves, of course (while listening to some awful 30 Seconds From Mars album). Sure enough, he took it to blow his Emo brains out.

There are stark similarities in the Emo-Rice relationship to "Twilight" – and this certainly does not serve as a recommendation to see this turkey. As for the end-credits, you might find yourself giggling when you see the almost pythonesque sequence of suicide-corpses. This piece of crap is one for the history books.

Whoever wrote this garbage shouldn't be allowed anywhere near a keyboard, let alone write another screenplay.
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This Movie Makes Me Want To Puke!
Bill3578 June 2009
Warning: Spoilers
What a bold concept, Christians, southerners, and small town residents portrayed as dumb, bigoted, murderous, homosexual rapists! Wow, I've never seen a movie like that before in my life! The only thing missing was one of the god squad ranting about "the Jews". That would make this movie perfect!

Actually, this movie is just one long hate crime against all the afore mentioned groups.

What a typical coincidence that the "good Christian" was an attractive female. I imagine that if she were plain or ugly the filmmakers would probably have made her as nasty and hateful as the rest of the hicks.

When it started I thought Rumer Willis and her boyfriend were twin brothers.

As it droned on, I began to feel that maybe the bible-thumping twits did the right thing when they killed the pretty boy's mother. The resulting events pretty much proved that their fears about the old hag were real. I wish they would have did me a favor and annihilated the rest of the family so this crap would never have been made.

The best part was when Adam Goldberg the "Hebrew Hammer" torched pretty boy's obnoxious cousin. Why was that character even in this movie?

Oh, did I mention that this despicable movie was boring as well?

I think it's time for the Horrorfest to end. Every year they keep getting worse and I thought nothing could beat last years collection of turkeys. Boy was I wrong!
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Great movie
atinder12 March 2010
This movie start with Natalie sitting with her boyfriend Shaun as he reads he kisses Natalie . Natalie believes he wants to have sex with her - until he pulls out a gun and commits suicide.

Then see Natali going to father shop covered in blood and tells her someone after and then not soon after she also killed herself.

There more people have stared to kill them self in recent days. , Dylan and rest of the town people (who are really religious) think that Aiden's family has got something to do with the recent deaths as he mother used to do witchcraft before she was killed.

I really enjoyed this movie, i did find this movie scary but it did have some really creepy scenes, the twist at the end I was like " no way", it was one of those really fast and short twist which i think made it bit more shocking (for me).

I really liked this movie, i going give a 8 out of 10
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Eerie cinematography + Thomas Dekker = "After Dark" gold
orachel544 February 2010
I'm a huge horror movie lover, but I'm often let down by American horror films...esp the cheesy repackages of fabulous Asian horror titles. This atmospherically chilling thriller definitely did not disappoint. The scenery alone is well worth watching, but I found the moral quagmire of a storyline unique as well. Acting is waaay above the standard for this type of film. I really dug the female lead, and Thomas Dekker is utterly delicious, just teeming with sexy, dark sensitivity in this somewhat subtle and understated role. Overall, a very enjoyable way to spend an hour and a half. Not a slice and dice teenage T&A flick, so this one is probably OK for those of you not too into gore or gratuitous topless chase scenes. I've enjoyed many of the After Dark "8 Movies to Die For" Horrorfest titles, but I think this one may be my favorite to date.
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Comedy or Horror? Hard to Tell With This Massive Bomb
sherri_bailey94 May 2008
I couldn't agree with wadev's review more. This movie was truly awful. How did this ever get picked by the Tribeca Fest? Some of the "horror" scenes were so silly, I kept laughing -- as did many other people in the audience. It was not suspenseful, it was not scary, the characters were dull, the pace was slow, lots of unnecessary scenes and yet tons of underdeveloped plot lines. I want to watch a movie and care about why these characters ended up where they did and what is going to happen to them next. Watching this, I could care less. I was wondering what a decent actor like Adam Goldberg was doing in this drivel. I could see that he was trying to treat this role seriously, but it was impossible to take this film seriously.
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A Terrifying New Spin On Teenage Suicide
kyleallen_918 February 2009
I recently went and saw this movie during the after dark horror-fest weekend and I was really impressed. Before I went to see it, I really didn't have a clue to what it was suppose to be about and I was shocked. This movie had thrills and chills, mixed with an excellent cast of young and rising stars. Elizabeth Rice(Odd Girl Out) stars as a teen who arrives back to her home town and is caught up in a mystery, when a strange rash of suicides begin to claim her friends and other teens in the town. A truly disturbing performance by Steven Culp(Jason goes To Hell:The Final Friday) as a creepy, but yet intriguing pastor who may be behind the series of violent suicides. This slick teenage flick also stars Rumer Willis(The House Bunny) and Margo Harshman(Simon Says and Legacy), both appearing in the 2009 horror remake, Sorority Row. Other impressionable stars of this flick are, Thomas Dekkar(The Sarah Connor Chronicles), Brittany Robertson(Swingtown), Kelly Blatz(Prom Night), Laura Allen(Dirt and The 4400) and Adam Goldberg(Zodiac). I really liked this movie and i cant wait for it's March DVD release. It's Definitely worth checking out!
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Over all good horror movie.
drtypntyz1 June 2009
I'm not going to get into detail cause this movie doesn't need all that. I love horror and thriller and this movie was def 7 star. Gore, scary "make you jump" parts, not bad acting. The very beginning I was almost about to turn it off then all of a sudden the mood is set for some good gory deaths. The movie kept me watching, so I would say that it was interesting. Story hits you with a couple of twists after some of the death slows, then your slams in the face with more killing, blood and all that good stuff. I am no critic but I do love watching movies and I am glad that I watched this movie because I wasn't going to. I would recommend this movie to others that like horror/thriller. It is one to watch if no others.
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