Tuesday, March 3, 2009

American Nightmare (2000)

Thanks to Netflix I was able to watch this for free online, thus saving me from wasted money and a wasted spot in my queue.

The plot revolved around a serial killer out for revenge on a group of friends. The killer ends up tracking them down by listening to a talk radio show called American Nightmare. The radio host asks people to call in and share their worst fears since it's Halloween night. Listening as the friends call in and share their fears, the killer then uses the fears to lure them into their fate.

Usually I give movies---even B movies--the benefit of the doubt, but this was a bad movie through and through. Within the first three minutes I watched as a girl who was chased through the woods jumped and cleared a fallen log (unusual for this type of movie), but seconds later she tripped over thin air and tumbled to the ground. I literally backed the movie up and watched again, but still there was nothing there to trip her. Then, of course, I was subjected to endure a terrible attempt at the kindling romance between the conservative mature girl of the group and the shy guy with a schoolboy crush.

I'm trying to think of the best "thrill" of the movie, but nothing is coming to mind. There were the usual false alarms, messages written in blood/lipstick, silent phone calls, and the famous person-suddenly-in-the-mirror routine. Perhaps the best part of the whole movie was the utterance of this humorous line:

"Head on over to www.iamkillingyourfriends.com!"

And so the movie drags on through the serial killer taking their revenge out on all the friends until the climax where our conservative mature girl is pushed over the edge. Bang! Bang! Whap! Whap! Blood (sorta; there really wasn't much blood in this one)! I thought I killed her, but it was someone else! Are you okay? Ow! I think my leg is broken, you'll have to help me walk while wielding this revolver! Oh no! Stop! @#$%! *&*%! *&@#!

Just before I fall asleep, the tables turn and...we have a fairly decent ending developing on my screen! The serial killer, who is portrayed as an unstable psychopath, is actually quite smart. Our killer has managed to frame the remaining friends for the murders and gets away unscathed. At this point, I felt it was kind of worth the watch. Not so much because it was vividly executed, or because it really threw me for a loop, but because it showed some creativity. Just as I was excited about all of this, however, they tossed one last wrench in there to leave the audience with one of the poorest excuses for a "twist" I have ever seen. I can't really explain it on here, and don't want to, either.

If you have nothing better to do, it'd be worth a watch solely to come back here and give me your thoughts on the "shocking twist" at the end!

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