1 Jan 2014

'Antisocial' Review

*Cough* Totally Aimed at Teens *Cough*

Director: Cody Calahan
Writer: Chad Archibald, Cody Calahan
Stars: Michelle Mylett, Cody Ray Thompson, Adam Christie
Running Time: 89 mins
Sub-Genre: Zombies, Social Message, Thriller
Release: January 2014

Five university friends gather at a house party to ring in the New Year. Unbeknownst to them, an epidemic has erupted outside, causing outbreaks around the world. With nowhere else to turn, they barricade themselves indoors with only their phones, laptops, and other tech devices. They use their devices to research the possible cause of this outbreak. Information and video footage over flow their computers as they descend further into the cause and the ensuing chaos. As the virus spreads, the mood in the house changes from fear to paranoia. Who is safe? Who can they trust? Reality becomes blurred as they slowly discover the source of the virus causing the sickness...and there is no going back.

Social Networking has taken over the lives of pretty much every youngster on this planet, and regardless if we cradle a facebook account or not, we all know what the deal is, and what the site has to offer. So to come up with a horror based on the effect social networking was bound to happen sooner or later. But, i wasn't prepared for it to fail as much as Antisocial given the crisp subject matter, but it did and this has become an already early contender for biggest disappointment of 2014.                                                                                                                               
Antisocial is based on strong ground, but once the story starts to build and horror beings to happen, the narrative itself crumbles underneath the heap of cliched, recycled material and illogical happenings that just seem to flood the film, causing a chain of ineffective material which we have seen done better 100 time before. Antisocial isn't completely crap, I mean the concept itself strikes ambition, but it's unfortunate that the directorial decision to display a mix between Night of the Living Dead and Evil Dead, then to amp it up to next-gen really failed itself, so what could have been something fun, fierce and funny, was instead serious, dull and lifeless. Prepare yourself for an hour and 20 minutes of waiting for something to happen, and by the time the build up comes to something great, the film then comes to a sudden end, leaving you with a thought of despair and a face of disgust.

Antisocial does carry a few charms that work in the benefit of pushing the story forward, and its decision to update the zombie genre proved fresh. Although the zombie horde feel a little 20 Days Later'ish, it's still vibrant how the film adapted its very own villain, instead of taking the root of The Happening which i'm sure we all pretty much expected. I went into this expecting nothing big, and I was right, but I didn't expect to come out as disappointed as I was. I had faith in Antisocial, and the idea of a strong female wielding an ax covered in blood chopping up infected social cravers through a dead city really tickled my taste-buds for horror, but instead we were subjected to a quiet, shy and pretty much useless leading lady that inspired as much female dominance than the original Barbara from Night of the Living Dead. Antisocial itself was a lot like that in general; too timid and serious to let itself branch out and become something substantial and fresh, not cliched and forgettable.

VERDICT: Antisocial inspires a strong narrative, but it's bad acting, poor staging and undeveloped string of events stop the film from raising any tension or interest within the audience, making for a flat and lifeless social-media zombie flick.

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