Antisocial (2013)

Social Media - the irresistible Goliath that seems to bind us all together, yet is continuously pushing us all apart. At least that's what Cody Calahan's directorial debut Antisocial would lead you to believe. And much of what Calahans preaching is true in regards to the hold certain social media platforms have on our youth culture. Hell, I've checked Facebook four times since starting this paragraph. Calahan is certainly right in calling out societies complicit sucking at the teet of social media. But does his dose of reality make a good film? Well, much like deleting your Facebook account or trying to talk you girl into a's better to tread lightly.

Calahan's chosen platform is the completely fictional "Social Red Room" which, other than gettingIncome Property on HGTV).
Love/Hate's "Black Out In the Red Room" stuck in my head for an hour and a half, serves as an amalgamation of Facebook, Skype and Vine. Basically it's a Facebook with live video capabilities. It's over this site that cute little Sam is dumped by her dickhead boyfriend. Broken hearted about a relationship she never should have been in, Sam finds it hard to find the motivation do do much of anything. Except, that is to go to what promises to be the kick ass party of the Canadian new year (Oh and this film is very Canadian. There are more "aboots" and "washrooms" than an episode of

Once at the party she meets up with some friends - including the guy she should be dating, Mark. It's a pretty shitty party though. Everyone seems far too obsessed with what's happening on Social Red Room rather than doing some shots or other fun stuff. To be fair though, it looks like there is some weird shot going on outside. Strange videos begin to pop up on the site. The news takes an eerie turn. Really angry looking folks try to break into the house. Then the folks in the house start to turn.

There are some issues with the pacing of the film. Which often happens with first time directors. We need to get all of our ideas, a lifetime of them for some, on film (or digital recording nowadays). Calahan really wants to get to the action - which is great. But you have to let the film breathe a bit. There just seems to be too much going on . People trying to break in. People in the house turning. Watching what's happening on the Social Red Room. And then there's the "cure." it kind of comes out of left field and rather random that they would find it so quickly on line. I would like to think the film would have been even more effective without the "cure" subplot.

That being said, Antisocial is a pretty good little horror film. But it's certainly nothing you haven't seen before. It has the feel of something like Cronenbergs Shivers or Quarantine. Throw in the shaky head guys from the Tool "Prison Sex" video, a large helping of Miike's One Missed Call, and the unseen paranoia of Pontypool and you have 98% of Antisocial. The other 2% comes from 28 Days Later. That might seem like a bad thing, but don't let the lack of originality ruin the film. There is still plenty to like here.

Writer/Director Calahan certainly acquits himself well for his first time out (or should I say (oot?). The film looks great and he gets some really good performances out of some rather inexperienced actors. Much of the films success lays on the shoulders of the person who cast lead Michelle Mylett. Not only is she absolutely gorgeous, for a first time actor (this is her first acting credit), she is very, very good.

It may sound like I'm piling on in certain parts, but for a first film Antisocial is quite good. It certainly has it's pock marks, but there are a lot worse films out there. Derivative? Yes. Oddly paced? Certainly. Good? Definitely. Antisocial is creepy spin on many different horror tropes and a very good start to Calahans career. It's currently streaming on various VOD platforms and comes to DVD on January 28th of 2014. Check it's worth it.

**1/2 stars out of  *****

Thanks for reading and "Enjoy every sandwich"

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