(2005) (Julian Morris, Lindy Booth) (PG-13)
Otherwise, use the following link to read our complete Parental Review of this film.
- QUICK TAKE:
- Suspense/Thriller: After spreading an elaborate and prefabricated lie about a nearby murder, various students at a private high school academy must figure out whether threats, disappearances and more are just pranks on the parts of others or is the work of a true serial killer who's now copying the details of their ruse in a murderous fashion.
- At the elite Westlake Preparatory Academy, one of the favorite pastimes among the high school students is playing a game of wolf and sheep where the participants must discern who's lying and who's the mark. And transfer student Owen Matthews (JULIAN MORRIS) quickly proves he's rather good at it, impressing game instigator and ringleader Dodger (LINDY BOOTH). Bored with things, she decides they should up the ante and get the whole school involved, spreading a fabricated rumor about a recent, nearby murder and stating that the killer is on their campus.
She and Owen, whose father (GARY COLE) never takes his calls after pulling strings to get him enrolled at Westlake following problems elsewhere, then expand the ruse, stating how the killer will dispatch his next victims. With the click of a mouse, his email message then circulates around the school, drawing the attention of journalism teacher Rich Walker (JON BON JOVI) who intends to educate Owen about the ramifications of spreading such rumors.
Along with roommate Tom (JARED PADALECKI) and other participants including Randall (JESSE JANZEN), Lewis (PAUL JAMES), Mercedes (SANDRA McCOY), Graham (ETHAN COHN) and Regina (KRISTY WU), Owen and Dodger then watch as everyone reacts to the story. Yet, when Owen starts receiving threatening instant messages, one of the group goes missing and others have close calls with a masked figure, they must decide whether all of that is just pranks among the group or whether it's actually the work of a serial killer who's now copying the details of their ruse with deadly intentions.
- OUR TAKE: 3 out of 10
- Rogue Pictures did not screen this film in advance for reviewers before it opened, so we didn't have the chance to see it until today. While it has a decent if not entirely original premise (playing off the "boy who cried wolf" allegory coupled with the already used copycat plot thrust found in other serial killer flicks), the film fails due to abysmal direction, weak writing, unappealing characters and being edited to within inches of its cinematic life. We'll have more of our complete take on this film soon, once the banality wears off, but if you're looking for something original, entertaining (for this sort of offering) or scary/suspenseful, you should heed our warning -- and trust me, that's not participating in the film's title -- and head elsewhere for any of that.
Reviewed September 16, 2005 / Posted September 16, 2005
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