Antisocial DVDDirector: Cody Calahan
Screenplay: Chad Archibald & Cody Calahan
Starring: Michelle Mylett, Cody Ray Thompson, Adam Christie, Ry Barrett
Year: 2013
Country: Canada
Running Time: 85 mins
BBFC Classification: 18

Antisocial takes place on New Year’s Eve and is centred around a gathering of students getting ready for a party at their house later on the same night. The main character, Sam, turns up at her friend Mark’s house (where the party will be) after being dumped online by her arsehole boyfriend. The other residents of the house include Steve and his girlfriend Kaitlin and Jed, a nerdy guy who turns out to be the smartest of them all.

It’s not long before weird stuff starts happening, which seems to occur after prolonged exposure to a social network site, The Social Redroom. Users start bleeding out of their ears and noses, hallucinating and then turning violent, sometimes killing others or themselves as they try to cope with their mutating minds.

Our small group of students band together to stave off attacks from marauding mobs out on the streets and later from attacks off of each other. It quickly becomes apparent to them, through news reports and from various online sites and social media, that the problem isn’t just localised to their region, but is a global pandemic that is, almost overnight, threatening the future of mankind.

Antisocial is something of a breath of fresh air, in that it actually has some original ideas and raises some interesting questions about how we interact with the internet, and with each other, and how todays’ rapid trend toward an all pervading saturation of social media and mobile communication is, perhaps, not all for the good.

Also refreshing is the fact that the characters are all pretty ‘normal’, pleasant and fairly intelligent, and they tend to react in an understandable way towards the dangers and weirdness that they face. All too often when watching horror films we are forced to watch irritating teens making stupid choices just so the story can claim more bodies.

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Don’t get me wrong there are a few clichés here and there and the film’s pacing can be a little up and down (maybe the writer/director shouldn’t have been allowed to be involved with the editing), but overall the film maintains your interest in a semi-believable way and you actually care about what happens to the characters.

There are some nicely done hallucination scenes and the violence, when it occurs, is well managed and has a real impact. The score, by Steph Copeland, generally works well with its hints of John Carpenter, but there were a couple of scenes where she really needed to up the feeling of tension, but, to my mind, failed to do so.

A big negative for me (although it might not be for others) was the final twist at the end, which I felt didn’t really work and made the film less interesting. However, fans of a certain horror sub-genre might get a kick out of it so what do I know!

All in all, well worth a watch; it’s certainly something a little different from the usual found-footage hokum that seems to be flung around the download arena these days.

Reviewer: Justin Richards

Antisocial has recently been released on DVD & Blu-Ray and is being distributed by Monster Pictures. The special features on the disc include a trailer and a ‘behind the scenes’ featurette (16 mins), which features a number of talking head mini interviews with cast and crew about a range of things pertaining to the film including: social media and its effect on its users, favourite scenes from the movie, funny stories, production design and what it was like to work with the director. This has a bit more heft to it than many behind the scenes quickies and reveals a few fun facts about the film, including it being filmed in a house that was due to be demolished literally days after shooting had finished – handy when you want to wreak general havoc and destruction in and around a film location!

About The Author

Justin Richards is a journalist by day and a scriptwriter by night. His work has appeared in the darker recesses of the internet and in various niche publications including ITNOW, The Darkside, Is it Uncut?, Impact and Deranged. When he’s not sitting hunched over a sticky, crumb-laden keyboard he’s paying good money to have people in pyjamas try and kick him repeatedly in the face.

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