Friday, September 19, 2014

Review: Contracted

Starring: Najarra Townsend, Caroline Williams, Alice Macdonald
Directed by: Eric England
Language: English
Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 78 minutes

I believe I saw this movie in a DVD's previews and it looked pretty interesting, even reading it sounded intriguing. So, when my job needed to order some movies, I requested it to be purchased and I was actually looking forward to watching it. After viewing, I deeply contemplated whether I wanted to express my feelings in a brief paragraph or elaborate in a special individual review. Well, you're reading the obvious choice here.

Samantha is struggling to get over her ex-girlfriend Nikki and their break-up, so she attends a party held by her best friend Alice. Alice sees that Samantha is still upset over the situation and convinces her to loosen up by drinking alcohol. During the party, a couple of her peers approach her, one that has an unrequited crush on her and the other simply wants to flirt with her. As the party continues, she is persuaded to have sex with a mysterious guy named BJ and he ends up raping her, once she changes her mind. Not remembering much of the party or the person she was with, Samantha attempts to recollect her memories, especially when she begins experiencing a strange disease taking over her body.

Where to begin with this review...I suppose the positives seem like the best start, right? Honestly, there aren't many. Without expressing any emotion toward this movie, I can simply say that this movie had some really great ideas, therefore there's plenty of potential for it to be a good movie. Of course, it isn't, which I'll get to in a moment. The whole premise of this mysterious BJ guy that's running around and the police are looking for him provides some intriguing action. If you watch the film, which is quite unfortunate for you the viewer, you would understand why he is wanted. I'm honestly tempted to spoil it. Samantha's situation with Nikki is also interesting. It's pretty typical, but what's left of their relationship and chances of repair also connects to the possibility of Samantha being confused about her sexuality. Then there's the disease that she has contracted. The obvious choice is some sort of STD, but it ends up being something more severe and unusual. All of these points offer great potential for a good, or at least decent, movie. Also, it has a bit of a gross factor to it, which is rare for me.

Unfortunately, all this potential is wasted with awkward acting, bad dialogue, unbelievable reactions, and major plot holes. I bet you can imagine the headache I went through with this movie, especially since I had some real expectations of it being good. I suppose we can start off somewhat simply with the story/plot. The whole premise of the movie surrounds Samantha struggling with the disease she contracted and her relationships with the people around her. The mysterious BJ guy and the police hunt for him was completely dropped somewhere in the middle and the beginnings of the end. He is mentioned from time to time, but is instantly forgotten. It also seems like the movie wants to convey that Samantha had a troubled past and strained relationship with her mother. The movie quickly glosses over that Samantha used to have a drug problem and that her mother disapproves of her lesbian lifestyle. The only hints of this butting of heads is through poor dialogue when the mother picks apart her appearance when the symptoms of her disease are more visible. Other tiny plot points are also poorly executed such as Samantha and Nikki's relationship status, because they seem to be on good terms in one scene and then the other Nikki wants nothing to do with her. Then there's the unrequited crush on Samantha, her inconsistent job performance, and her friendship with Alice is clumsy as well.

Next is the awkward acting and unbelievable reactions which go hand and hand. The reality (or non-reality) stands out the most when Samantha begins to notice that something isn't physically right. Sure, she is reacting the usual way of trying to remember what happened after the party, but her reactions to everything else that's going on is very underwhelming. The characters that interact with her also under-react to her symptoms as well like having your hair fall out, your iris lose color, and your skin strangely peeling is just a normal thing. Her body loses an abnormal amount of blood as well and all that blood loss would've caused her to die or at least cause her to pass out for a long period of time, if I'm guessing correctly. She vomits blood and ends up sleeping in a puddle of it coming from below her waist, yet she chocks it up with menstrual related symptoms. Of course, her mother doesn't help as she jumps to the ridiculous accusation that Samantha has been doing drugs. Hello, people! Samantha needs a doctor. To add to the scenes where Samantha's mother is accusing her of using is the awkward confrontation when a doctor/psychiatrist is involved. Lastly is Samantha's boss's reaction when she's borderline at her worst stage of the disease. There's chunks of hair missing, one of her eyes has lost color in them, her skin is pale, around her mouth looks like some sort of infection, and her nails are peeling off with blood underneath. She comes in late, even though she needs to see a doctor, and she's preparing a salad for a couple of customers without a hair net or gloves. When her boss sees her working on the salad, he doesn't get angry her for coming in sick or working on someone's food without protection, he gets mad at her for showing up late! She looks like the walking bubonic plague for Christ's sake! Even when he asks her about her eye, she says she has pink eye, which clearly doesn't look like that, and yet he still wants her to work until a replacement can come in. Doesn't help that the customers still eat said salad, despite the judgmental look they give her when she comes to their table. Ugh! I would never eat at that restaurant with such a poor health code. There's other idiotic reactions as well that has to deal with some intimate moments such as kissing and sex. *shudders* Aside from that, the recipients of these intimate moments seem to change their tune about her too quickly as well. Instead of going into detail about the bad dialogue, just assume that it goes along with the unbelievable reactions and awkward acting. Lastly, the interchangeable set of words used to described Samantha's decision at the party between "one night stand" and "rape" should not exist and I blame that on whoever put together the synopsis.

If it isn't obvious, I really hate this movie. It's been a long while since a movie has infuriated me so much. Having actual good expectations for this movie doesn't help matters either. The pacing, plot, acting, dialogue, and conclusion leave a bad taste in my mouth and traumatizing mental effects. It also saddens me a bit on how terrible this movie is as it has so much potential of being something different and even provide a bit of social commentary. I highly highly discourage anyone from seeing this atrocious film.

Rating: 1/5

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1 comment:

xxdovahkiinxx said...

I'm gonna message you on AIM to spoil it for me now