You know, sometimes I have a hard time wasting my energy on reviewing films. While this isn't a zero-star clucker, I was not impressed.
The scenery of this motion picture is beautiful. It opens with chiron over fall foliage of a gorgeous prep school campus. The actors are pretty and the views are beautiful. I particularly like the color palette of the outdoors: the school uniforms coordinate with the fall colors, and the redhead siren's hair is a perfect punch of color. But on to the plot…
This bunch of high school kids plays a game that becomes too much like reality. The leader of the group, Dodger, is an attractive redhead with no acting skills. I say she has no acting skills because I think she's just acting like herself. I saw her screen test and she was dressed like a stripper. An attractive stripper, yes, but she wasn't trying to get the part based on the merit of her read alone.
About ten minutes into the movie, I realized that I didn't care at all about the main character, Owen. I think he was supposed to be some sort of British heartthrob but I just couldn't care. The dialogue was written with the slow crayon simpleness of a George Lucas script, so I can blame not just the actor but the writing.
Several scenes that would normally have really scared me were merely interesting. They had predictable slasher suspense, with minor-key music and eye-of-the-victim camera work. This stuff scares me every time. However, because I was not interested in the plot, these scenes often fell flat.
There is a late plot twist that is interesting. As it dawns on the character who discovers it, the movie uses a lazy device: showing previous scenes that should have given us the clues. I often feel that if the scene didn't resonate the first time, then the film maker didn't do his/her job.
The death scenes are shot in the same flashback, gritty quality of CSI. Except CSI does it a little better.
Maybe I'm too old to care about teenager-style movies. Maybe I'm not, and I should just watch one that isn't awful.