#Horror (2015) **
D: Tara Subkoff
C: Chloë Sevigny, Timothy Hutton, Balthazar Getty, Sadie Seelert, Bridget McGarry, Natasha Lyonne, Lydia Hearst, Haley Murphy, Emma Adler, Blue Lindeberg, Mina Sundwall, Stella Schnabel, Annabelle Dexter-Jones
Plot Synopsis: A group of 12 year old girls face a night of horror when the compulsive addiction of an online social media game turns a moment of cyber bullying into a night of insanity.
Review: Back in 2002, Tara Subkoff starred in a modern day updating of Teenage Caveman. That film involved a group of teens in the post apocalyptic future who are token under the wing of two superhuman mutants. It's there that the group is seduced into a reckless lifestyle of sex, drugs & hedonism before being dispatched of. It was more or less a cautionary tale with some thin attempts at horror spread throughout.
Now, in 2015, Tara Subkoff has written & directed a film entitled #Horror. The story revolves around a group of prepubescent girls being killed by a masked maniac during a slumber party. During the course of one night, the girls party, drink, dress up in adult clothes, talk about sex, share pics on social media and bully one another before being picked off.
Like Teenage Caveman, there's a lot of social commentary within the context of #Horror. The killer stalks the girls from afar, posting pics with threatening hashtags. These pics go viral on various social media networks. The film is exploring how people have voyeuristic tendencies towards violence and how they're becoming a third party to violence.
Or, in another instance, you have scenes in which Chloë Sevigny's character walks around, trying to act like she's doing stuff of importance, before leaving the girls to their devices so that she can attend a 12 step meeting. Some of the commentary that I took from these scenes is that adults act like kids and thus their kids try to act like adults as a coping mechanism. And really, that's just the tip of the iceberg to some of the issues that #Horror sets out to explore.
In addition to the social commentary, #Horror features interesting camera work. The principal setting, set decoration & costumes are all stylish. The color palate utilized is eye catching. The cast, for the most part, is solid. With so many things working in #Horror's favor, how could it possibly misstep?
Like Teenage Caveman, the actual horror takes a backseat. #Horror, more or less, feels like a series of random vignettes that have been stitched together to form a feature length film. Some of these vignettes drag on far longer then necessary. Other vignettes feel like they belong in another film. And some vignettes, stop the film in its tracks and stop the scenario from being fully developed. The social commentary, that fills the bulk of these vignettes, comes at the expense of narrative.
What #Horror needed was a guiding principal. Someone needed to say that this is what the film is going to be, that this is the overall vision. Someone needed to say that any scene that isn't in service of that vision needs to be edited out. Someone needed to bring focus to this production.
My thoughts walking away from #Horror. Tara Subkoff is a talent. That's obvious. That talent needs to be applauded and nurtured, but that, in of itself, is the problem. Tara Subkoff has ideas, but she doesn't know how to bring those ideas together to form a cohesive movie. [Not Rated] 101 minutes.
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