HazMat (2013) **
D: Lou Simon
C: Todd Bruno, Aniela McGuinness, Norbert Velez, Giordan Diaz, Tom Stedham, Gema Calero, Reggie Peters, Daniela Larez
Plot Synopsis: The person on the receiving end of a prank, on a show called Scare Antics, turns homicidal after realizing it was all a joke and starts killing off not only his friends, but the various crew members who work on the show.
Review: Going into HazMat, I really didn't know much about the film one way or another and for about 35 or so minutes, I found myself surprisingly amused. In the film, we watch various characters explain why they are participating in a reality show called Scare Antics. Some are looking for 15 minutes of fame. Some are looking to pay the bills. Some do it with good intentions, hoping that a little scare will help a friend break out of their shell. Unfortunately for them, things take a turn for the deadly.
In the second half, the person being pranked on this Scare Antics show starts dispatching of not only the people in his life, but the crew that works on the show. I found this half of the film unconvincing. In the introductory segments, the person being pranked is described as being weird, quiet and introverted. Yet, the person playing this character is an alpha male type with tattoos all over his body. This is the type of person that I would imagine becoming violent in a bar fight when it comes to defending his girl or robbing a bank, not because someone pulled a prank on them.
For the remainder of the film's running time, the film's various characters try to figure out a way to escape from their predicament. One character suggests something and then tries to follow through with that plan only to be killed off. Then another character comes up with a plan of escape only to meet an untimely demise. And yet again, another character tries to figure a way out to escape and guess what happens?
The first half of HazMat is engrossing, because the characters and the overall scenario are revealed layer by layer. However, once the overall scenario and characters have become established, the film has nothing new to add and is left to drag from one scene to the next repeating the same thing until the finale. Even then, the finale feels rather anti-climatic and offers no real resolution. For a film that starts out with plenty to say, I was rather perplexed that HazMat ends on a whimper without much of anything to say. [Not Rated] 80 mins.
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