Like the zombies that permeate these films, this is a franchise that will not die. Milla Jovovich returns for her fifth go round as Alice, the ultimate zombie killing machine, and the line between film and video game has never been so blurred.<br/><br/>What makes this entry in the series so int
An interesting film that combines two aspects commonly used in the horror genre, the found footage movie, and the anthology movie. Like most anothology movies, some stories are much better than others, and the end result is an often gruesome, creepy movie, that has quite a few genuine scares, but ultimately overstays it's welcome by about a half hour.
The common thread running through these stories centers around a group of scumbags that have been hired to break into a house to steal a certain vhs tape. Who hired them is never explained, nor is what is on the vhs tape they want. So each segment is introduced as one member of this group puts a tape in the vcr to see what's on it. We then view what is supposedly on each tape, and after viewing the tape, each member of this group meets a mysterious fate.
The varying stories told start out as genuinely creepy, and somewhat disturbing. Some are told in a very realistic fashion, and those are the ones that really work. There's also an actress on the first "tape" that freaked me out just by the way she can bug her eyes out of her head. Another story involving a couple on a road trip is particularly disturbing in how realistically it's presented. A couple of stories involving a group of kids in the woods, and another told through Skype have a couple of good moments, but are easily the weakest in the movie. A story involving a group of guys on their way to a Halloween party, and end up in the wrong house is pretty much a good old fashioned haunted house story.
There's also no resolve to the movie. No point. Nothing happens that ultimately wraps all these stories together. If there was, I missed it, and may have to watch again to catch it.
The actors in the movie are all very natural, and that adds a big plus to the realism of the movie. We get to know the characters quickly, and even if we don't like them, we understand and sympathize with them, and that helps deliver on the scares.
So what we have is a good 2 hour movie that could've been a great 90 minute movie if you weeded out the lesser stoires, and put some kind of explanation as to what we just saw at the end. But then again, I guess that's kind of the point of the whole "found footage" movie. To leave the viewer saying "What did I just see?"
There are many different kinds of family films. There are the ones that amuse little kids that are torture for a parent to sit through. There are films that transcend the family genre, and are just flat out great movies. The Diary Of A Wimpy Kid movies are somewhere in between. They aren't high art. I mean after all, they're based on a series of books that are largely made up of drawings. The stories are beyond simplistic, and the laughs are just this side of fart jokes. But there's real charm and truth to their simplicity that makes them engaging for parents and kids.
Now, it's not a totally smooth ride. This film is a hybrid of two different books in the series, and as such it feels far more episodic than the previous two. There's no real narrative story here. There's no goal it's striving for. It's a series of events in the lives of the characters over the course of summer vacation. Maybe that's why the lack of a coherent story doesn't bother me, but that's what summer vacation is supposed to be. A series of adventures with no point other than to have a good time.
The acting is what you'd expect from a movie like this, but there is a real surprise that adds a lot to the mix. Steve Zahn is given a much bigger part here as the dad, and his relationship with the main character, played by Zachary Gordon, is really the heart of the story. It shows a lot of bonding between the two on several different issues. It shows how fathers and sons can be so alike, yet so different at the same time. Zahn really does give a surprisingly believable performance, and his scenes with Gordon really struck home with me.
Being that these movies are made on an ultra-cheap budget, it wouldn't surprise me at all to see another sequel. But it may be time for Gordon to give up the role for the sake of realism. At 14, he's hit puberty, and gone through a growth spurt that doesn't make him such a little kid anymore, and his voice is almost deeper than Devon Bostick, who plays his older brother Rodrick.
These movies aren't going to win any awards, but they can make a family sit and laugh together. That's a good movie in my book.