HORROR DVD/BLU-RAY REVIEWS

Search by title # A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
CHAIN LETTER
Download Movie
Reviewed by: Dave Murray

Directed by: Deon Taylor

Starring:
Nikki Reed
Keith David
Brad Dourif

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
A group of teens get a cryptic chain letter in their email, saying that if the chain is broken, a life will be lost. Those who delete it of course meet a very gruesome end at the hands of a chain slinging psycho with some serious roid rage issues. Those who pass it on, well, they keep receiving the chain letter again and again, thus spreading the gore all around! Then there's some stuff about an anti-technology cult, and a whole lot about how annoying teens are with their bloody cell phones, but mostly it's all about the gore!
Is it good movie?
And seriously speaking, it's the gore that is the only thing to actually appreciate about this flick. The few kills are brutal and well done, and bloody in a squeamish way. There is some good work here, but the rest of the movie just doesn't measure up to it's violence. The story is generic, and plot threads are dropped from sight without warning. I mean, I wasn't expecting much from a gimmick movie anyway. Teen slashers can either be epic, or just bland and a waste of time. This one leans more towards the latter.

While the premise is a little interesting, and it was a little fun watching some cell phone twits get cut up, we've seen all of this to death. And ultimately, it's the premise that kills the movie. I think maybe they were trying to be too clever, with their conspiracy by a centuries old anti-technology cult using said technology to kill its users, or well, to pick their victims. The killing is done by a huge masked psycho with arms like redwood trunks who slings chains like Spiderman with a metal fetish. The problem is is that the story is only half conceived, details are left vague and unresolved, and it never really goes anywhere. I mean, the one kid who doesn't have cell phone is built up as possible hero, I mean it would be the obvious choice, but when he was killed (for deleting the chain letter from his computer email) no one is seen mourning his death, even the girl who was supposedly in love with him. I mean, they are all seen crying and gushing like idiots t the funeral for their roid freak friend whom no one seemed to like, but for our would be hero - nothing. Nada. He's just gone quicker than you can say "dropped plot".

Brad Dourif is awesome for the short bit he's in the flick, and so is Keith David, although they're both underused. The cast is mostly forgettable twenty-somethings who I assume play teens often enough to get the gig. Character wise there's not a whole lot here for me to care about, so expect to invest a minimal amount of give-a-shit in this movie. Which I'm guessing is what the director was thinking by the end, because the ending on this one is just terrible. The nice twist that our lead chick, who survived the whole movie, is actually the brutal death from the opening scene was kinda cool. But then the movie just ends. It was very anticlimactic, leaving so many gaping plot holes and giving us nothing but "what the f*ck" in terms of resolution. We get a few cuts of Keith David continuing to be tortured by Gigantic Psycho, and by this point this is exactly what I was feeling - not only insulted as a horror fan, but tortured as well.

Points for gore, but otherwise, steer clear of this one.
Video / Audio
Video: Widescreen 1.77:1.

Audio: English Dolby 5.1 with English and Spanish subtitles. The subtitles didn't work for me, and there was no menu option to turn them on. Weird.
The Extras
Nothing here, unless scene selection and a trailer still count as extras these days.
Last Call
In not too many words, if you're a fan of teen slashers, don't watch this movie. It's gimmick is not enough to sustain it, and is even used to bog the movie down in a useless conspiracy subplot that goes no where, and is dropped just as quickly without resolution just like other plot points. The flick starts out solid, and the gore is choice, but by the end it all falls apart into a mess of wasted potential and slasher cliche. Gore is not enough to make a good horror movie, no matter how good your cameos are.
ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

Mistress Of The Week

More
 Palvin, Barbara