This is a movie I've wanted to see for years, almost since it came out. It's this skeezy little direct to DVD movie with a skeezy looking cover, but everything everyone told me about the movie intrigued me enough to make me want to see it. I found it for sale for $3 yesterday, which is cheaper than it would have been to rent it, so I had to pounce on it, even though I hadn't seen it and therefore was taking a risk that it would be terrible and now I'd own it. In the end, I'm glad I bought it, but it does have some serious problems.
The basic story is about a young guy (played by Jensen Ackles from the show "Supernatural" and the "My Bloody Valentine" remake) who goes to college and has some family problems and some problems with h9is friends. On the night he turns 21, one of his friends signs him up for this internet game called "The Pathway." After he is signed up, the people in charge of the game gather all his information (social security number, bank account balance, high school diploma, etc.) and they begin calling him and giving him tasks to do. He starts to realize that they're calling his friends and giving them tasks too, and then horrible things start happening and he feels trapped.
This is a really cool premise, and I wish the movie had a better budget, because it could have really been something special if the horrible CGI weren't getting in the way (and I mean horrible, it looks like a cartoon whenever he sees one of the dark figures in charge of the game). Another problem is that the movie doesn't tell us everything that happens. We see flashes of scenes cutting into other scenes, and the flashes are red,which means that whatever happens in these flashes happens in either the past or the future, and we don't know what's going on until later when the main character mentions in passing "oh, this happened" but we don't get any description or back story, so we don't know what's going on. It feels like half the movie happens offscreen this way, and that can get annoying. The ending is a little weird, too, and it feels like we're not getting enough information about what happened to figure it out. Those are small quibbles though, because the rest of the movie really is very enjoyable and creepy, and I'm glad I finally got a chance to see it.