Ginger Nuts of Horror
There are times when I wish I listened to what my mother used to say. She would always tell me If I had nothing good to say then I shouldn't say anything at all. So it's a good thing she hasn't got internet access, otherwise I would be getting a slap around the ear for what I am about to say. Hooked Up is one of the worst horror films I have had the displeasure of watching in many a long month. It is the sort of film that made me stop watching horror films for almost two years.
Two guys go on holiday to Barcelona, after one of them goes through a rather tricky break up with his girlfriend, I can't remember which one had the break up as both characters are basically cut from the same cretinous cloth. From the purpose of this review lets assume that either character could have been either character. I think the easiest way to determine which is which is one of them has slightly longer hair than the other.
Stereotypically loud, arrogant, rude and just plain disgusting American young males are not the best way to hang your film. Despite what this filmmaker, and I use this term loosely, thinks of the horror genre, you have to instill some level of compassion towards the protagonists, we actually have to care if they live or die. You don't need us sitting in front of the TV shouting things like, "they are in that room, quick go in and kill them now"
This isn't a rooting for the bad guy situation like those you get with Freddy, Jason or Pinhead, this is a please kill them quick so I can go back to watching something more entertaining. The acting range of the two leads seems to start and stop with the "yo yo look at me highschool jock " school of acting. How these two cretins actually pick up women is beyond me.
As for the films narrative you kind of get a feel for it within the first few minutes thanks to a lingering shot of one of the cretin bros, with his head in the toilet being sick. I'm assuming it is puke we see plastered all over the toilet bowl, and not crap. Which would be an awesome metaphor for the drivel we are about to be subjected to.
So the cretin brothers go out on the pull, and pull a couple of Spanish ladies, then it all goes to hell in a handbasket. Trapped in a house of horrors our two cretins must find a way out before they are killed by the crazy woman who lives there.
Cue loads and loads of shaky cam, screaming at the camera, wonkey shots of poorly lit rooms, and dialogue that just defies description.
One of the biggest problems with abduction films is how the filmmaker overcomes the fact that every man and their dog has a smart phone. So unless I missed it while i was shaking my head in disbelief, why didn't either of our two bros just phone for help? Even if you don't know the emergency number in Spain, I'm pretty sure the fabulous Siri on their Iphones would know. (in case you are wondering it is Alongside 112, the following emergency numbers are available:
Don't tell me you never learn things from my reviews. Even if they don't know where they are I'm pretty sure Google maps or whatever Apple phones use have a my location function. If i missed the bit that explains that the crazies in the film installed a high level phone blocker then i must apologise, but even that is pushing somewhat. Wouldn't it be easier to drug them or get them steaming drunk and steal their phones?
Even ignoring this factor they both must have a super duper limited edition iphone that can not only record high definition film for about 90 minutes, it can also be used as a torch for the same amount of time without the battery dying on them. And that's not even going into how indestructible the phone seems to be.
Which brings me to another point that i really hate about found footage films, how did are we watching the film, did the crazy killer Spanish lady decide to send the footage to Jeremy beadle in the hope of winning £500 on Who's been Framed? I don't think so.
At this point I can hear one of my friends saying, "but in the logic and the world of this film these things shouldn't matter that much" , which would be all well and good if there was any redeeming factor in the film. I can forgive bad logical and huge plot holes, what I can't forgive is insipid, lazy and downright generic storytelling. This film brings nothing new to the genre. You get the feeling that you have seen the same thing almost as many times as our protagonists run up the same flight of stairs in this film.
Hooked Up is dull, derivative and downright despicable. It is the sort of horror film that does nothing to push the genre forward.