NOVEMBER 12, 2008
Since the damn title of See Jane Run spoils the end of the movie, I came up with some alternate titles for other horror movies: It’s Jason’s Mother, Michael Disappears, Helen Takes Over For Candyman, The Trees Decide To Kill Europe Instead... suggest your own!
Of course, even if spoiling the ending by simply putting the movie on my rental queue wasn’t the case, it would still be pretty easy to guess how this one would play out almost from the first scene, even if slightly valiant attempts to mix up the standard formula are made. For starters, the heroes’ car works fine; the breakdown aspect is courtesy of a drifter-y red herring. But he’s actually not the killer or even working with them, he’s just some dude. And Ryan Webb wrote a script (he also directed) that doesn’t even bother trying to pretend that the requisite gas station clerk is a good guy; we actually see him call up the killer and tell him that our protagonists are heading his way. He even tells him the right backstory to use! It’s almost like this movie refuses to allow the audience to be kept in any sort of suspense whatsoever.
And that’s one of the two big problems with the film’s script. The other is that it’s painfully generic; even with the aforementioned minor tweaks, it still follows the Last House/Chain Saw mold to a T. Even if the movie was called Jane Dies First you would know that her character would be the survivor right from the start, since there’s only one other girl (a slutty girl at that, so you know she’s dead). I expected the kind-hearted boyfriend to die BEFORE the hitchhiker, not after, but otherwise, the body count rises in the exact order it “should” based on breakdown movie traditions. You know there will be some bizarre behavior from the guy who our characters still think is a good guy, you know some minor thing will be what sets him off, you know there will be some “dark humor” concerning the nature of the meat... Honestly, the most unique thing about the movie is that there is absolutely nothing unique about it.
Luckily, it’s made reasonably well, especially for a low budget digital movie. The actors aren’t the best in the world (Jane is actually played by one of the producers), and the opening kill (Joe Estevez!) features some of the worst CGI I’ve ever seen, but otherwise it’s solid in the technical department, and Webb (curiously absent from the DVD extras) has a good visual sense, a rarity in these things.
Speaking of the extras, they are pretty abysmal. There’s a few useless outtakes of Joe Estevez, an interview with the VFX artist that is entirely unnecessary since the VFX are terrible (though if you want an awkward laugh, watch the last 30 seconds of the piece; it contains a TMI moment that I believe is a first for any DVD extra), and bios of the no-name cast/crew. Finally, there is a commentary track, which is by the producer/co-star team (again, not having the writer/director around is a bit suspect, and he is barely mentioned on the track either) of Jennifer Clary and Kevin Haberer. There’s some interesting info here and there, but it takes a lot of patience to hear it, because these geniuses didn’t bother turning down the film’s audio track. So whenever there is a song or people are talking in the movie, it drowns out the commentary. Nice work, dipshits.
So, I dunno. It’s not a BAD movie, but I fail to see why it was made in the first place. It’s as if they made it under the impression that there weren’t already 50-60 movies that tell the exact same story while bringing something to the table as well. Even Last House In The Woods has that awesome score at least.
What say you?