DON’T LOOK (2018)
Directed by Luciana Faulhaber
Written by Jessica Boucher, Luciana Faulhaber, Danielle Killay
Starring Luciana Faulhaber, Jeff Berg, Jarrod Robbins, Hailey Heisick, Lindsay Eshelman, Curtis K Case, Javier E. Gómez, Daniel Pappas, Bella Plotkin
Find out more about this film here
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. A group of hip and trendy city kids go to a rural place (in this case a farm inherited to one of the kids) only to find themselves prey in a deadly game with the local killer. I’m not one to steer clear of a film because it has a familiar premise, but if you’re going to go with the above one, you’ve got to have something more to offer than just a by the numbers slasher. Unfortunately that isn’t the case with DON’T LOOK.
In this post-GET OUT era, I fear that those who take the recent success of Jordan Peele’s films at face value alone are going to simply take the usual tropes of horror movies and simply cast a more diverse crowd. Which is totally great, but still you have to build a good movie around it as well. DON’T LOOK’s group of victims comprise of two Hispanic characters, one African American, and one gay character, as well as a pair of painfully cliched white hillbillies. The diverse cast, though, does not add much to the retread story.
People go off alone for no reason. People argue and fight and there’s no real reason why these guys who don’t get along hang out anyway. Motivations and personalities are whittled down simply as representation rather than character. One character incessantly tries to use his cell phone, yet there is not even enough care given as to let us know why he needs it to get service. It’s this lack of interest in character that is DON’T LOOK’s main flaw.
The film does 80’s slasher clichés decently. There are quite a few gory kills from the baby clown masked killer. But if you look back at those slashers, a lot of them had morals and serious themes at play. DON’T LOOK is rather bereft of that kind of thematic heft, making it breezy and forgettable in the long run.