Thursday, December 25, 2014

Film Review: Don't Blink (2014)

Don't Blink (Review)
United States/2014
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"...leaves too many unanswered questions in a blatant attempt at being metaphorical."

Ten people travel to a secluded mountain resort for a vacation, but find it completely deserted...

Don't Blink follows this group of friends as they arrive at the resort. The resort is completely empty and it seems like people left in a hurry. Soon thereafter, the group of friends start to mysteriously disappear one-by-one. They discuss the possibilities (over and over), and they continue to disappear. This cycle continues until the end of the film. The ending is very disappointing. In fact, it's more of a "you pick the ending"-type of finale thanks to its refusal to give a definitive answer.

If I had to say one positive thing about Don't Blink, it would be: it's interesting. Despite many of its flaws, which I'll get to soon, Don't Blink managed to keep interested and engaged for most of its runtime. Sure, the concept is familiar, but I don't fault it for that. I will fault it for its repetitive formula, however. Like I said, this film cycles over and over. "It could be this." *hysterical crying* "Oh, no! He just, like, disappeared!" "Ok, maybe it was this." *hysterical crying* "Oh, no! Someone else disappeared!" Repeat, repeat, repeat. It became boring after the already slow first act.

If it's not the boring or repetitive plot, the film also suffers from a lack of climax and resolution. We're presented a mystery and more than a handful of possibilities, but we're never given a definitive answer. The film tries to be a metaphor and it wants to have a deeper meaning, but that simply isn't worth the feature length runtime. At its peak, which I wouldn't consider a climax, the film has already told me what I need to know. That shows you how much filler there is in this film. Personally, I wasn't a big fan of this film's metaphor or meaning, it was more cliché than the actual plot. (This plot really wants to be Stephen King story.)

Oh, and I'm certain I found this in the horror section of Netflix, so let me get to that. This isn't a horror film. If it is, it's a very bad horror film. Like the plot, Don't Blink features some very repetitive jump-scares. You'll notice this a lot at the beginning of the film. It's the "Oh, I crept up on you and scared you by mistake" jump scare. Very predictable and not frightening at all. There's a sense of isolation in this film, but it didn't reach terrifying levels.

The acting was decent and mediocre. It becomes mediocre whenever the roles became demanding. This cast would overact most of the demanding scenes. I don't think most of the acting flaws were the fault of the cast, though, I think it was more due to the odd and unnatural dialogue. The film is shot well and I enjoyed some of the camerawork, but the cinematography felt less than good -- kind of stuck between bad and good. The music was decent, too. Writer and director Travis Oates makes what seems like a short story into a feature length film. Unfortunately, this leaves a lot of room for boredom. Even more unfortunate, the film leaves too many unanswered questions in a blatant attempt at being metaphorical.

Overall, Don't Blink is a bad film. It's interesting and even engaging, but the story quickly runs out of fumes. It becomes very repetitive, in turn becoming a chore to complete. And, if you complete the film, you'll be led to an immensely disappointing ending. There are also some issues with the acting, especially when the actors have to really act. I will say, though, this would've been a decent project if it were a short film instead.

Score: 3/10
Parental Guide: Some strong violence and blood, some nudity and sex.

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