Friday, May 16, 2014

Antisocial


 ***
The Redroom Virus
A virus that attacks a certain part of the brain, kickstarted by pre-arranged subliminal messages hidden behind what is your basic chat site used globally. Stimulation to brain cells produces a tumor. The brain is attempting to compensate for signals of magnitude introduced to it as those who access the site receive the messages created by those behind the Social Redroom.com.


There’s a way to kill the tumor before it is too “deeply entrenched” and that is to make an incision and drill a small hole as to provide a direct path to the “black artery” which “feeds” it. Guess what: the film’s heroine is certain to do so.

Out of Night of the Living Dead and Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later, Anti-Social goes one step further to recognize our social media, Facebook age as the cause of the viral infection that has set up the apocalyptic doom running rampant on New Years Eve.

While the film recognizes a global epidemic spread speedily over the course of a single day, the setting is the house of a young man with a gathering of friends. It simplifies things and doesn’t force a low budget film into a difficult corner that will enclose the director and usurp what those involved in its making desire to do…tell a story about how an epidemic on the outside of the confines of a house effects those inside. Because the site is the root cause of a brain’s tumor’s growth until the skull begins to suffer such effects as a result, and those with active pages on it victims, hiding from viral mad infected on the outside in the streets won’t stop them from joining the crazed. This is an internal invasion and not performing barbaric surgery to remove the tumors lifeline before the hallucinations and blood flow from facial orifices start is a death sentence.

While the plot is rooted in the zombie and “mad illness” genres, I thought the immediacy of the infection is well established and the terror of the downward spiral of civilization resulting from “bad signals” is well enforced. While the idea of drilling a hole in your head and pulling out this black string to keep yourself from turning into the viral mad is just a bit too implausible to swallow for me personally, it provides quite a grisly little display. Social media and our active use of technology to communicate and spend lots of occupied time reading and viewing the made-public activities from day to day by those who use sites to feature themselves is used cleverly here to tell the story of a viral outbreak.

For a small little outbreak film, Antisocial is not bad at all. The final screen image is quite a grabber. The film is bleak and surviving the infection would appear to be hopeless. Little dramas of the small number of characters within the house soon seem insignificant considering the outbreak certain to take them all in short order.

The film’s lead, Michelle Mylette (as Sam, a criminologist major), reminded me of Danielle Nicole Panabaker, with her minimalist acting style (reveal outwardly little, but still communicate that a lot is going on behind that monotone expression and quiet suffering) and looks. She has a relationship with this rather nondescript boyfriend that ends non-communicatively over the Redroom site. Pregnant and unsure how to deal with it, and longing to have dealt with her relationship differently, Mylett is at the New Years party with Mark (Cody Ray Thompson) to cope with all the influx of problems with a bit of fun, but the festivities never get started off right thanks to the virus. Adam Christie is the dork of the group who serves as the supposed brains when the situation outside escalates, attempting to circumvent what is happening from occurring to them, but ultimately he’s unable to quell the inevitable. There’s a nice touch I liked where he follows a friend in a different apartment complex who keeps moving upstairs as floors below him become afflicted with the virus, resulting in his leap from the roof before the viral horde catch up to him. Ana Alic is the hot blond and Romaine Waite her black beau, the first two of the party’s group to suffer the effects of the Redroom Virus. Alic is a tease, playfully in man’s dress shirt, panties and bra, she starts to strip and dance for Waite but never quite gets naked as the events escalating outside rob us of the luxury of seeing her nude. Her fate while wrapped in illuminating Christmas lights is pretty wild.

The onset of Redroom Virus symptoms is the basics: bleeding, hallucinations, and eventually ferocity behind a mad dash towards those certain to be victims of their stampeding approach. I’m guessing the results of grabbing a hold of you is perhaps flesh-eating or flesh-tearing, but this is never quite shown in much detail besides what happens to Mark at the rage-filled attack from a best friend named Chad (Ry Barrett) who had left temporarily, returning with the “sickness”, not allowed back in thanks to Christie’s insistence that their party not risk exposure to him.

The plot, besides the narrative of “social media can be quite a killer”, is derivative and familiar thanks to its obvious influences, but I found myself quite smitten with its approach of a New Years Eve crashed by a hurriedly robust virus with an outbreak that spirals onward before the world is ready for it. I liked it.

http://brianscarecrow88.tumblr.com/post/86021385226/antisocial
http://brianscarecrow88.tumblr.com/post/86021798691/antisocial
http://brianscarecrow88.tumblr.com/post/86024516846/antisocial
http://brianscarecrow88.tumblr.com/post/86024838576/antisocial
http://brianscarecrow88.tumblr.com/post/86025183831/antisocial
http://brianscarecrow88.tumblr.com/post/86025988926/antisocial

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