Plus One

Seen at the 2013 SXSW Film Festival.

A lavish house party and a college student’s attempt to reconcile with his estranged girlfriend are interrupted by a bad special effect from the sky in Plus One, a weirdly terrible sci-fi lark from Last House on the Left director Dennis Iliadis. The conceit is a flippant, comic take on what Sean Ellis and Christopher Smith treated with infinitely more care in The Broken and Triangle, respectively. Here, the time-traveling-doubles plot doesn’t actually make any sense: the film comes up with a complicated structure of overlapping timelines, but has a lot of trouble keeping them straight, and never manages to use them for anything fun. It also struggles mightily to give the film a horror veneer by occasionally turning characters homicidal for no good reason, and to retain an emotional hook by having its protagonist all but ignore the astonishing, apocalyptic events around him to plot an apology to his girlfriend. The result is profoundly strange, one of the most undercooked professional-grade films I’ve ever seen – like Iliadis (who has a story credit) and his screenwriter gave themselves a total of 90 minutes to think about their script, and then plunged ahead with the shoot.

Eugene Novikov

Seeking in movies meaning and reflection in real-time. On the look out for biography, thriller & drama best pieces.

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