6 Plots DVD Review
Written by ZigZag
DVD released by Lionsgate Films
Directed by Leigh Sheehan
Written by Tim C. Patterson
2012, 87 minutes, Rated R
DVD released on October 4th, 2016
Alice Darling as Brie
Andrew Clark as Gary Hart
Ryan Corr as Marty
Penelope Mitchell as Jules Freeman
Eliza Taylor as Amy Challis
Joey Coley-Sowry as Kyle Gruper
Emily Wheaton as Tess Hart
Damien Harrison as Stu Reems
In the small coastal town of Oak Bay, seven high school friends live-stream an epic party at an isolated resort house filled with loud music, drugs and alcohol. Brie passes out and when she wakes, is confused to learn everyone else has disappeared. She considers the possibility that this is just a prank until an anonymous caller, appearing as an angry emoticon, reveals that her six friends have been abducted and buried alive in boxes hidden around town. A tiny camera inside each coffin displays its occupant’s peril, and the entire scenario is being webcast, proving to be a popular event with some of their more callous classmates. Brie must find and rescue them before time runs out, but is forbidden from contacting parents or authorities. Her captive friends each receive a similar message regarding their situation with the same two restrictions. Unfortunately, one of the victims breaks both rules when she wakes in a box and immediately calls her sheriff father for help, stepping up the killer’s timetable. Adding further challenge, the internet is being jammed at both the party venue and Brie’s house. With the help of the sheriff, she races against the clock to escape this nightmare with hopes of keeping her social circle intact.
6 Plots (2012) is an Australian horror film geared toward a teen audience with cell phones and social media playing a prominent role. Once she is cut off from modern technology, Brie must revert to using traditional maps and other methods of identifying clues in order to save her friends. Screenwriter Tim C. Patterson opens the story with a strong first act, but unfortunately everything bogs down once the games begin. Taking a page from the Saw franchise, the omnipotent villain is capable of setting his elaborate plan in motion during the relatively short amount of time in which Brie is unconscious. While audiences may initially roll with this premise, things quickly become ludicrous as our heroine repeatedly succeeds due to a healthy run of coincidence and blind luck rather than any significant sleuthing on her part. Making Brie the Final Girl archetype is arbitrary at best in that aside from being described as intelligent, she offers little to distinguish her own behavior from that of her friends. Alice Darling is likable as Brie, but watching her stare at maps and frantically type on a laptop is not that compelling.
Director Leigh Sheehan navigates the frequent plot holes and keeps things moving, but the script is stacked against him once six of the protagonists are stuck inside boxes yelling into cell phones. Further impeding the film are the countless missed opportunities that limit what could have been a truly entertaining picture. The supporting cast is isolated from our heroine once the game is underway, but the online viewing audience is just as worthless in that nobody watching calls for help. The time frame works against all logic in that in order to pull off his elaborate plan our villain must single-handedly perform the work of a dozen people within a matter of hours and then monitor Brie’s efforts from a computer terminal on par with something from the NSA. Any good will Sheehan musters is jettisoned once the killer’s motivation and identity are revealed to be the work of a single individual and not a multi-national government conspiracy. Sheehan chooses to distract viewers with techno-babble and generic music cues instead of loading up on nudity and graphic violence, denying audiences even the cheapest of thrills and leaving us wishing 6 Plots were buried in a hole somewhere and never recovered.
Video and Audio:
Presented in the original 2.35:1 aspect ratio and shot on RED HD cameras, it is not surprising that this film looks as solid as it does. A lot of the picture is set in the darkness of either the buried victims or in creepy corridors and I had zero problems keeping up with the image.
The Dolby Digital 5.1 track is definitely up to the task of immersing viewers in the environments, particularly the house party. There is a fair amount of directional effects that add to the experience and I found the track satisfying.
English and Spanish subtitles are provided for anyone in need.
The only special feature on this disc is a brief making of featurette (8 minutes) that offers an interesting look at how the producers approached the film with an eye toward marketing and audience response. There is a lot of information that would benefit from a longer segment or commentary, but what we get is moderately informative.