The Girl in the Photographs

Rating 18
Length 1hr 35
Release 19.10.2015 (no UK cinematic release)
Director Nick Simon
About Two psychopaths target a young woman (Claudia Lee), a photographer (Kal Penn) and a group of models at a secluded house.

The Good

  • This film takes a risk with its ending. It *almost* works. The idea of an open ending to a stand alone horror film in a way that’s not a rug pull (see I Know What You Did Last Summer, House of Wax and Saw) is rare. There’s no showdown, there’s no final girl. Now, considering the rest is formulaic as fuck, that ending really impressed me.
  • Yeah, that’s all I got folks. This film was garbage and I actually almost turned it off.

The Bad

  • By calling your ‘slashers’ psychopaths, does not free you of having a motive. Towards the back end of the film we get the idea that he has some sort of feelings for our lead, Colleen. However, where does the second guy factor in to this infatuation? There’s also the fact that we come into the film at victim 7. The film made loose connections to the photographer, Kal Penn, but just didn’t follow through. If only the film unpacked the fact that the two men were in the same year as Penn’s character, it would have made for a much more satisfying movie.
  • As much as I love Mitch Pileggi, the incorporation of the police force within the town was frustrating and of no use to the plot with how they were used. Just throwing around “No body, no crime.’ And repeatedly telling Colleen there’s nothing they can do is utter bullshit ;and the stereotype we moved away from almost two decades ago. When these photographs are popping up and they resemble the missing persons report… they would have to do something. While I do like the fact that the psychopaths are left to kill another day, if you’re also going to make the police incompetent and the reason these girls have died, at least have them as part of the body count.
  • How is the disappearance of seven people not caused commotion in this town? How is it not a much bigger thing, that’s going to make the local news at the very least? I just find so many of the things in this so illogical.
  • Did we really need the commentary of “the photographer” on consent. He actually says “permission isn’t sexy”. Which is made all the more galling by the fact that the guy is using a big ass camera with a massive flash to photograph Colleen.
    Oh, and while we’re on the topic of consent. Having a guy secretly film his casual sex is one thing. Having the girl discover it and then masterbate to the footage is very much another and absolutely not okay. Remembering, the issue is not the sex, but the violation and lack of consent. My biggest issue being who this film’s demographic is and what it might say to them.

The Ugly

  • The over-use of Wes Craven’s name in all of the publicity. He was a producer, nothing more. There is nothing in this film that can be said to be inspired by his body of work and its only made worse by the over zealous use of “This was the last film he worked on.”
  • Few things I didn’t understand: who the fuck wrote the blog? Who made the connection to the photographer, and was it every single photograph? If so, why?
  • Oh, why is the boyfriend such a dick? Like, really? Can someone explain to me? He seemed lovely and really trying to make things work, but Colleen was clearly not on the same page. When Psycho Tom tells boyfriend “you should have treated her better” all I could think was that he really should have been saying that to Colleen.
  • The blood, the gore! Jesus, I know it was an 18 and everything, but come on! Its been proven time and time again that not showing a death is much more effective. Why do we need to see all the blood?!

Final Thoughts

This film has potential behind the gore, but the editing and unresolved questions leave it being little more than garbage. Its not even clever enough to be considered an exploitation film.

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