Review: SX_TAPE? More Like SUX_Tape. Amirite? High Five!
I'm no hater of found footage films, but then again, I'm also not the guy who seeks them out at the video store. Found footage, like any method, is simply a device. It can be used for good or for ill, and has delivered some of the scariest moments of the last two decades. However, [Rec] this is not. SX_Tape is a truly flaccid piece of lazy dreck disguising itself as a horror film.
A couple trespass on the grounds of an old abandoned hospital under the guise of scouting a location for their next art show. While there, the boyfriend, who films everything as part of his "art," and the girlfriend, a bimbo obsessed with scandalous exhibitionism, come across some paranormal crap and then she starts to act all weird or whatever. Then, after having escaped this demonic building and being rescued by a couple of friends, she remarkably has a change of heart and demands that all four of them go back into the building, where more weird shit happens and everybody fucks everyone else and people die, the end.
It's really hard to give a shit about anything that happens in this movie. It is so poorly put together that there is never any momentum, tension, emotional attachment, or empathy built toward the characters or the situations in which they put themselves. The fact that I don't remember any names and am not motivated enough to search IMDb to fix that should tell you exactly how much I care about SX_Tape. All of these characters are such whiny or douchey or wimpy or simply unsympathetic people that when they die I can't even muster the urge to celebrate their ends, let alone feel bad or scared.
SX_Tape is a masterclass in how not to structure your film, found footage or otherwise. The two lead characters spend the first 30 minutes of the film wandering from place to place doing nothing apart from occasionally acting saucy in an effort to prove to the viewer how edgy they are. In reality, they don't do anything that a fifteen year old wouldn't have done in the same situation. By the time they reach the haunted hospital, they are already unsympathetic hollow shells of people upon whom any number of acts of violence could fall without so much as inspiring me to raise an eyebrow. The sooner they're dead, the better. The last hour of the film is padded with so much shaky cameras running up and down halls seeing nothing in particular that I could have sworn I saw the same shot several times over. I didn't? Oh well, who cares.
Okay, I'm hitting the point at which I wonder how many more words I have to write in order to justify the existence of this review...
Is this enough? I've already given it more consideration that it deserves.
I love good movies. I love bad movies. The one thing I cannot stand is a boring movie, and I may never in my life have been forced to sit through as boring a movie as SX_Tape. For 80% of its mind-numbing 82 minutes absolutely nothing happens. During the remaining 20%, there is still nothing happening, but much more loudly. I have to imagine that if the Lumiere brothers could've seen their wondrous invention being used to create SX_Tape, they might have tossed it into the Rhône.
Seriously, fuck this movie.
The film opens in select theaters in the U.S. on Friday, May 16 and will also be available to watch via various Video On Demand platforms. Visit the official site for more information.
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