The Addicted Review

Posted: June 27, 2014 in Horror, Reviews
Tags: , , ,

maxresdefaultHave you ever wondered what would happen if a crazed, psychopathic serial killer wearing a mask like Michael Myers or Jigsaw teamed up with a vengeful spirit like Hamlet’s father or the Ghost of Christmas Past? Well, wonder no more, Sports Fans, because The Addicted answers that very question.

It’s clumsy. It’s amateurish. It’s silly. It defies logic, physics, and good taste. Yet somehow, the film remains engaging, and the absolute sincerity and commitment of the filmmakers to getting it done shines through the shoestring budget production values and slipshod script. You may find yourself rooting for them to succeed, enjoying the occasional triumph of a well-delivered jolt or the effectiveness of a minimalist special effect, while overlooking the vast number of shortcomings.

Four friends – two couples – set out to spend the night in an abandoned drug rehabilitation facility that now has the reputation as a place where strange things happen. Reports of disappearances from the building have shown up on a web site (although we know what really happened from watching the prologue). That could be just the story an aspiring reporter is looking for, so she and her boyfriend convince their best friends to come along after they all down about a half a dozen shots. It’s the slumber-party-in-the-haunted-house set-up, and all we’re missing is a big bowl of Scooby Snacks.

The film’s writer/director/editor/co-producer Sean J. Vincent and his co-producer Jenny Gayner also serve as the acting leads. Along with the other couple, played by Thea Knight and Dan Peters, they skew old in a genre that usually features 20-somethings pretending to be teenagers. The camera work and other technical aspects, including the soundtrack, are competent, and the acting is not fingernails-on-the-blackboard bad. Paul Cooper as David, a former patient at the facility, is actually good in the flashbacks that reveal the nature of his treatment. However, as mentioned, the screenplay is weak, and the material too thin to sustain a 90-minute movie.

The film has one strong point in its favor and that’s the locations for the bulk of the shooting. The industrial facility that stands in for the abandoned rehab center is creepy and foreboding in the exterior shots. The interiors were also filmed in an effectively decrepit location, particularly the room used for “the injection” scenes. Those two scenes, which introduce the masked killer, are the best staged set pieces of the entire effort and carry a genuinely creepy, big-time horror movie vibe. The relative success of those parts and a handful of others balanced against the rather mediocre remainder of the film makes The Addicted more of an audition tape than an independent feature.

In 1999, the documentary American Movie won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. American Movie told the story of an aspiring filmmaker who put together a schlocky short entitiled Coven in hopes of financing his dream project. It feels as if there is the potenital for a similar story behind The Addicted, in which the making of the film would be much more interesting than the film itself.

One star.




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