Friday, March 15, 2013

PLUS ONE (aka +1) (2013) Movie Review

Plus One (2013) d. Dennis Iliadis (USA) (96 min)

A renegade meteorite lands on Earth, its impact initiating a jarring schism in the time/space continuum such that the populace of a small community find themselves witnessing doppelgangers from 40 minutes prior, going through the same actions and interactions they’ve just experienced. The hitch is that these twins are just as human and confused to be facing off with their “elder” counterparts, unease leading to terror leading to panic-fueled violence.

Thrilling and rich sci-fi/horror material on paper. Unfortunately Plus One is one of those prime examples where a truly exciting high concept idea withers without an equally strong fleshing out. As tempting as it is to lay the blame at screenwriter Bill Gullo’s feet, it is Iliadis (The Last House on the Left) who trips up his own original story by focusing on a group of party-hearty teens as thinly drawn as they are predictably obnoxious.

In a scenario where identification is key, none of our callow adolescents have anything interesting to say, feel or do, the sole highlight being the occasional glimpse of skin (most prominently displayed by Natalie Hall). When the most compelling relationship exists not between separate individuals, but with two halves of the same person, it’s an interesting commentary but not interesting enough.

The inevitable finale has some exceptionally memorable moments as the two time-split factions collide, but they arrived too little too late, with the bitter aftertaste of missed opportunity burning sour in my throat. What could have been a classic is merely a curiosity, although younger and/or less discriminating viewers might find more to enjoy.


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