Review: Antisocial / Cert: 18 / Director: Cody Calahan / Screenplay: Chad Archibald, Cody Calahan / Starring: Michelle Mylett, Cody Ray Thompson, Adam Christie, Ana Alic / Released: January 27th
Antisocial revolves around a destructive virus that runs amok one New Year’s Eve. Just as a group of friends are planning to have the ‘best party ever,’ things take a turn for the creepy. Having to barricade themselves indoors, the group’s only contact with the outside world, not to mention information on the pandemic, is via phones, laptops and social media. With fear and paranoia taking over, the group don’t know who to trust or just how the virus is spreading.
Despite having what sounds like a generic plot pulled from one of many horror film templates, Antisocial does boast some rather unique elements and twists to its storyline. To go into them here would be diving into spoiler territory, so excuse us if we seem a little vague. Still, the main reveal is painfully clear right from the opening moments of the film, and you do often feel as if the only people who aren’t in the know are those on screen.
In terms of performances, Michelle Mylett’s Sam is the rough focal point of the story, although the rest of the cast get nearly the same amount of screen-time. Mylett does a relatively solid job, and she often comes across a little Mila Kunis-lite. The rest of the group all deliver exactly what they need to deliver, although Adam Christie goes far too over the top at times as Jed. Spewing out lines with as much realism as Michael Jackson’s nose (still too soon?), Christie’s try-hard performance threatens to tarnish the work of those around him. Luckily, the rest of the cast and crew manage to keep the film on track and keep the tone steady.
Antisocial begins as a grimy, dirty looking film that has a fair amount of believability and realism in its delivery and performance. Unfortunately, the longer the film goes on, the more illogical and convoluted everything becomes. As well as this, it often feels as if Antisocial is slapping you in the face with the points it’s trying to make. Yes, we’re all fully aware of the social commentary and societal awareness that you’re trying to point out. Even Snake Plissken’s left eye could see them. Less is more, people.
Even though Antisocial has a low budget, it doesn’t look to ridicule itself like so many similarly low-budget horrors out there. Relying on tension, atmosphere, and paranoia, Antisocial is often quite the enjoyable thriller/horror. Its problems come with its stupid, clichéd conclusion and the fact that, despite throwing in unique and modern twists throughout, it ends up falling back on played out, predictable plot points from a gaggle of other movies that came before it.