Tuesday, October 2, 2012
I've had this in my "to-see" list for awhile now, ever since I heard about the movie, basically, but I'm lazy, so I never got around to seeing it before today. That's part of why I love October, because the nature of the challenge of trying to cram as many horrific movies into a 31 day period as possible necessitates me overcoming my procrastination and watching movies that have been gathering dust on the shelves of my memory, so I popped this one on today, not knowing what to expect.
Part of what attracted me to this movie was the thrill of a puzzle that I would get to see unfold before me onscreen. Ever since I was 11 years old and I picked up a copy of "Great Expectations" for the first time, I've loved seeing stories unfold in front of me, one piece at a time, and yes, I just compared this low-budget movie to a literary classic, get over it. Dickens didn't get much respect when his books came out either, they were dismissed as trashy because they were popular, and people were wrong back then, and they're wrong now when they dismiss movies like this because of their low budgets or their questionable artistic value. There's a lot to love here if you give this movie a chance.
First off, don't dismiss this movie because it has Melissa Joan Hart in it and you remember her from "Clarissa Explains it All" or "Sabrina the Teenage Witch," she's all grown up here, and she gives a hell of a performance that I for one didn't know she had in her. I don't always like her character, but she acts the HELL out of her part in this movie and I love her for it. The premise of this movie is mind-bending: nine strangers are kidnapped and they wake up handcuffed in a room not knowing where they are or why they are there. A masked man tells them they have ten minutes to talk and figure out why they are all in the room, and he will kill one of them every ten minutes until they figure it out. Of course, all of you are probably thinking you "saw" this movie already, and I admit I made snide comments comparing this movie to the popular "Saw" franchise, but I loved those movies, and I love this movie because while it treads somewhat familiar ground, it still had me on the edge of my seat and even pacing around the room from time to time, talking to the screen and trying to figure out what was going on.
Not all of the acting is up to par of course, which is to be expected from a low-budget movie, but it's not that bad, and the good performances make up for any that are lacking, in my opinion. This movie is a thrilling little puzzle in the way the "Saw" movies are, and it met my "great expectations" with style (ok, I'll stop with the puns now, as long as you promise to give this movie a chance).