REVIEW CONTAINS MILD SPOILERS
In Cody Calahan's horror/thriller Antisocial, five university friends gather at a house party to ring in the new year.
Outside, an epidemic has erupted with outbreaks around the world.
With nowhere else to turn, the five friends barricade themselves inside the home with only their phones, laptops, and other tech devices. Using their time to research possible causes of the outbreak, they are soon inundated with information and video and chaos. As one might expect, or should expect, the mood in the house changes from fear to paranoia.
Who is safe?
Who can be trusted?
Slowly, the truth reveals itself and the truth may very well be more terrifying than anything they'd ever imagined.
Picked up by Vicious Circle Films, the horror distribution arm of Breaking Glass Pictures, Antisocial is scheduled to hit the streets on January 28th with the distrib's usual fine packaging including a rock solid behind-the-scenes featurette and a director's commentary.
The film itself?
Antisocial is a solid indie horror/thriller with enough sense to not take itself to seriously but enough sense to take its somewhat cynical nature seriously enough. Depending upon which direction you go with the film, completely giving yourself to it or finding it utterly ludicrous, will likely be the determining factor as to whether or not you enjoy the 90 minutes you give of your time. The central assertion is rather simple - the virus in question originates via a website, The Social Red Room, a central premise that you will either take quite literally or you may very well take more abstractly as examining the mindless nature of social media conformity and how it swallows up our entire being.
Take your pick. I had fun with it.
The cast of mostly novice actors are definitely hit-and-miss, but that hit-and-miss nature actually adds a certain amount of fun to the entire affair. There's a certain authentic dread that increases as the film progresses and, especially in the film's final thirty minutes, Antisocial really amps up the horror and the paranoia as it all winds down.
Director Cody Calahan certainly has a lot of fun here and, let's be honest, when you're buying indie horror it's mostly the gore and the fun factors that you're really aiming at. Antisocial is far from a perfect film, but it's an effective indie horror with some interesting ideas and even more interesting ways of pulling them all off.
That's really all you can axe for, right?
© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic