Wednesday, January 16, 2019

In short: Dislike (2016)

A grab bag of the worstmost popular vloggers in Russia are invited to a sponsored event that’ll see them drinking some dumb energy drink while meeting up in some villa in the middle of snowy nowhere. Nobody of them seems to be the least bit curious about the fact that there’s no actual human being apart from a voice coming from a loudspeaker awaiting them at the villa, so what happens next seems a lot like natural selection in action. They are, of course, going through a Saw (repeatedly mentioned in the film, so we at least can’t blame it for being dishonest) and slasher crossover, with the difference that there are no actually cruel games to win or lose, and there’s something of a lack in torture, so dying and infighting is pretty much all that’s in the cards for the foreseeable future.

As far as I know, the horror sub-genre of the Internet personality slasher is still waiting for an actually decent film for everyone else working in it to copy; Pavel Ruminov’s Russian version certainly isn’t that one. Though, to be fair, it is neither the worst film in its sub-genre, nor is the rest of the film quite as bad as its first half hour. But then, said first half hour consists mostly of the set-up for the backstory of our mandatory heroine and the online shenanigans of the other six idiots the film will then start to whittle down.

Not unexpectedly, there’s not a single interesting character in the bunch, and the film’s attempts at satire stay completely on the surface level, leaving the audience to go through a film concerning the fate of a bunch of mostly uninteresting (and obviously unlikable) nonentities. While the film shows a certain amount of low budget movie slickness in its presentation, it’s not enough to overcome the core problem of having a cast of characters nobody watching will give a crap about. There are some decent bread and butter kind of horror film moments and some classic red and green lighting in what would be the climax in a better film, but even this Dislike’s muddles up with a double plot twist. The first of these twists is risible, while the second takes about then minutes of build up with the kind of “satire” that isn’t actually more clever than the things it makes fun of, for a pay-off it should have come to in one minute.

Nothing new in the world of movies about Internet people getting slaughtered, then.

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