R| 1 hr. 20 min.
Things go very wrong when some friends follow a vehicle they've seen posted on an Amber Alert.
Director: Kerry Bellessa
The woman main character screams into the camera the whole time repeating herself the film has an okay plot but ultimately the movie irritates anyone who watches it.
The movie Amber Alert serves up an intriguing idea, but in the end, trips over it's own feet. I realize that this sounds similar to a lot of the reviews of this particular flick, but I'm making my opening remarks based on some slightly different observations. To begin with, the constant bickering between the lead characters didn't bother me as much in the beginning. I really can't believe how it seems to be the most critiqued aspect of this film. Remember the Blair Witch? I loved that movie, but I haven't forgotten that those kids argued incessantly throughout that movie, which is what people tend to do when they're stressed, hungry, scared, etc. In the case of Amber Alert, however, the intensity is magnified because it takes place in the close confines of a car, which should lend the director some props for using the environment to amplify an already unsettling situation. My only complaint about this is that it might have been a bit overused. Another popular critique is that the characters' reason and logical capabilities were on the brink of absudity, as well as the nonchalance of the local authorities. So, OK, the kids aren't rocket scientists by any stretch of the imagination, but I'm pretty sure that was established from the get go as the film opens with them recording their bland suburban antics as an audition for a reality TV show. These are sheltered kids offering up what they perceive to be clever shennanigans that include stealing golf balls from the pond at the local Putt Putt and playing for free. Truth be told, if these guys were geniuses, there would be no video audition because this "found footage" would have never been recorded (revisiting the aforementioned Blair Witch Project, I guess they would be off wandering around the backwoods of Maryland in attempt to prove an urban legend is actually fact). Maybe I'm unique in this, but I know a lot of people who aren't that bright that would jump at the chance to exceed expectations when it comes to fufilling their "civic duty". This is exactly what happens when these kids spot a car whose license plate matches a posted Amber Alert notice along the highway. So the fact that they ignore the advice of the police when they first attempt to alert authorities to their discovery doesn't suprise me at all, it actually fits their intelligence level. Think about it. How many times does someone make national news by "playing the hero" in a situation even when it would be so obviously against the advice of police. Speaking of the police in this movie, their ineptitude also doesn't shock me because how many times have police failed to snag a perpetrator due to a communication glitch? If you have the mindset that that's the reason why the Amber Alert was stated to have "been called off" then their failure to respond could be totally accepted as realistic. The effectiveness of the nationwide adoption of Amber Alert actions has recently been questioned by justice system analysts who state that there has been little improvement in the recovery of children from stranger abduction since it's introduction. I wouldn't be surprised if this knowledge was secretly shared by officers on patrol. What I don't get is why the director is more focused on explaining the chemistry between the two main characters than he is on explaining any of what I just described, which is why the events unfold in way that they do. The fact that they are platonic best friends with the guy wanting more from the relationship than the girl can provide and the impact this has on their interactions is pretty much explained in the first ten minutes of the film. I think some background explanation regarding Amber Alerts and the desparaties between the attitude of local authorities and the public could have prevented some of the audiences' confusion. Because the film itself runs at a pretty steady pace and the tension building up to one of the most anxious endings I've seen in a horror movie to date is superb. Even if this movie doesn't really deliver the goods, per se, I'd be curious to see this director's future follow ups.
This movie is unbearable. The script truly sucks. They spend way too much time obnoxiously arguing about what they are doing. Could the writers really not think about anything else for the main actors to talk about? Have them argue about it for 2-4 mins tops and move on! I repeat... Obnoxious!