The first story is called Amateur Night and is directed by David Bruckner (one of the directors of The Signal). When it started, I thought it was going to be a typical found footage story… the overly loud and erratic shaky-cam as a group of douchebag friends give the nerdy one those spy-cam glasses with the tiny lens in the bridge. They want him to record chicks as they go out and party. “Great,” I thought. “This is Diary of the Dead all over again. Shaky footage filled with horrible, unlikable assholes.” But this segment quickly turns great as they take a pair of girls back to their hotel and find out one of them is a little… weird.
It’s like something locked into place about five minutes into this first segment. It’s an inventive idea for a found footage film to start with (think about it, with spycam glasses you take away the whole “Why don’t they just put the camera down and run away?” argument) and they use it for all it’s worth, but it’s really the getting to know and like the characters that make it work, especially when it goes into some pretty radical territory. I won’t spoil anything but a group of middle aged women sitting in front of us stood up and walked out before the segment was over. Those seats were immediately filled, by the way.
As is typical with anthology films the first and last are the strongest. You gotta hook ‘em in and then you gotta send ‘em home happy and that’s certainly true of Amateur Night, which I think is my favorite of all the stories. Hannah Fierman in particular was a standout in this segment, turning in one of the great weird genre performances in recent years.
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