Director: Deon Taylor (2010)
Starring: Nikki Reed, Keith David, Brad Dourif
Like The Ring as crossed with Scream, Chain Letter sees idiot teenagers murdered for not passing on a chain e-mail. It fancies itself a commentary on internet addiction and the lack of anonymity in these modern times, but is actually as stupid as its own very stupid characters.
Note to movie: if you're going to try to make your film seem all modern and relevant, don't have all your characters use myspace. Nobody uses myspace these days, not even psychotic serial killers and certainly not college students. Maybe Justin Timberlake.
Crease with LOLS as Brad Dourif hilariously calls myspace and youtube 'mytube' and 'youspace'. Scenes like these which are supposed to be funny really aren't, whilst everything else is just unintentionally so.
ROFL and PMSL as a girl vows to stop picking up boys online. Not that there's anything wrong with that sort of thing, but myspace is really the wrong place for it. I dated a girl through myspace once. Her lifetime ambition was to go live inside her television with Wolverine. Myspace is only a marginally safer dating avenue than match.dead or fear.com. Chain Letter proves the rule that all horror movies about the Internet suck.
Everyone seems to think that the killer's threatening chain letter (which is actually a chain e-mail. But I suppose Chain E-mail is a stupid name for a film) is "extreme" and scary. But only if you've never actually had a chain e-mail. A week after setting up my first e-mail account, I received a message informing me that a girl with no eyes would appear as I slept and murder me if I didn't forward the mail. Now that's "extreme".
The terrible teenage acting is broken up with good performances from the likes of Brad Dourif and Keith David. Betsy Russell makes a cameo as someone called Sergeant Hamill; a name that doesn't really go with the face of Betsy Russell. Brad Dourif appears bored as the kids' university lecturer. It's quite apt that he should appear in Chain Letter, since the movie is very reminiscent of Urban Legend, which he didn't really seem enthused about either. Keith David shuffles around looking oddly like a tramp, playing a cop left over from the Saw school of police work. Why he dresses like a character from Shameless USA is beyond me.
It's a shame that Chain Letter's story and characters are so rubbish, since the kill scenes are wonderful; gory, over the top and sadistic, they're really the sole reason to watch the movie. The opening is just brilliant. And whilst nothing lives up to that initial promise, there are plenty of gore gags and numerous gruesome stabbings and bludgeoning all around. The killer's gimmick is that he ties people up with chains; and I've only just got the relevance of that now. Ha. Chain Letter. Geddit?
This is a disappointing, silly movie that takes itself too seriously and irritates with all of its techno-speak. It's embarrassing, like hearing your nan talk about facebook or your dad trying to understand the Iphone. Watch the opening sequence and then give up. Everything else is just a waste of time.
Now, forward this review to twenty-seven people by next Friday or else I'll stab you in the balls or something.