Tuesday, February 16, 2010


"No one is innocent." - Sarah (Anna Kendrick)

I saw the poster for this early Anna Kendrick feature and wanted to see if it was one of those films that she would disavow now that she has gotten her Oscar nomination for 'Up in the Air'. Doesn't hurt that I have the lub for her.

Teenage girls are scary creatures. They have so much power and radiate sexual energy. How they use that power usually determines the direction they take in life. Many things scare me but few more so than a 17 year old girl. They are forces of nature who have the ability to lay waste to everything in their paths if they are angry enough to do so. The only thing worse than one crazy teen girl is two crazy teen girls.

The movie opens with several small town images that usually mean nothing good will happen to the characters - water tower, evil doodles in a notebook, corn fields, dilapidated barns, stormy skies...yikes! Can a murder be only ten minutes away?

Anna's best friend leaves one night to meet her new cyber boyfriend and of course goes missing. It's her own fault for advertising her sluttiness online. Of course the slutty friend lives in a trailer park with her angry mother. You can tell the trajectory her live will take but they didn't need to lay it on so thick.

Did we really need the bad girl goes missing/good girl solves her disappearance storyline? Why not reverse it and make the story so much more interesting? Everyone has reason to kill the bad girl because ALL the males in the film are creeps and perverts.

This leaves us with the mystery of who killed her from among a whole group of similarly aged weirdoes. Sarah, who has no parent supervision to speak of from her lawyer mother and absent father has the time to investigate of course.

There is a backstory about a girl who went missing five years earlier that will eventually tie the two incidents together. There is a strange amulet, an empty bus and a bridge to nowhere. All these symbols appear in dreams before they appear in real life. A cryptic phone message seems to confirm that something bad has occurred.

Anna is good in the part of a teen who has little life experience but an instinct for recognizing danger around her even while drunk and that keeps her safe in situations that could have easily went very bad for her.

The list of suspects kept me interested as did Anna. Just because I figured it out after the first hour doesn't mean it will spoil things when you do. Just stick it out to the end to confirm your suspicions. That is the fun with these type of movies despite the familiar subject matter.


Matt said...

Tania Raymonde was Ben's daughter on Lost and she's smokin' hot, too... might have to Netflix this one. Thanks, Cal!

Margaret Benbow said...

Yes! And this one sounds worth watching. I wish established actors wouldn't disavow/hide/deny their early clunky movies--they were building their skills and should flaunt these movies proudly like big gaudy medals--"Hey, I really stunk up the set on MONSTER TOMATOES but there was this one good scene--"