The Chaos Experiment, Directed by Philippe Martinez, 2009
If a movie is merely not good, I can turn it off or, at the very least, keep it on in the background. However, once a movie goes beyond that and becomes actively bad, something happens to me. I become transfixed in a Medussa's gaze of ugly cinematography and jaunty acting, unable to do anything but watch the train crash. And few trains I've seen this year have crashed as hard as The Chaos Experiment (my full review here).
It starts out okay, but once the viewer is taken inside the titular experiment the whole movie derails. Val Kilmer and Armand Assante are on the periphery of everything interesting, weaving in and out of the pain that is the majority of the movie. It's poorly lit and shot like the cinematographer just got done staring into the sun. Plus the ending is an abysmal slap in the face to anyone who suspended their sensibilities long enough to actually watch the whole thing. Can't recommend it to anyone. em>Acolytes, Directed by Jon Hewitt, 2008
Between Storm Warning, Black Water, Rogue and Wolf Creek, Australia has been bringing the pain to horror over the last couple years and Acolytes is just as ambitious as the best of 'em. Jon Hewitt's assembled a tightly paced thriller about three teenagers who uncover a killer in their town and decide that the best thing to do is to blackmail him into doing their bidding. Turns out that's not the best way to the heart of a serial killer.
I don't think Acolytes is as well made of a film as say Storm Warning or Black Water, often volume and scattered brain editing are often confused with tension, but it's still worthy of a rental during these horror-lite summer weeks.
Infestation, Directed by Kyle Rankin, 2009
A meteor full of giant bugs has crashed into Earth. Now that the world is doomed, our average office worker Cooper must muster up some maturity and finally do something with his life, namely save all of mankind. And with that setup, you know exactly what to expect. It's an R rated Eight Legged Freaks as a road movie starring Chris Marquette (the amiably obnoxious guy from The Girl Next Door). Though don't think of the R rating as a complete endorsement, because all that entails is dated computer generated bloodshed, some profanity and a bare pair.
Still, Infestation is a fun distraction served best to a crowd lubricated with alcohol.