Directed & written by Emily Aguilar
Starring Ashley Ballard, Elizabeth Cascarelli, Jason Alan Cook, Marc Goodman, Mikayla Kelley, Cristian Linares, Desiree Martin, Madeleine Murphy, Keaton Ray, Shannon Scully, Ashna Sharan, Justin Sisk
Find out more about this film here!
A group of twenty-somethings rent out a house for the weekend to do the usual—party, drink, sex, and more partying. But unbeknownst to them, there is a monster living in the piping system with an insatiable appetite for human flesh.
PIPELINE’s heart is in the right place. It’s just a very low, low budget film. And I support those types of films as long as the intent behind making the film feels genuine. There is a genuine feeling of an understanding of what is scary and it shows up a few times in some key scenes. While there never really is a reveal of what the monster really is that haunts the pipes of this old home, writer/director Emily Aguilar shows snippets of a dark figure, cloaked in shadows, and making strange noises in a very effective way. So, while they might not have had money to hire things like real actors, decent lighting, or capable sound, at least the director had the good sense to know how to light the monster with a sense of mystery. Watching the film, it really felt like the filmmaker had seen and appreciated a lot of horror. It just doesn’t really translate well here.
This is mainly because of a very slow pace, a focus on unnecessary plot points, and a script that just felt listless. Scenes go on for way too long and it seems the actors don’t know when the director is going to yell “Cut!” so they just kind of linger in the frame. This is the kind of stuff that would be cut out of most films, but I felt a lot of PIPELINE could have used a tighter edit and the whole film would have worked more effectively.
I love indie horror. And while it seems the filmmaker does too, PIPELINE needs a lot of work. Hopefully, future efforts will pay a little more attention to pacing. There might be an edit of PIPELINE that makes the film salvageable, but as is, the film didn’t work for me.