If you know a horror movie fan, you know that they’re a very definitive breed of moviegoer; always searching for the newest film with just a little something different that makes it stand out from the rest.
Unfortunately, the films that are often produced every year seldom bring anything new to the genre. Such is the case with The Girl in the Photographs. Written by Osgood Perkins, Robert Morast and Nick Simon, who also directs the film. Sadly, the film is also one of the last projects executive produced by the late Wes Craven.
Colleen is a small town check out girl with natural beauty who is bored with her dead end job and annoyed by her apathetic boyfriend. This isn’t the life she wanted. In the midst of her turmoil, a pair of deranged serial killers begin leaving her photos of their mutilated victims.
Her chance to escape comes in the form of Peter Hemmings, a hipster celebrity photographer who has traveled back to his hometown of Spearfish, South Dakota, with a pack of models, intent on copying the killers’ intense and unapologetic artistry. When he learns Colleen is the killers’ muse, Peter resolves to make her his own and use her as the centerpiece of a photo campaign in Los Angeles.
But before Colleen can leave her old life behind, she must contend with the desires of her murderous stalkers who have chosen her last night in town to execute their most provocative work to date.
From the start of the film it’s hard for the viewer not to focus on the flaws of the film rather than to immerse themselves in the story. Too many questions are left unanswered. And not the kind of questions that are expected with an intriguing story, but rather the kind that lead to distraction and disinterest.
Why does one of the killers, bald and pot-bellied, not wear a shirt in any of his scenes? If the intent was to make him seem more deranged, it actually makes him seem more comical, but not in the fun, campy way.
Why does a girl with 6 locks on her front door not lock them until she hears a noise in the house?
How can local, small town law enforcement not take the photographs and Colleen’s concerns seriously? Instead they dismiss them as “art” which seems rather progressive for a small town or just really lazy police work.
With the introduction of Kal Penn as the big city photographer with a taste for shock value photography, it seems that the well known actor in the small film may be it’s saving grace. However, the fast-talking Penn and his talents are not strong enough to pull the film from it’s mediocrity.
The over-used horror movie tropes are nothing new to a seasoned horror fan and although the premise is interesting and had potential, the execution of the film doesn’t live up to the expectation.
The Girl in The Photographs is available in theaters and on Video on Demand April 1st.
Written by Jessica Hudson