After taking a picture of a woman on the street, amateur photographer Hollis is shocked when she knocks on his apartment door and threatens his life. Demanding that he and the photograph must leave town with her or she will have to kill him, Hollis reluctantly obliges. While on the run, she reveals she's an ex-MI5 agent that double-crossed a Colombian Cartel. Just as she was about to escape for good, Hollis' photograph of her surfaced and now the Cartel knows her whereabouts, and his.Written by
If you really don't want to live, that's your problem. But the second you jeopardize my life, it becomes mine. And I have enough fucking problems, do you understand?
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Was drawn into seeing 'Negative', with a cool poster/cover, a promising trailer, an intriguing premise and as someone with a general appreciation for drama/thrillers. That it was low-budget, which from frequent personal experience is rarely a good sign due to that there are so many poor ones out there, made me though apprehensive.
It is sadly however yet another film seen recently, hence some reiteration because the exact same strengths and flaws are here present in those films, that to me was incredibly disappointing considering its potential which it doesn't do anywhere near enough with. 'Negative' is lacklustre, with so many huge flaws and doesn't do enough with its potential, which was hardly small. There is not much to recommend in 'Negative'.
Lets start with the positives.. The scenery is atmospheric and spooky, and is surprisingly well shot.
'Negative' also starts off promisingly, it does intrigue and it does have creepiness in parts.
There is the odd assured directing touches and Katia Winter is quite good.
Going on to the negatives, the story does feel over-stretched and some of it comes over as vague and under-explained in the last third where the film especially became duller, more predictable, more senseless and less unsettled and never gaining momentum. Too many characters are too sketchy and with nowhere near enough to make one want to endear to them. Their annoying and illogical decision making and behaviours frustrates.
Making the film feel bland and forgettable with not enough heart put into it. The effects are ropy at best, the sound quality is obvious and utilised cheaply (being too loud in the build ups and people's reactions) and excepting the quite good Katia Winter the acting isn't great, Sebastian Roche coming off worst, and the chemistry is bland.
Dialogue can be stilted and rambling while the pace and film drags on forever after such an intriguing start and doesn't recover. Even the ending however is botched, due to being so afterthought-like and with no sense of how to end it. Found too many of the supposedly shocking moments not surprising or scary and the supposedly creepy atmosphere dreary, due to the excessive obviousness, a lot of dumb and vague moments and explanations and the lack of tension and suspense.
A lot of 'Negative' has underdeveloped plot elements and often nonsensical and confusing character motivations, while too many of the things to make you shocked are far from creative or unsettling.
There is not enough threat here and what there is of it tends to be used poorly, while it is unimaginative and is more odd than scary or suspenseful, completely failing to show any sense of horror. Some badly sagging momentum too and a lot of weirdness. The direction is uneven, with some assured moments but a lot of ill-at-ease ones too.
Concluding, lacklustre but not without its moments. 4/10 Bethany Cox
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