Among Friends (2012) Movie Review
Released : Aug. 27th, 2012
Reviewed : Nov. 24th, 2013
Genre : Horror
Story (from IMDB): A group of friends get together for a murder mystery party, but things take a dark turn when one hijacks the evening and is out for blood.
Going from actor to director can be a hard task for anyone but when you take the leap staying in a genre that you are quite familiar with and have a career with like Danielle Harris does with horror then you come to expect a bit more things. Sadly however her directorial debut falls short on a few parts but shows great premise.
The story follows a group of friends who band together one night for a murder mystery themed party. Shortly after though when one friend turns against the other which turns into a sadistic game involving torture. Throw in plenty of taped footage shown and flashbacks and we quickly learn the large amounts of lies and betrayals this group of friends have.
For a film that plays off the torture genre so much one would expect much more gore and graphic violence. Most is shown off screen and even the scenes that we do get to see are rather tame with the end effect just being a little to almost no blood spraying about like a fountain. I see this as being a budget saver but for scenes where violence is suppose to be the main focus point to show the extremes of it and in return we get a few cheap thrills is poorly done.
It doesn’t help either that this film falls into the ditch that a lot of horror movies do where none of the characters are likeable at all. For films of the same sense (like Would You Rather) we have one character who is clearly shown and made for us to support. Instead we get a bunch of characters who we are then lead to hate. We have no feelings on if they should live and instead just wait for everyone to die. There isn’t a ton of character growth given anyway.
You can also tell a huge influence to Saw is put into this film based off the final twist. Now remaining spoiler free what we get a few minute scene explaining everything in and out the film that plays into the story before the final twist is shown then going off screen. It is a extremely cheap trick to use. It worked in Saw films because they would always continue it next movie and those films actually had intriguing stories. This however felt like a cheap cop out.
Overall if given more money and more time I don’t have any doubts that Danielle Harris could crank out a good horror film. Hopefully this however is just her trying it out phase before she gets to the good stuff.