Antisocial

To everyone in my life, thank you for what you have done for me

Year Released : 2013antisocial_ver2_xlg
Directors : Cody Calahan
Cast : Michelle Mylett, Cody Thompson, Adam Christie, Ana Alic and Romaine Waite

On this run of horror films leading up to Halloween I have experienced numerous different types of films, including generic horror, psychological horror, zombies and several others, but and two of the seven reviews so far have earned the approved badge. If I can reach 10 by the time Halloween comes around then I would be highly pleased.

My hopes aren’t high for a film that has only averaged 4.5 on IMDB, but I am intrigued by it’s interesting premise about the dangers of spending more and more time on social media websites. I myself have been a bit obsessed with several in the past, namely Facebook and Youtube, the latter of which I have posted over 300 to (most on a channel that was deleted by Youtube for allegedly breaching copyright, even though they could provide no proof that I had and it was my own material)

Anyway, just so you know as well, I might start reviewing a few mainstream films during this run because I would love to write about a well known film for a change and have been considering doing a “Mainstream Monday” for a while. It will probably never happen but it was worth mentioning.

Plot

As they are preparing for a New Years Eve party, Dan (Charlie Hamilton) decides that it’s time to split up from Sam (Mylett), revealing that he is effectively bored of her. Sam still goes to the party, even though it isn’t exactly filled with people, with Steve (Waite), sociable Mark (Thompson) host Jed (Christie), selfie obsessed Kaitlin (Alic) and the laid back Chad (Ry Barrett). After some socialising, Steve and Kaitlin are attacked whilst having sex and the group sees reports that people have started attacking each other. This is backed up by two young vloggers that soon turns into a fight to the death when one starts attacking the other.

Armed with very limited resources, the group boards up the house, effectively barricading themselves in. Steve and Kaitlin start exhibiting systems, and when Steve eventually turns and starts attacking Mark, he is also infected, managing to kill off his friend in the process. Sam soon starts exhibiting an illness before informing Mark that she is infact pregnant.

After much more research, the true source of the epidemic is revealed, but can the group survive those trying to get into their home, the infection and most importantly, each other?

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Worth more than 4.5/10 on IMDB?

Yes, without a shadow of a doubt. I am astonished that it has only averaged that score from just under 2,000 votes and the reason is that it is a great mix of so many excellent horror films and pays tribute to them without ever feeling like it’s a copy.

Let’s get something out of the way straight away, this isn’t a zombie movie. The antagonists are not zombies and are instead very similar to those infected from the rage virus in Danny Boyle’s excellent 28 Days Later. The film also takes a leaf out of the book of films such as The Thing (people confined in a small area with no escape and no way of knowing who is infected until it’s too late, bringing on paranoia), Night of the Living Dead (trapped in a house with no means of escape) and finally the Saw franchise (I’m not going to go into this too much as it gives away one of the best scenes I’ve seen in horror in recent years).

I was genuinely surprised that I liked this film so much because it starts off with the character of Sam effectively being the embodiment of the “overly attached girlfriend” meme as she questions her boyfriend where he is, why he didn’t turn up somewhere, why he went to a party early and who is a girl that’s just randomly walking behind him. I’m not going to lie, I almost turned it off at that point.

This is quickly followed up by all of the characters being introduced with a visit to their social media profile, showing several images and videos that they have posted in recent years. It is certainly a unique way to introduce characters and the use of social media is very clever in this film. I love that the characters are going onto social media to check what’s going on, and the only people that are on there are saying goodbye to their friends and family.

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It’s an interesting question in the sense of “what would you do if you knew that you were going to die and couldn’t do anything about it?” Most of the characters take to social media to say goodbye instead of making that personal connection, you know, such as phoning those that have actually made a genuine difference in their lives, and this is very reflective of today’s youth. Rather than picking up the phone and making it more personal, they have decided to go on social media and thank just anyone and everyone, making it so impersonal.

Without giving too much away, at times it did effectively feel like “Facebook :  The Horror Movie”, but when the twist is revealed about 2/3 of the way through and how the virus started, you actually start realising just how clever it is. The name of the social network that is in the film is repeated so much, in many ways showing that the world has become so obsessed that it’s hard to find someone who isn’t talking about it.

In terms of the rest of the film, it does well with a relatively small set of characters, seven to be precise (two of whom is only ever seen through a webcam and one of the others is barely in it). I initially thought I wouldn’t like Sam due to the first conversation she was in, but the film pleasantly surprised me in that sense. It tells you a lot about each of the characters, especially when you pause the video and you see what people have been posting on social media.

And finally, the way the film ends left it easily open to a potential sequel, and whilst looking into the film to clarify who played which character, I noticed that there was one, and I feel it is perfectly deserved.

ANTISOCIAL

Summary

This comfortably gets awarded the approval stamp and despite a less than impressive beginning. I initially thought I would hate it, but all of the way through I kept seeing influences from some of my favourite horror movies, and despite taking that influence from other films, it feels fresh and original.

approved

Whilst not entirely perfect, Antisocial is a very good luck at how social media is taking over our lives and the dangers of using it, especially when you find out how the infection started, and in that sense it’s one of the cleverer horror movies I’ve seen for a while, and I am so incredibly disappointed that the film has such a low rating on IMDB.

Definitely watch it.

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