Aberration Movie Review
Directed by Douglas Elford-Argent
Written by Gwendolyn Garver
2012, 85 minutes, Not Rated
DVD released on September 17th, 2013
Gewndolyn Garver as Christy Dawson
Kristian Capalik as Kyle Walker
Tom Lally as Larry Smithe
Cal Thoman as Elliott Smithe
Bobbi Jean Basche as Mindy Mariner
When it comes the current trend of ghost thrillers and “let's haunt this innocent family” supernatural films, the bar has been continuing to raise in terms of quality of writing and production, all with the end goal of scaring audiences and delivering a captivating narrative. With that being said, not every film has to have a million dollar budget or over-the-top special effects. There are times when independent and lower-budgeted films deliver solid story lines with characters that you'll actually give a damn about. Aberration starts out with an interesting premise but fails to connect on too many different levels. Christy is your average, shy high school teenager with the ordinary teenage struggles except she's hiding a terrible secret. Christy can communicate with the dead through her dreams. Recently, her visions have been plagued with the future and death. Someone (or something) is killing off everyone around her. Can she figure out who is behind the murders of her friends before it's too late? Um, sure. But it's not all that interesting.
Aberration reads well on paper. While the plot might seem generic and run into the ground due to the recent influx of similar scripted movies, Douglas Elford-Argent's film has the potential to be chilling and horrifying. That potential is quickly tossed aside like an unwanted Spartan child. For starters, the script written for the characters happens to be pretty cringe-worthy. Dialogue is very dry and the exchanges that individuals have seem robotic and forced. Many of the actors seem like they had memorized their lines just moments before the camera started rolling. Apple's Siri has more emotion than half of the people on screen, and that's saying a lot. As for the actors themselves, the vast majority of the “high schoolers” look like they're entering their sophomore years of college. Believability goes a long way when you're devoting over eighty minutes of viewing time to something.
Another issue that I couldn't rebound from was the lack of scares and gore. I do happen to be a firm believer that horror cinema doesn't have to include slow-motion scenes of people's limbs being sawed off with rusty kitchen utensils. The minimalist approach to horror can be just as disturbing and grotesque as witnessing someone's eyes being blow-torched from their skulls. Where I feel Aberration suffers is that, aside from the uninteresting way people die (stabbed to death with a dull hockey stick), once people start getting offed, it's too little too late. Once the death toll started to rise, I was hoping that every character would just die in a giant explosion, rather than have me wait until the next lackluster death to come around twenty minutes later. Slap this on top of a movie-ending twist that is delivered well after the damage has already been done.
Aberration could have been something genuinely scary, but once the ideas came off paper and onto the screen, I just couldn't get into it. When your end product ends up seeming more like a made for TV Lifetime after school-special, little can be done to rebound from it. Also, can this trend where lead actors in an independent film just happens to be the lead writer please come to an end? An ability to write a captivating story and act as the lead character you created rarely works. You also end up looking like a arrogant son of a bitch. It's a safe bet that you'll lose very little by skipping over Aberration. I'll be patiently waiting for The Conjuring to hit DVD and Bluray instead.
Video, Audio and Special Features:
Video, audio and special features will not be graded as this was a screener.