4.4/10
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38 user 47 critic

The Girl in the Photographs (2015)

Trailer
1:57 | Trailer
A bored young woman in a sleepy community called Spearfish starts receiving photographs of brutally murdered young women. Are they real or staged? The culprit is either a serial killer or some creep with a sick sense of humour.

Director:

Nick Simon
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kal Penn ... Peter Hemmings
Claudia Lee ... Colleen
Kenny Wormald ... Chris
Toby Hemingway ... Ben
Luke Baines ... Tom
Miranda Rae Mayo ... Rose
Katharine Isabelle ... Janet
Mitch Pileggi ... Sheriff Porter
Toby Levins ... Deputy Daniels
Christy Carlson Romano ... Brittany
Oliver Seitz Oliver Seitz ... Trip
Autumn Kendrick ... Victoria
Corey Schmitt ... Gerry
Eva Bourne ... Jill
Kathryn Kirkpatrick ... Denise
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Storyline

A bored young woman in a sleepy community called Spearfish starts receiving photographs of brutally murdered young women. Are they real or staged? The culprit is either a serial killer or some creep with a sick sense of humour.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Horror | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong bloody violence, sexuality/nudity, language throughout and some drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The name of the character Peter Hemmings is a reference to actor David Hemmings and his role in the similarly-themed film Blow-Up (1966). See more »

Quotes

Colleen: Has anyone else seen these or are they just from me?
Sheriff Porter: Nobody, no crime.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Before the credits, there is a title card that reads, "For Wes", dedicating the film to its deceased executive producer Wes Craven. See more »

Connections

References Blow-Up (1966) See more »

Soundtracks

Motherless Child
Arranged by Lindsey Frost Davis
Performed by Lily Frost
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User Reviews

 
"The Girl in the Photographs" is a picture that you should take in.
21 April 2016 | by dave-mcclainSee all my reviews

Sadly, horror movie maestro Wes Craven died of brain cancer on August 30, 2015. The final film in which he was personally involved was "The Girl in the Photographs" (R, 1:35) (as an executive producer). That movie was first shown publicly at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) barely two weeks after Craven's death, both events marking the end of his 45+ years in the film industry. Although he did some work in other genres, Craven is best known for his innovative and popular approach to horror. Among his cinematic creations are the original versions of "The Last House on the Left" and "The Hills Have Eyes", which led to the "Nightmare on Elm Street" and "Scream" franchises, as well as other sequels and remakes of some of his early films, so they could be updated, and then discovered by new generations of horror fans. Whether you like it or not, "The Girl in the Photographs" (directed by Nick Simon, written by Simon, Oz Perkins and Robert Morast) represents Craven's last direct contribution to horror cinema. So, I guess the questions we have to answer now is what IS there to like about the film, and what… not? Colleen (Claudia Lee) is a bored grocery store cashier in the small town of Spearfish (in west central South Dakota). She's about 20-years-old, pretty, and in a rut. Collen has that job, a weasley jerk of a boyfriend named Ben (Toby Hemmingway) and… not much else. She feels like her life is going nowhere fast and there's nothing worthwhile on the horizon, but her life is about to get a lot more… interesting.

One ordinary morning when Colleen is the first employee to arrive for work, she finds an 8 ½ x 11 inch photograph in the middle of the store's bulletin board. The photo shows a young woman who appears that she has been brutally murdered. Naturally, Colleen immediately takes the ghoulish pic to local law enforcement, but Sheriff Porter (Mitch Pileggi) tells her there's nothing he can do based on that one picture, which might show nothing more than someone's sick sense of humor. "No body, no crime," is how he sums up the situation. He's right, but she grows increasingly frustrated. That photo was only the first of several Colleen finds. They get more and more gruesome, but there is still no evidence of a crime. Besides, Colleen has not been threatened in any way and there's always the possibility that the pictures have nothing to do with her and aren't even for her… until one ends up on the windshield of her car.

Peter Hemmings (Kal Penn) is a Los Angeles photographer who specializes in artistic and often disturbing images. He reads about the very upsetting photos on the internet. Peter's upset too, but not about the subject matter. He's upset that he didn't think of it first. He takes the photographs as a personal affront. He doesn't know who the photographer is or why he would be taunting Peter, but Peter is sure the photos are aimed at him. He was born in Spearfish and, well, he's a famous photographer, so… this has to be personal… right? Peter decides to head home for a photo shoot that will top this "dead model look", as he calls it. His entourage includes his girlfriend, Rose (Miranda Rae Mayo), his long-suffering personal assistant, Chris (Kenny Wormald) and a couple models. They pile in and head for South Dakota.

In Spearfish, world's collide! (Can't you feel that??) Peter and company rent a big cabin in the woods and when they go to the local supermarket to pick up some supplies, they meet Colleen. Peter likes her look and rudely tells the more diplomatic Chris to ask her to the house for a party. Colleen tries to invite her best friend, Jill (Eva Bourne), but can't get a hold of her. Oh, well. Colleen doesn't have anything else going on and this Chris guy is kinda cute – and a lot nicer than Ben. Meanwhile, we meet some of the other residents of Spearfish. There are these two guys named Tom and Gerry (Luke Baines and Corey Schmitt) and they like to take pictures of women. When they discover a new model they… oh, no you don't. Nice try, but you won't get any spoilers out of me. I guess you'll just have to watch the movie.

"The Girl in the Photographs" is smarter and more fun than a lot of people give it credit for. The premise is original and interesting. The cast could have been better, including the "bad guy" characters who were menacing, but should have been more so. However, Kal Penn stands out with his over-the-top version of the quintessential rude and self-important West Coast artist type. Simon's direction is a bit too loose and short on scares. The script should have kept more of its secrets until later in the story, but the clever and surprising ending mostly makes up for that shortcoming. The movie is well edited and very well shot, owing to the fact that the cinematographer, Dean Cundey, also shot the entire "Back to the Future" trilogy, "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" (for which he got an Oscar nod) and the original films for two classic Hollywood franchises: "Halloween" and "Jurassic Park". In short, this movie's execution is hit-and-miss, but its basic story is right on target. I'll even go so far as to predict that this one will gain some more fans when it comes out on video. Somewhere, Freddy Krueger, Ghost Face and Wes Craven are all smiling… crooked, wicked smiles, but smiles nonetheless. From me, "The Girl in the Photographs" gets a "B+".


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Details

Official Sites:

official site

Country:

USA | Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 April 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Girl in the Photographs See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Alghanim Entertainment See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39:1
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