I’m well-aware of the overwhelming preponderance of social media in our daily lives; I work for a website, and thus use social media outlets…I have a smart phone…still, I don’t spend an inordinate amount of time on either of these; I of course recognize the usefulness of such things, but still prefer old-fashioned communication whenever it’s possible. I’ve been called a bit of a technophobe, and that may be true in a sense; not in terms of technology itself scaring me, but what we as flawed, dumbass human beings will do with it. I sometimes ponder the effects of the internet culture, and what it means in terms of de-socialization and possible impairment of normal human interaction.
Yeah, yeah, I’m an old fogey…but according to the film Antisocial, it’s the fogies like me that’ll be the survivors of the coming apocalypse. 🙂
Sam has just been dumped by her douche-of-the-year candidate ex-boyfriend on New Year’s Eve; to add insult to injury, he’s done it via video-chat, and posted it to the world on the gigantic social website, The Social Red Room (read: Facebook). Needing to unwind, she goes to her longtime friend Mark’s house, where he’s throwing a New Year’s Eve party and hopes that the festivities will get her mind off of her woes. Early into the night, there are strange news reports of isolated incidents of violence and rioting around the world; in the midst of this, someone pasty-faced and covered in blood breaks into the house, assaulting one of the partyers, but he’s shoved out a window.
As the news reports grow more bleak, the violence and terror becoming more widespread, the group barricades the house, determined to let no one in. They turn to their phones and laptops, scouring the internet (particularly social media sites) to gather more information and to check on family and friends, but they find only that the sinister madness that seems to be enveloping the world is a type of sickness that travels in strange ways. Sam and her friends will soon discover that this infection can find it’s way in despite their best efforts…will the group find a way to survive? Will the infection consume them all? Or will it be their own growing mistrust and paranoia that spells their doom?
There’s some definite skill behind the camera in this one, as the scenes are well-composed, the lighting and color saturization is excellent, and the choices of angles and shots assemble a tight and professional visual narrative. A special shout-out to the sound department; watching this in the surround sound, the design was crisp and effective, with the music appropriate in both volume and relevance to the scenes. The acting had it’s good moments and bad moments, but overall I think each performer did justice to their roles without becoming too wooden or over-the-top. The story is essentially the same tried-and-true zombie formula, a bunch of peeps barricaded in a house while all hell breaks loose outside, yet somehow the infection finds it’s way in…yeah, you’ve seen it…a LOT. What sets this film apart is the how of the infection spreading, and although it’s not without it’s problems (it tends to drag in places), the plot is a pretty modern take that’s not quite as predictable as most.
Blood flows pretty freely, and the make-up effects are better than I expected, but still not on a level of a higher-end zombie flick; still, some of the kills are pretty creative and fun, and there’s some fairly decent CGI bits that aren’t horrible, so it gets points from me for that.
This film seems to get a lot o’ hate; I don’t really get that. Bad acting is cited as one reason; as I said, the acting has it’s highs and lows, but it hits somewhere in the middle of the field for low-budget horror flicks, so I can’t see where that’s a dealbreaker. Those and any technical gripes are secondary to conceptual complaints (which are my personal favorite bitches): “the script is so unbelievable”…”viruses don’t spread like that”…”these events are impossible”. Well folks, everyone’s entitled to their opinion, but I feel like you have to accept the reality of the universe created in the film that you’re watching; if you can’t do that, what’s the point of watching it at all? George Romero has never really given us a concrete answer as to why those damned ghouls rose up in 1968, nor has anyone associated with the Halloween flicks offered a “realistic” explanation as to how the “evil” of Michael Myers defies the laws of biology and physics to make him virtually invulnerable…and I for one couldn’t care less; I enjoy films for what they are.
If you’re of a similar mindset, I think you might find some value in Antisocial. It’s neither the best nor the most original film you’re gonna see, but it’s a nice take on the zombie genre, with a touch of relevant (dare I say it?) social commentary for us in the modern information age.
Not a bad way to spend some late-night horror-movie-watching.
That’s my two.
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