Last year, between the two of us, we watched an average of 317 movies.
This year our goal is to top that by watching at least one a day.
And as an extra special torture, we've decided to write about all of them.

30 June 2008

Fingerprints, dir. Harry Basil (2006)

NIKKI says:
So much potential! This is one of those horror movies that annoy you not because it's lame or because the kids are annoying or because the story is stupid -- yes, it has elements of all three of those things, but it's actually really, really close to actually being kind of okay. Just a script tweak or two and maybe we would have had something. As it is, it's yet another bad movie that tried.

I'm starting to think Bad Movie That Tried could become a new tag.

This movie is based on a Texan urban legend about a bus and train collision that killed a bunch of school kids. The legend posits that if you drive up to the train tracks where the accident occurred and put your car in neutral, the ghosts of the dead children will push your car over the tracks to "safety". The filmmakers say in the DVD special features that this happens "every time" someone pulls their car over and while I find that ridiculously hard to believe, it's a decent enough starting point for a horror movie.

So, a new girl comes to town (fresh out of rehab and all) and sees one of the ghosts of the kids, follows her home, and begins to unearth a seedy mystery from the town's past. Why the girl chose our heroine isn't really defined, especially as the girl had been appearing to all and sundry for years. Anyway, we don't sweat the small stuff in movies like this, otherwise we'd have to question about three deaths in this one.

The heroine discovers that maybe there never was a crash after all, which makes that urban legend basis a bit meaningless, and that something else was happening down by the tracks. So, it's okay what eventually happens, but it's riddled with plot holes and random things that just don't make sense. And the twists don't really twist, and the turns, don't really turn. Nothing new is attempted.

It only succeeds because it's not completely awful. The kids are okay, the story starts out well, and some of the scares work. I spent much of the film weirded out by the fact that little Andy Lawrence has gone from this:

... to this:

... while I feel like I haven't aged at all since Brotherly Love. What happened?

Fingerprints didn't totally suck. But it came dangerously close.


STEVE says:
Fingerprints is a thrilling tale of supernatural suspense ripped whole-and-breathing from real life! If, that is, real life is an episode of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!

Even so, it was hard to hate this movie. Yes, the script was uneven, the pacing was off, the story contradicted itself at every turn... but everyone involved was just so earnest. I'd really like to see what they could have done with more of a budget and a tighter script.

No kidding, though, I truly expected Sally Kirkland, once unmasked, to exclaim the time-honoured line, "...and I would have gotten away with it, too, if it wasn't for you meddling kids."


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