Opening today at the Carlton Cinema is a new horror film from director Cody Calahan that puts a creepy spin on social media.
Featuring a new take on the much-used zombie, frenzied dead, the film follows a group of students on New Year’s Eve, as they plan to drink post pics, tweet, vid chat and post updates on the social media site Redroom (Red… room… Red… rum, redrum, murder – nice Shining reference folks! There’s also a nice Exorcist reference in there as well featuring Toronto cult favorite Robert Nolan).
Calahan along with co-screenwriter Chad Archibald puts his cast through their paces fairly early on in the game, letting us get to know most of the characters through pics, vids and status updates via their Redroom accounts. All of them that is, except for Sam (Michelle Mylett), who has just deleted her account because of a vidchat break-up with her douche of a boyfriend Dan (Charlie Hamitlon).
She initially passes on the idea of getting together with her friends, Mark (Cody Thompson), Jed (Adam Christie), Kaitlin (Ana Alic) and Steve (Romaine Waite), but decides to join them for a quick drink after all.
Even this early in the film, we hear through audio reports and see some odd happenings on campus, a couple of people with unexpected nosebleeds, rumors of deaths. But that won’t put a dampener, initially, on the evening.
Soon, though, they start to hear more about the strange events not only occurring on campus, but the world over, a strange virus seems to be at work, causing blood to pour from the nose, and ears, to cause hallucinations, to promote violent behavior, all seeming to climax in the bloodiest way.
It also seems that somehow the virus has gotten into the house with them.
As they fall one by one to the spreading virus, we learn more and more about where the virus comes from, what it’s doing is causing the growth of a tumor inside the brain, expanding, pressing against the walls of the skull… until….
Consequently, as it spreads, we get some brutal kills, and some terrifying revelations while updates and statuses continue to crawl across Redroom’s website.
This one keeps going right to the last moment, literally, as a procedure to save lives is revealed, unless you’ve experienced one of the hallucinations… that apparently tells you that you’re too far gone. It also does a nice job of setting up the sequel, though I do have a couple of questions that I hope the film’s creators will be able to answer for me in the interview below, but BEWARE SPOILERS!!
What the filmmakers have done is simply told the story of Night of the Living Dead again in a new way, reimagining the genre and incorporating the modern world of social media around it. The performances are solid, and there are some nice ideas put on the screen.
Admittedly this one won’t be for everyone, but I was intrigued by the idea, espeically the revelations learned towards the film’s end, and I’m ready to hear what they have coming up for Antisocial 2.
If genre films, with a new twist on the zombie theme are your thing, you should head out to Carlton Cinemas this weekend and check it out! Also follow them on Twitter here and check out their Facebook page here.
And have a look at the first part of our interview with director/writer Cody Calahan and producer Chris Giroux below! The full interview will be posted to Smithee.TV using or usual cameras, this angle was shot on my tablet.