From Within (2008)
Directed by Phedon Papamichael
From Within was my 3rd choice of excited movies I wanted to see out of the After Dark Horrorfest movies that came out last year.
Small American town, suicides, teen John Connor. Had to be at least decent right?
It's just a Ring knock off through and through.
This is basically what happens when America tries to make a basically Japanese shock horror film. The Japanese filmmakers will go all out to obliterate your senses with scary quick scares, nightmare visuals and hard R scenarios.
In a western reboot, it's just done too PG-13 to give a crap about.
The best thing From Within had going for it was the poster above and for me the panning credit sequence at the end of the movie.
The residents of a small American town begin to die one-by-one apparently by suicide..
There is a movie called Suicide Circle that came out of Japan in 2002. The opening scene has 54 high schools jumping to their deaths in front of a subway train. That's how you start a movie about a plague of suicides. By just giving the audience a WTF moment straight out.
And don't give me any M. Knight shit. The Happening wasn't happening at all.
So when your rash of suicide movie starts out and you have two goth kids hanging out contemplating just aint gonna cut it.
Been there, done that.
So when the goth kid blows his brains out, we start on our journey of a mysterious evil force making people kill themselves.
It's a rash of sui-palooza. Next, the goth dude's girl stabs herself with scissors. Then an antiques dealer hangs himself followed by his niece slicing her wrists on broken glass. Later we meet our final girl, Lindsay and her boy friend Dylan. Dylan is the son of the local Jerry Falwell and they love the religion.
Later, Lindsay's BFF car explodes (Final Destination style) and her step mom gets the urge to drink some Drano.
All this happens because each of these victims sees their doppleganger chasing them with blue eyes, vein-y faces and eyes that cry blood.
This is as scary as sitting in a traffic jam.
We meet the other local townies, all Republican, God fearing, evangelist listening gun totin rednecks. As the suicides become rampant, they start to blame the crazy family that lives deep in the backwoods. Because every small American town has got that family.
This brings us to John Connor...ahem I mean Aidan (Thomas Dekker from Sarah Connor Chronicles). He's the goth kid's brother and his mom was mysteriously killed years ago by the townsfolk in a burning thingmajig.
Basically it's your mom got killed by townies so I have to evoke revenge movie by cursing the town. You'd think you could hire Freddy Kreuger for this gig. Alas, our final girl is next on the curse hit list and it's a race against time to stop the damn videotape...err I mean cursed spell book from killing her.
The thrilling conclusion is clunky and without any thrills. It was thrilless.
It ends with your now cliched mysterious evil gets the last laugh, which to me I usually like but when you don't really care about any of the characters, I was so indifferent.
And that's the thing. These genre of movies, "rash of suicide" movies have to result in a big payoff. If they don't, the build up just falls flat.
Each of the characters was so boring, it was impossible to pull for any of these people to survive.
Lindsay our final girl, was so goodie two shoes, innocent and tolerant you just wanted to throw up. Our resident warlock Aiden was Mr. Mysterious I thought stage smoke was going to accompany him everywhere. Our our main big angsty bad, Bible belt freak Dylan was so McCain-ish, I wanted to go all Obama on him (I have no idea what that means)
All in all, the movie is a straight to DVD PG-13 snooze. It begs the question how these movies even end up as part of the supposed elite 8 of the After Dark fest.
Gore-ipedia (if you want to be shocked don't read)
Gunshot to head
Scissors neck trauma
Slicing wrists on broken glass
4th degree burns
Nude-ipedia (because you like boobies)
Nada...does cleavage count?
The closing credit montage (probably the best scene in the movie)
The Jaded Viewer's Final Prognosis
It's a PG-13 rash of suicides movie. I didn't think that was even possible but From Within is it. Even The Happening got an R and that sucked. Nothing really special here. Go watch a remake or something.
The fact that I couldn't even get images of the suicides in the movie says it all.
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