Plus One

Are you up to another round of ‘what makes a horror movie a horror movie’?

Because I’m not certain that Plus One (+1) falls into that category. Perhaps I’m going to be a bad reviewer, but I’m not sure that I’m going to be able to tell you why it’s not exactly a horror film, other than the fact that while it’s a weird movie, there’s very little in the way of ‘horrific’ elements in the movie. There’s only one scene in the film where things head in a direction that I think a mainstream horror film would recognize as horror-the rest of the film is just strange.

Strange, though, is not synonymous with bad. I actually really liked Plus One. A class’s worth of teenagers get back together after their high school graduation for a blow out party. Each of them have their own issues to fight their way through, both with each other and with themselves. About a quarter of the way through the party the lights go out, and the main characters start to realize that something is very, very wrong-the house is full of doppelgangers.

But what’s actually going on here? I think that’s my biggest concern with this movie. I feel like there’s a lot of half-developed implications in the plot (including the last shot of the movie) and not a lot of fully developed themes. Is this just a random event? A time shift? Some sort of allegory about growing up and catching up to yourself? I don’t need every movie to be a fully developed sociological commentary on the nature of man, but movies where things are started and then just stop frustrate me.

I think that you can make a strong argument for the growing up and growing into theme; there’s a scene where one character upon meeting herself pretty much says so outright. I’m not sure that this movie ‘needs’ a theme so much, though having one would make the movie feel that much more solid. I liked this movie, but I’m ultimately afraid that a lot of people are going to be bored by the slightly off-kilter story line.

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