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DVD Review

DVD cover

Chain Letter


Starring: Nikki Reed, Keith David, Brad Dourif and Noah Segan
G2 Pictures
RRP: £15.99
Certificate: 18
Available 18 April 2011

In a current climate of costly technology related crimes, Detective Crenshaw is investigating a series of brutal deaths involving teenagers. He has no inkling of the link to a number of threatening chain letters which arrive on the phones and computers of high school students. A few of Jessie’s friends and associates have died in a gruesome manner, and she begins to make the connection to emailed letters which instruct the receiver to forward it on to five people or lose a life. Those who are deleting the message appear to be the targets. Research on an Internet website reveals a catalogue of heinous murders over the years, and across America, apparently perpetrated by technophobes - those who believe technology is taking us over, to the detriment of mankind. But who is actually responsible for these crimes? Is it the school outcast? The computer geek? The creepy school teacher? The profiler? The scary old man with the gun? Or none of the above? Time is running out...

Here we go with another teen horror, and yet another time-coded DVD-R. At least this one doesn’t have "Property of..." stamped all over the screen. We are introduced to the story with a scene which, in the continuity of the plot, practically takes place at the end of the film. It’s obvious bloody body horror, which informs us that we are going to be subjected to a teen slasher/Saw-like killings hybrid. As in most movies of this ilk the characters are merely set up to be cut-down - in other words, canon fodder. The technology aspect is somewhat reminiscent of The Ring and One Missed Call, in respect of the attempt to modernise the premise whilst maintaining the mystery. I have to say that it’s wasted on Chain Letter, primarily because the pay-off seriously fails to deliver, leaving the viewer cheated of any ending but the one we saw at the outset.

It’s always nice to see Brad Dourif, here playing the teacher; and Keith David portrays the suitably understated detective, but even this welcome pair fails to lift a script which doesn’t actually go anywhere.


Ty Power

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