My latest streaming double feature focuses on cute guys getting themselves into horrific predicaments because they’re a bunch of dumb asses. In fact, both Hooked Up and Bad vs. Worse are about dude duos encountering crazed killers.
HOOKED UP (2013)
Hooked Up is a perfect example of why modern filmmaking is ruining the horror genre. First, we get the usual new millennium piece of shit main characters you don’t care about, which completely removes any sense of fearing for them, which leads to us not feeling so scared while watching. Next, there’s the found footage throwaway factor. The novelty here is that the entire movie was shot on an iPhone. The big take away? It doesn’t matter what kind of camera you use—found footage is almost always an exercise in redundancy and minimalistic creative effort, delivering a thin plot, loathsome characters, and predictable scare scenarios, proving that, yes indeed, anyone can make a “horror movie.”
For starters, someone came up with the bright idea of beginning this movie with at least 3 minutes of footage of a guy hanging off a toilet bowl filled with his chunky vomit. Even so, after not looking at the screen for the 3-minute puke video, I hung onto the toilet bowl that is this movie to give the chunky vomit that is its contents a chance.
The hungover guy was dumped by his girlfriend, so his complete dick friend with a camera books them a trip to Barcelona to make it all better. This includes filming himself doing one really shitty thing after another to his heartbroken friend on their trip—like pissing in the tub while he is bathing.
To drag out the length of the film and give us time to hate the main guys even more, they hit the town, the dick friend plays cruel and prickish pranks on various people at nightclubs, and the heartbroken friend mopes, looking miserable the whole time.
FINALLY, they hook up with two girls and go home with them. Time to call in the found footage clichés. Before long, a chick in a mask is chasing them with a knife. We get tons of darkness, long halls, doors, screaming, and running as they try to get out of the house. You’ve seen it all before, so fill in the blanks. The best part is when the guys strip down to their underwear. I think it’s because something splashes on them. Not sure because by then I had turned my attention to putting the screen window on my front door.
However, I became riveted when the crazy bitch catches the dick friend and bashes his head against the camera repeatedly. I was hoping it would break and this would be the end, but alas, there were 25 minutes left.
On the plus side, all the good stuff comes in the last ten minutes, as it usually does in found footage films. Beyond characters speculating, there’s no explanation for anything that goes down—is she just a crazy bitch or something supernatural? It doesn’t even matter at this point because you just want the two guys to shut the fuck up already. But at least the end provides the usual found footage creepiness, with the final guy stumbling into a foreboding new location and confronting something scary that lurks in the dark.
Yeah, so despite being another throwaway found footage film, I’d kind of highly recommend this one if you’re a fan of throwaway found footage films with a bonus: some good violence and blood added to the mix.
BAD vs. WORSE (2012)
This quirky film delivers some playful humor early on, and then gets grisly and gory later.
When paying back a loan becomes a life or death matter, a desperate guy convinces his reluctant brother to do him a huge favor—help him rob a bunch of houses to score the money. Also along for the ride (and robbery) is the guy’s big brash buddy, who clashes nonstop with the brother. This dynamic provides plenty of shenanigans and bickering, making the first part of the film somewhat of a comedy of errors.
But when the trio, wearing ski masks and carrying sledgehammers, breaks into a house and splits up to cover more ground quickly, they make a freaky discovery—there’s a woman tied up in a garage filled with an arsenal of torture weapons. Before they can release her, the killer returns home!
There’s definitely plenty of suspense and some wickedly good gore and brutality, complete with a touch of torture. The sound effects alone as the killer cuts up a body in his tub are nasty. On top of that, the captured woman has one of those agonizing screams that goes right through you and convinces you she’s really going through some bad shit.
The biggest problem with the movie is that it’s three boys with sledgehammers vs. only one killer of average size, and yet they spend the entire movie doing the old “turn-taking” approach baddies always take in action hero movies. Basically, one of them goes up against the the killer alone while the other guys just wait on the side for him to get his ass beaten before they step in for their turn.
Despite all the tension, gore, and excitement the film delivers, it’s impossible to overlook how easy it would be for these guys to take this one guy down all at once. Instead, they allow him to completely divide and conquer, right up to the gruesome final fight. If you can look past that fault, Bad vs. Worse is a pretty damn good independent horror thriller.