I’m sort of impressed by this movie, in a way. By the twenty-minute mark I hated every single character and wanted them to die horribly. By the thirty-minute mark I hated the filmmakers as well, on such a deeply personal level that if I were their waitress I would spit in their food. By the time it was over I had mentally done away with everyone onscreen in a far bigger blaze of glory than any of them achieved in the film.
And oh, what a cast of characters it is. The Long-Suffering Cop Dad (Tony Doupe). The Whiny Stepmother (Kellee Bradley). The Trailer-Trash Daughter (Alena Dashiell). The Obligatory Slutty Best Friend (Tasha Smith-Floe). The guy who spends the whole movie being chased pointlessly through the woods by what is painfully obviously a figment of his imagination (Aaron Blakely). The ostensible killer (Dino Moore), combining the Texas cannibal chic of a Leatherface-style hood with the looming menace of a DVD-store standup of Edward Cullen. Sadly, the movie does not end with all of them trooping down into a mine to die in a gas explosion.
To the extent that there is a plot, this is it: an eight-year-old beats his mother to death with a baseball bat at his sister’s fifth birthday party and is put in a mental hospital. (This pretty much used up my suspension of disbelief for the entire movie, by the way, as well as handing me the plot twist on a silver platter. I don’t care if he’s got a baseball bat, he’s eight years old and you’re a grown woman. He can’t have hit you that hard. Take the damn thing away from him.) Twenty years later, he escapes as he’s being transferred to a more secure facility.
His dad, the Long-Suffering Cop, rushes around trying to find him while completely overlooking elementary precautions like sending a squad car out to his own house. Trailer Trash Sis and the Obligatory Slutty Best Friend go out in the woods to get drunk and have sex with two of the most unimpressive specimens of male adolescence I have ever seen. Pointless Guy gets chased pointlessly through the woods. Completely unsurprising revelations are, um, revealed. Various people fail to appreciate the difference between “homage” and “egregious rip-off.” The ending, which attempts to be very clever in a Sixth Sense way, only succeeds in being ten pounds of stupid in a five-pound bag. In short, somebody owes me an hour and fifty-one minutes of my life back, and you better believe I’m going to collect if I ever meet them.
(On the Lessons For Filmmakers note: You know that plotline on Dallas or whatever where Bobby Ewing died, and the whole season happened from there, and then at the end of the season you find out that Bobby is still alive and everything that had gone on for the last however many weeks was all a dream his wife was having? Remember how that plotline was universally reviled and is still a laughingstock to this day? THAT’S BECAUSE IT’S A BAD IDEA.)
So what’s the verdict? 0 stars. I am totally judging the filmmakers, and indeed everyone who was involved with this movie. No, I don’t care if they have kids to feed and the only other job option was Grannies Go Wild 4. They should have taken the more dignified route and learned to love denture glue.