Movie Review-388 Arletta Avenue

Coming to home video tomorrow

Plot-James and Amy Deakin is just your ordinary everyday suburban couple until one day when their lives are forever changed. They are being stalked by a voyeur who watches everything they do from his video camera. Until, one day the voyeur realizes that James leaves the home keys in the flower pot. The voyeur decides to abduct Amy, and play mind games with James by planting cameras all over the house and manipulating his computer screen. James thinks that this is being done as some kind of karma for his past, and tries to make good on his past but as the days go on and the police do not believe him, will he ever get back to the life of normal he once knew with his wife?

Review-When you see the cover and hear the description, you will think it is just another found footage film. You would be half right, this is a film that the majority of it is shot thru cameras from the voyeuristic stalker, and the cameras that are planted in the house. This film has so much right, but yet so much wrong. I love the creepy factor that played through certain scenes, like when you are sound asleep and awaken by someone turning on your computer to play music. I love that the film was smart enough to have a character that on the surface as the film began we thought he was the perfect husband and had a great life, but when the character breaks down from the stress of not knowing where his wife is, we start to learn how flawed he really is on the inside. The guilt of thinking his past may have had something to do with her disappearance was a refreshing change of pace from the usual easy to figure out storyline of them just telling us everything and leaving nothing to imagination. This film creeps up on you, the story I felt while flawed at times and Nick Stahl as James was really an odd choice, but still kept me interested. The negatives to this film are easy; there is no watchability to this film. Once you watch it, you are not going to really want to watch it again. I thought some of the predicaments were silly, like having all the lights off in your house and you are trying to figure out if someone is inside your house. And the police who see that there is a stalker inside the house from the video tape that James made, and they still do not make it a priority and act like it means nothing. The scenes with James at work, came across as very bad from the acting to just the situations. I did like how Amy’s sister in law came into the picture and questioned if James did not do anything himself to hurt Amy, cause of his abusive and alcoholic past. That I felt was another interesting question, we are supporting a guy who has a past of woman abuse, bullying and victimizing family members?

I know a lot of people will hate the ending, but I liked it. It was the only logical way this film could have ended up. Just after you see it, there is no reason with what you will know to ever re-visit this film again. Devon Sawa as the person he victimized in school was such a wasted opportunity, I wish they would have really done more with that character or at least make him more of a creep, and not so much a watered down emotionless hermit. Another head scratcher is that you know the driver’s license plate number and make of vehicle and you are trying to reason with them? Again, this film had so much good, and so much that I question and scratch my head to. The dialogue tried to sound smart, but the situations felt very dum by how they were handled. Nick Stahl is one of those actors who will just about put his name on anything, just to get a gig. With that in mind, this is better than most of the other things he has done in the past few years, and worth a rental.

7.5 out of 10