James E. Smith
J. Scott Green
Alan Rowe Kelly
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Pink Eye (2008)
17th Jan 08
Things are not all they seem at an asylum in upstate New York. From a woman patient gouging her eyes out to get at the ants she believes are toddling around behind them, to a masked Edgar Allen Poe spouting loony escaping and running amok in the local area, business certainly isn't running as usual.
With dodgy drug experiments being conducted behind closed doors, matched by equally dodgy performances from the cast, the plot soon descends into a meaningless mess.
From the writer / director / star team behind Eat Your Heart Out (2006) comes this ambitious but untidy serial killer thriller. After being slightly impressed by the team's comedy horror Eat Your Heart Out it came as a bit of a disappointment to report that their newbie Pink Eye doesn't cut the mustard. Not to be confused with Wes Craven's Red Eye, this is a sloppy enterprise that doesn't know what it's doing one scene to the next.
Pink Eye is being sold as a vehicle for Melissa Bacelar when it’s anything but, she is barely in the film at all. That's a shame as she was by far the best thing in Eat Your Heart Out. Melissa stars as Delilah, and everything about her character is all a little vague. What is her relationship to the two young girls? What is her connection to Brandon? Did I blink and miss some character detail?
Delilah is introduced at the start and then is not seen again till the muddled climax when she is abducted by an asylum escapee. (Apparently the reason for Miss Bacelar's lack of screen time was due to cameras freezing during a very cold location shoot resulting in a number of her scenes being cut).
By excluding the lead lady from the bulk of the movie kind of makes the abduction redundant. There is no empathy for Melissa’s character as we don't really know her and besides, what's the worst that can happen to her apart from being talked to death by the nattering nutter who has abducted her? Still, she does get to look very sexy as she writhes and screams at the hands of this masked monster and I suppose that's the point.
It is inevitable that for such low budget fare that the acting would be variable quality. Aside from Miss Bacelar the real stars on the acting front are her fellow female cast members, especially the young girls Emma Hinz and Bridget Megan Clark, all of whom outshine the largely talent-less males parading around in front of the camera. Given that writer Joshua Nelson, who stars as male lead Brandon, convinced as the avenging male lead in his self-penned Eat Your Heart Out it is disheartening to see that when he is required to talk more that he just can't act for toffee. In fact the only guy who can act is the gay bartender and unfortunately he's only in it for a minute.
The resulting picture seems to be more about ideas rather than the execution of them. There are plenty of them but none are structured to make for a satisfying whole. Nothing holds together in the plot meaning that little makes any sense. How come no one locally noticed that the lunatics had literally taken over the asylum? Why does everyone sit indoors with all the lights on giving the impression it's night time only for the action to cut outside and us to see it is actually still daytime? What was the relevance of Brandon's dream? What's with this 'pink eye as a kid' stuff?