Saturday, December 3, 2011
Skew (2011) Dir. by Sevé Schelenz
When Simon, Rich, and Eva head out on an eagerly anticipated road trip, they bring along a video camera to record their journey. What starts out as a carefree adventure slowly becomes a descent into the ominous as unexplained events threaten to disrupt the balance between the three close friends. Each one of them must struggle with personal demons and paranoia as friendships are tested and gruesome realities are revealed...and recorded. Written by Sleep Apnea Productions Inc on IMDB.com
When I was asked to review Skew, I didn't really know what to expect. This can be a good thing when dealing with low budget independent films. That being said, I think it really worked in the favor of Skew. Schelenz seems to have found footage filmmaking down to an art form. Typically when watching films of the found footage genre, there always seems to be some things I can pick out to make the movie seem less effective. Stuff like: a movie that runs 2 hours long and the person operating the camera never puts their arm down, or never turns off the camera or plugs it in to an outlet to charge. Never having to change the tape. Aside from a questionable part near the end this film does a great job of tying up those loose ends. It shows him gathering the cords, multiple tapes, and moments where the camera shuts off for a sustained period of time. I really liked this about this film. It almost seemed to take a unique stab at a storyline from a Goosebumps book I read as a kid, Say Cheese and Die!, where the camera takes pictures of people and the people in the picture die. I don't know if it was intentional, but it seemed to make me like the movie even more.
The acting, while acceptable for the most part, really bugged me a bit when it came to Rich's overacting. He seemed to be the only one that I thought never quite pulled his weight on the screen. Amber Lewis did an amazing job as Eva, and considering you never really get to see Simon in front of the camera, he did exceptionally well bringing life to a voice over.
There are moments where the film seem to drag on a bit, but sometimes necessary for the development of the characters. With a limited amount of story in a film of this length, there seemed to be times where filler was used that just didn't seem to go anywhere. One thing that was used as a scare tactic was randomly showing dead people in the camera, and often using jump scare tactics, which I admit were very effective, but in the end never seemed to come to life story-wise. The last little bit I want to add is, while the body of the film was fairly entertaining, the ending seemed a bit abrupt and didn't really offer me the closure I was looking for. All in all the film was very entertaining, and I look forward to seeing Schelenz grow as a director and continue to increase his skills and make solid films. I know it seems like I tore the movie apart according to this last paragraph, but it did have a lot of good things going for it and it is worth checking out.
Entertainment Value: 6/10 Gunshots to the head
Cinematic Value: 4/10 Gunshots to the head.