+1 (PLUS ONE) | REVIEW

The trailer for +1 (PLUS ONE) looks amazing, any movie that can combine PROJECT X and DONNIE DARKO is already winning in my books. Throw in the very cute Rhys Wakefield and yeah, Friday night DVD is on with wine and something paleo 🙂 Kernel John reviews this supernatural sci-fi party movie and he came out less than impressed – PLUS ONE is out now on DVD and BLU RAY from the peeps at Eagle Entertainment Australia. It is rated MA15+ and runs for 92mins. Enjoy John’s review……..I am still giving it a viewing…….all the best……..JK.

 

PLUS ONE DVD COVER IMAGE
PLUS ONE | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | DVD COVER IMAGE

 

BY JOHN MCPARLAND

PLUS ONE (also stylised as “+1”) is a paranormal thriller involving a magic meteor, psychopathic doppelgangers and a primary cast consisting of a bunch of truly repugnant college students.  Written and directed be Dennis Iliadis, the film pits Australian Rhys Wakefield’s David, Logan Miller’s Teddy, and Natalie Hall’s Melanie against duplicate images of themselves in a battle for survival amidst one of the wildest house parties of the holidays.

Prior to the party, David’s girlfriend Jill, played by Ashley Hinshaw, is rightly upset when she walks in on David playing tonsil hockey with Jill’s arch nemesis.  Dumping him on the spot, David is frustrated that Jill will not respond to his phone calls, and so agrees to go to the party with his sex-crazed friend Teddy in order to talk to Jill face to face.  Just as the party gets underway, a mysterious meteor crashes nearby causing a temporary blackout.  Periodically throughout the film, the meteor’s blackout effect repeats itself, but what the revelers do not realise is that each time the power goes out, duplicate images of everyone at the party are created and begin repeating the actions of the originals from a time earlier in the night.  After a short while, the duplicates eventually vanish, only to reappear at the next blackout, once again replicating the deeds of the primaries, however each iteration brings the clones closer in time to the originals.  Only a handful of the hundreds of party-goers realise what is transpiring and begin to fear what will happen when the chronologically lagged duplicates catch up to their present time selves.

 

PLUS ONE RHYS WAKEFIELD IMAGE
PLUS ONE | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | DAVID (RHYS WAKEFIELD)

 

Throughout it all, David uses this opportunity to make amends with duplicate Jill, by learning from the mistakes of his conversations with her original, and using this foreknowledge of her responses to counteract the doppelganger’s arguments.  At the same time, Teddy continues to pursue Melanie amidst the chaos, more concerned with getting his sex on than simply getting the hell out of Dodge.

I am not entirely sure where to begin detailing, delineating, disassembling, dismantling, dismembering (oooh dismembering, I like that one) this film.  Let us start with the party itself.  As far as gatherings go, this one was pretty bhad, as in the good kind, like how “phat” is a compliment, while “fat” is not.  Crazy kids these days and their slang, I figure if I add a random “h” into a word it inverts the meaning, just like how a diminutive “i” implies something of a hip and technological nature.  Surely that is how language works, right?  Anywho, this shindig had all the stereotypical crazy stupidity we have come to expect from a Hollywood style bash.  Ridiculously beautiful attendees, copious amounts of binge drinking, a mansion-sized home on an acreage plot, passed out teens with penises drawn on their foreheads, loud music, crazy dancing, skimpy bikinis, drunken debauchery, random nudity, drug taking, drinking games, strippers, vomiting, and fights.  Paaaaaar-tay!  Sadly though, it all felt so over the top and unoriginal, that when yet another pair of boobs went flying across the screen, I began to find myself more annoyed than titillated at the lack of actual audience engagement.  I pretty much mentally checked out of the film when the naked human sushi platter, a Japanese practice known as nyotaimori, took such offence to being groped by a drunken frat mate that she fly kicked his fondling arse into a cabinet, before ranting aggressively in Japanese and storming out. “Real high brow humour in this masterpiece,” I thought to myself as I switched my critiquing mind from reviewing this movie against an A grade standard, to more of a B-grade fair.

 

PLUS ONE MOVIE IMAGE
PLUS ONE | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | NAKED SUSHI PLATE GRATUITOUS NAKED LADY

 

And B-grade this film firmly is.  Pointless nudity, awkward sex, clichéd elements and bad acting; all key elements of the genre.  Mind you, even by a B grader benchmark, the acting is not bad in the bhad sense; it really is just plain bad.  Some of the more linguistically-savvy amongst you may even be tempted to call the performances ghood.  Though I do so hate bashing a fellow Aussie, Wakefield is beyond painful to watch in this movie, easily presenting the worst performance of all of the stars.  Lazy, weak and boring are the adjectives that come to mind when describing his performance.  Wakefield’s character David is equally as repugnant.  Dull, expressionless and without drive or purpose, David seems content on simply floating through life, only rousing himself to action to combat change.  “Status quo is the go,” would be his personal motto, if their existed even a thimbleful of creativity within him to invent such a catchphrase.  Realising that the best and only thing worthwhile in his life was Jill, David displays a frightfully possessive and misogynistic streak in his endeavours to recapture her that had me hating his character from six minutes in.  The other stars’ performances, while better, are nothing more than what you would expect for the style of film portrayed.  The character interactions are poor and bullying, more antagonistic of each other than comedic or comradely.

 

PLUS ONE MOVIE IMAGE
PLUS ONE | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | DAVID (RHYS WAKEFIELD) AND JILL (ASHLEY HINSHAW)

 

The film’s plot is quite entertaining and would have made for an interesting thriller or horror movie if portrayed differently.  Sadly, Iliadis’s attempt at shoehorning the duplicate premise into the college party category did my head in.  I just could not correlate how hardly anyone but the horny couple and their desperately manipulative friend noticed what was happening, despite the throng of other guests getting their groove on just a stone’s throw away.  The incredible convenience of the hundreds of clones appearing in the house only moments after every single original had moved to the backyard, or appearing in the backyard once the originals had moved to the pool area was beyond opportune.  That the two groups remained unaware of each other for as long as they did was completely unbelievable.

Though the movie ends well with a hint of future chaos to come, the clichéd settings, poor acting, disturbingly womanising themes and poorly told story, reduces the interesting concept of PLUS ONE to little more than forgettable farce.

 

2 Pops