If this is the last horror movie I see this year, it will be quite the letdown. I can’t say I went in with high expectations, even though the movie won the box office this past weekend. The story is something I hadn’t seen, specifically before. A group of friends use a spirit board to try to talk to their recently deceased friend. From the very beginning, you could tell the movie was going to be a clinic on what not to do in horror movies and how to misuse what could have been halfway decent actors.
The beginning of the movie shows a girl, Debbie (who I thought was Sara for about half of the movie, I don’t know why), not letting her close friend in and then proceeding to leave her dinner uneaten on the kitchen table and hanging herself, really without warning, and decoratively, by using Christmas tree lights. The next day she doesn’t show up for breakfast and the friend who came to see her the previous day, Lane, is devastated. The audience is soon introduced to a bevy of friends, all of whom you suspect may not be alive by the end credits of the movie.
I could spend time talking about the story (which reminded me of the Ring), but really, what’s the point? This is your template horror movie. Good-looking people do something foolish, are stalked by something they don’t understand and tricked into setting it upon them (by the woman from Insidious, the good one who is the medium). There was not much to this movie. And while there were so many places where the story could have shined, perhaps even letting the dead friend help them solve the murder, have a heart-wrenching sequence with the friends saying goodbye in person to their dead friend as they thwarted some evil, but that didn’t happen. Instead, it was an hour and a half of predictable scene after predictable scene. At least I ate well, and that’s something.