In this day and age of countless uninspiring horror film remakes, dime-store ‘found footage’ films, and odious CGI monster schlock, you’d be hard-pressed to stumble upon something a little more subversive in regards to the millennial modern-day horror film. For the more established and critical horror film fan, there seems to be more painful experiences than pleasureful ones.
Myself personally, growing up at the tail end of the great “Video Nasties” era of horror and gore was insufferable enough. Luckily for me, the independently owned Mom & Pop video rental stores were plentiful, up and coming directors like Sam Raimi and Peter Jackson were gorily coming into the fold, and Chas Balun was still around ranting and raving his lovable and infectious lingo warning us of the effervescent “chunkblowers”, “cow pokes” and “twat de jours”.
Throughout the past decade and change, with the rise of the Internet and websites like Vimeo,YouTube, and Daily Motion, independent cinema and DIY horror films have gotten heavy nods from fans and critics alike. The advent of the Video On-Demand (VOD) service further solidified the acceptance and easy distribution of said films to a wider audience. And then there are the web outlets like our lovely The Dead Walk. Horror websites, blogs, e-zines, etc tirelessly sift through the prime cuts and decaying by-products in order to piqué the interests of you, the reader. We writers muster through screener after screener, tirelessly devoting our attention to one film at a time to subjectively bring you an anecdote to your curiosity. Surprisingly, MP2V was one film that claimed my curiosity with charismatic glee…and then turned it inside out in confusion. But yet the potential remains!
MP2V takes full advantage of today’s many different avenues of communication and implements them together at an attempt to create a movie experience like no other. Much like the old Carmen Sandiego books where you needed a pen and paper propped along your YooHoo (yes I just dated myself) to solve the mystery, MP2V challenges you in much the same way using the film, website (www.MP2V.com), and subsequent social media pages (Twitter, Facebook, etc) for the film. Although there seems to be hints of a storyline, multiple viewings of MP2V did not produce such findings; although with plentiful amounts of sleuthing and the impending future releases of the prequel (MPreV), sequel (MP3V), and web series (MPOV), I’m sure a competent storyline will eventually coalesce.
MP2V (esoterically) tells the exploits of two murderous psychopaths using a handheld flip camera to film their murderous and exploitative deeds and the ensuing hunt for these killers by the father of one of the victims after he is mailed the footage clandestinely (it is important to note that the film does play in reverse; where the beginning is actually the end). It shrewdly blends a first person perspective with an omniscient 3rd person view.
The first few “clips” of MP2V do come off as heavily scripted and take away from the ‘found footage’ aura that it so proudly wants to exhibit. There are times where the film turns into a slow burn and attention is averted elsewhere; it is here where the viewer might miss out on certain “important clues” that help connect the events of the film and Internet sources. In contrast, I found myself picking up on the smallest of details quite possibly unrelated to any of the main plot points. One particular minuscule detail happened to be in the scene where the victim was speaking to one of the sociopathic videographers (audio only), telling him she came to get a tea but then is seen walking out of the bakery with a pastry box and no tea (correlation in the works?!).
The two psychopathic amateur videographers are very polarizing figures that, at times, make and break the film’s potential. Jules Graciolett (credited as “Narrator“) is the voice of the duo. At times Jules comes off like he could be your best friend and poker buddy…until he bestially stares into the camera with a black void in each eye. Rob Medaska (director and credited as “Him“) portrays the other more silent and mysterious psychopath. Medaska does a great job at conjuring up fits of rage and insanity but ultimately the shtick begins to wear thin and howls of pain and aberration become less frightening and more annoying.
MP2V is a melting pot of curiosity, realism, and social media ingenuity. The film offers more than what the normal lax movie goer is willing to accept, which is almost always a doomed effort. Society, as a whole, has become much more lazy and inept at accepting challenging endeavors. One look at the plethora of garbage on TV should solidify that thought.
While MP2V brings in an interesting concept that uses different mediums to enhance the film experience, it lacks in bringing in the hardcore fans of splatter and gore. It does lack in the “chunkblower” department and would almost assuredly earn a low score of 1-2 on Uncle Chas’ legendary “Gore Score“. Ultimately, MP2V raises a ton more questions than answers. But with the impending future release of the prequel, sequel, web series, and ‘Secret Footage’ on the website, those that are up to the task of piecing together the mystery of the Narrator and Him are almost assuredly due for some interesting and tell-tale fun.