I am writing a very, very, very brief review of this because it really doesn’t deserve more than that. I don’t like to be mean about things connected to the arts because most people that do this stuff do it for passion and for love. Sure, make money, some make a LOT of money, but the few that do are extraordinarily rare. Saying all that, there are some things that are just calling for a swift kick.
This is such a thing.
Five Across the Eyes follows five very loud, very obnoxious, very screamy teen girls (who play their parts well being that they are being what you might expect teen girls to be with all the screams and foolishness) who are out for fun. Only one of the girl’s has a license so the others are relying on her to cart them around. While out the girls accidentally run into a parked SUV and, scared about getting into trouble, drive off without telling the owner of the other vehicle. Not long after they leave though the owner of the SUV tracks them down and begins a horrifying ordeal that will leave the girls in danger of their lives and those that survive forever scarred and damaged.
See what I did? I made it sound sorta interesting. It isn’t. Shot in what I first thought was a style choice but what seems more like a lack of imagination and trust in their ability, the filmmakers shoot the film almost entirely from the van. This means that you miss a lot of what happens in the movie and are oft times subjected to the camera’s focus being readjusted. Again, in more deft hands this gains an immediacy and danger but here it simply shows the limitations we are presented with. As an audience we don’t want to hear that there wasn’t enough budget. We don’t want to see it. We want the filmmaker to over come all of that and trick us into thinking they were working with more than they had. Alas, that is not the case. The acting is histrionic, the story is thin, and the situations are so bereft of logic that it plays as a grim urban legend. It is interesting because the terrorizer in the film is a woman but acts as a man down to making the girls undress before her to shame them. The film almost plays like a torture film without as much of the nastiness of some of the recent films in that subgenre. There are moments where you cannot help but yell in frustration at the screen as the characters act so far beyond reason that you wonder what was going on in the heads of the creators. The most damning thing here though is that there are flashes of cleverness. There are flashes of intelligence. Alas, they are just flashes and little more.
I luckily saw this for free as it was streaming but this is such a poorly shot, poorly acted, poorly conceived film that I would hate to think I might have paid for that.
As much as I dislike this film I, as always, applaud the filmmakers for getting the thing done and not just done but released. That is a huge accomplishment. It’s my hope that they will have learned from this film and will get better at their craft with every film they make. Looking at the credits you see that this must have been a film of passion as there were so many family members involved. So I say this – while the film is not good, there is much to be said about getting a film together, made, and released and there are far worse productions that come out of Hollywood with real money behind them so there’s hope here, just not a good film.
3 out of 10