... but sadly, one has to rate it as if it was a commercial release, because on IMDb there's no distinction.
In the old days (of not-too-long ago) this probably could have picked up a distributor as a weekday matinée or a drive-in B-movie. Now, it's the latest example of 'donation-ware' filmmaking, distributed through torrents managed by 'free-media' outfit VODO.
Now, as a VODO-released production, it's pretty good. The bar is not high. The storyline is stupid. The actors behave in tired, predictable horror-movie cliché's. The cinematography is okay, until the fourth wall is broken by bright, shiny plastic buttons and power-points, and the realisation that the 'night vision' footage is just used to make the runs down the hallways seem longer. But, from what I've seen in VODO-released stuff, it's probably the cream of a very limited crop. (I know, it's very difficult to make long-form visual media, ie. TV or feature-length movies, and I respect that, but once again, this is IMDb, not some feel-good community media forum.)
The frustrating thing is that technically, this is a very good film. If only the other aspects involved in movie production had reached that level, well, I don't think it would have been distributed by VODO. (I mean, it might have been picked up.) Let me explain.
First, you can only recycle the (I'm guessing an abandoned factory or warehouse of some kind) limited available space so many times before suspension of belief becomes a major problem. 25 minutes? Sure! Outer Limits and its ilk did it a million times. 44 minutes? Maybe. I think X- Files got away with it once or twice. 90 minutes...? Good luck with that!
The editors decide the solution is to pad the run-time out with faux-documentary footage, but (secondly) the major problem with that, especially from the point of view of a horror movie (and this is _not_ a spoiler because it's just painfully obvious) is unless it's a post- mortem voice-over or some-such, the people being interviewed DIDN'T DIE. As such, having long, drawn-out scenes involving how frightened these characters are have almost zero impact, since we know they're going to live! Especially (third) when one of those scenes is some bizarre homage to the "I'm so scared" scene from The Blair Witch Project.
(Fourth) the script itself feels like a first draft that someone thought was so cool it didn't need any revision, because it was PERFECT! Real productions throw scripts through a meat- grinder of a million 'script supervisors' for a reason -- even if it was written by Lucas (and especially if it was written by Lucas!) Even if a director is billed as a writer-director, their script still goes through that mill. Typically, there's an editor that supervises a number of editors. So it goes -- the reasoning is that, although you want continuity, you don't want your production to get 'same-y'.
Same-y makes people post reviews where the summary says something like, "It's a good student film..."
Which is a shame, because (fifth) I know personally and for a fact that there is a veritable legion of talent here in Australia that would love to work for free, especially for a Denton gig. But productions here tend to be closed -- 'tight-knit' small production groups are supposed to somehow 'be better'. If that's true, then someone really should set the international distributors straight, because they've got it all wrong!
They don't have it all wrong. If you can't take criticism of your script, you don't belong in the film business. If you can't share editing, sound, or whatever it is you do, you don't belong in the film business.
The film business is about involving as much talent in your production as you can afford, not about founding a little club that just happens to make 'movies'. Come on, Australia; get with the program.
Good luck next time.
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