A film director who has ghostly visions tries to recreate a film whose cast and crew went missing in the 20′s. This releases some evil spirits and they cause the new films crew to go insane.
Directed by – Fruit Chan
Written by – Brian Cox, Hiroshi Takahashi, Hideo Nakata
Starring – Eli Roth, Henry Thomas, Kevin Corrigan, Elena Satine, Daniela Sea, Zelda Williams, David Dayan Fisher, Lothaire Bluteau, Carmen Chaplin, Reshad Strik, Robert Towers, Alma Saraci, Jack Dimich, Rachael Murphy, Ajla Hodzic, Ian Fisher, Vitaliy Versace, Alyssa Sutherland, George Anton, Brian Henderson, Kyle Archer, Kelly Devoto, Laura Lance
I have only myself to blame for watching this one. If I had taken just one moment to at least see a synopsis of this flick I would have realized that it’s another American remake of an Asian film. Of course it didn’t take long for me to start thinking ‘Man, this seems a lot like The Ring!’ and it should be since it’s written by Hideo Nakata. You get the same sort of cursed video and the same sort of look. They even have the fly coming out of the tv screen into real life. Hell, even the ghost is looking very similar to all those long-haired Asian ghosts that populate the wave of American remakes. The fact that it’s so similar to those films is only the beginning of its problems. The acting isn’t terribly good and the plot is just puzzling and incoherent.
Sometime in the 20′s a film crew, featuring Eli Roth in a cameo, is trying to make a movie about a girl who made a deal with the devil. She wanted a powerful man to come and take her away from her life of poverty and the devil wanted their firstborn daughter so he could have a child born into the world. Well the villagers don’t like that sort of stuff and kill the daughter. The crew in the 20′s wind up being killed by the spirit of the daughter. We instantly switch to the present where a film director is having a vision of the doomed film crew. He begins writing what he has seen down, his intention is to go to the original studio and make this movie that was never finished. There’s a little sub-plot about his ex-girlfriend who has cancer which is then pretty much ignored until the end of the movie so forget about it. They head to the studio in Romania, start filming and then all hell breaks loose. When viewing the dailies of the film they find a double exposure and end up watching a part of the original film, releasing the evil spirit again.
It kind of seems straight-forward but it doesn’t take long for the plot to get confusing and pointless. Some crew members start getting killed and others suddenly go insane and start attacking people. By the end everyone is racing to leave the set while others are running around punching out car windows and trying to stab the director. It just doesn’t make a lot of sense. There isn’t any real reason given as to why some people are losing it and you have to just assume that it’s because of the evil spirit. The ending also doesn’t make any sense in terms of the film. I couldn’t tell by then if the movie was supposed to have been about the director and his ‘visions’ or if it was about the devil still trying to get his child born into our world. If the entire plot about the director had been removed then the movie would have worked much better. It would have been a straight up ghost story about an evil spirit and the devil, it also would have suited the ending better. Instead we’re left with a pointless plot and half an ending that just doesn’t make any sense at all.
There’s a few particularly gross scenes involving demon birth and some huge growth on a creepy guys neck but there’s also a lot of CG flies which look more like a black cloud of computer graphics then anything else. The whole thing is just a mess of ideas all crammed together with generous helpings of The Ring added in there. Actually, the most effective scene is pretty much right out of The Ring really when someone is looking at the dailies from the film and a giant eye seems stuck on the screen. He bangs away at some buttons and there’s a great shot from behind him as the large screens in front of him show this large set of twitching eyes. The hair on my neck started standing up in anticipation of some great scare coming but instead all we get is this fly that crawls out of the screen and attacks the guy watching. It doesn’t end up being very scary at all but the shot itself looks great. Too bad the rest of the movie was so boring and confusing.
I would love to check out the original of this flick because that one seemed to stay a little more on the straight and narrow path, offering up your typical ghost story. It may not sound that fresh but I bet it works a lot better than this one does. Don’t Look Up should really be called Please Pick Up The Movie On Your Left so nobody will have to watch this one. I think the most interesting thing about the movie is that Henry Thomas is in it. Yeah, Henry Thomas, the kid from E.T. He should have phoned home before this one and gotten someone to come and take him away from all of it. Don’t even bother with this one. It’s confusing and boring and there’s just nothing that really stands out about it.
Under the marquee – Will