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COLLINGSWOOD STORY (R2)
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Reviewed by: Andre Manseau

Directed by: Mike Costanza

Starring:
Stephanie Dees
Johnny Burton
Diane Behrens


Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
Two kids deep in love must separate when school arises. They decide to keep their strained reationship alive by communicating via webcam. Things turn a bit sour when an online psychic gets involved, and spooky things start happening.

Is it good movie?

Here it is, kids, a prime example that low budget films can see the light of day, and be picked up by a big distribution company like Anchor Bay! Unfortunately, I don't really understand why the film has gotten so much hype. I'd heard about it for quite awhile, and when I heard it got picked up, the buzz surrounding it definetely increased. However, the movie really just came off like another attempt to cash in on the Blair Witch craze of the late 90's. Here's whats good about this film, the one thing the whole picture hinges on- the acting. In a film that is based almost 100 percent on webcam conversations, it is very important to have actors that look like (or are) normal, everyday people. This is luckily pulled off very well. The relationship between Rebecca and John comes off realistically and is well done. Stephanie Dees' Rebecca is quite a bit better than Johnny Burton's Johnny, but both do a great job and anchor this movie.

My problems with this movie are twofold. Firstly, there really isn't much going on. The atmosphere here are two bedrooms, and brifly, an attic. The characters also turn on the cameras when logic dictates that they shouldn't, which makes no sense, and took me out of the experience. If you know anything about computers, this film will drive you nuts. The connections never, ever lag, and the way the characters communicate with each other makes no sense. They literally dial their phones, and then regardless of whether or not the recipient wants to or not, their webcam turns on and they're having a conversation with the person that 'called' them. And if this is the case, this would mean that the 'psychic' character simply sits in a dark room with candles behind her 24/7, with sunglasses on and her head down, simply waiting for web calls. And finally, during the climax, one of the film's characters seemingly takes their entire laptop and webcam and what would appear to be miles of telephone cord and moves it freely around a very hard to reach, cramped space which would be completely impossible.

The acting is good, but the dialogue is not. It's downright patience-grating the way these characters act once they find out something scary may have happened in one of their homes. The Billy character was also a painfully wooden and moronically written one, and I don't know why Johnny would EVER seek him out for advice, or listen to it when this guy gives it out, brutal!

The film, at times, is simply boring. It's scene after scene of inane chatter, leading up to the big finale. The other thing that bothered me personally is that the webcam setting just wasn't scary to me. It didn't really look all that 'authentic', which couldn't have been too hard to do on such a low budget, and didn't really produce any true scares, not to me anyway.

I understand what the filmmakers were trying to go for, and i've read enough positive reviews to know that if you're into 'blurry guy in the background' scares, that this one will do it for you, it just didn't exactly float my boat. I can see how someone could get scared by the tension whipped up in this bad boy, but it just wasn't doing it for me.
Video / Audio
The video is fuzzy, blurry, original aspect ratio webcam stuff.

Audio is a Dolby Digital track, but it too is blurry and static-filled. None of this is the fault of the disc, but that doesn't exactly make it endearing either. would have went to him for advice more than once.
The Extras
Nothing really to see here, just a trailer, some text-based production notes, and some cast and crew biographies (also text-based).
Last Call
I can't really say this movie is a bad one, in fact, I can see its potential to scare the pants off of those who really 'get in' to reality-type handcam films like the Blair Witch Project. I couldn't really get immersed in this one, but there's enough positive support surrounding it for me to tell you that if you've got interest, you should check out this story, and see how it works out for you.
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

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