Thursday, February 2, 2017

The Overlook Theatre Reviews: Hooked Up

of 6 viewers "Liked" "Hooked Up" (2013, USA)
Here's what the creatures had to say:

Dabbles - "Hooked Up got my anxiety going. The characters were very fleshed out. The house and effects were really creepy. Excitingly bloody and a well executed found footage movie." - 4 Stars

The Great Hornito - "Hook Up has a good premise for a found footage movie but unfortunately it didn't quite pull it off for me. The move was shot well, the acting was good and the story was interesting as well, the only complaint I have, which is a big one, is the movie becomes way too over the top and silly about half way through. Overall it wasn't that bad but I would only recommend this movie to a found footage genre fan." - 2.5 Stars

Lord Battle - "Found footage films require a type of performance that feels non scripted but is also believable and Hooked Up's leads don't just feel like real people, it feels like we know them. With such a strong first and second act I'll forgive the parts I didn't like in the third." - 4 Stars

Huntress - "I'm not one to judge a movie by its bad name, but Hooked Up is not the most promising of titles. In this case, however, it was a pleasant surprise. I was quickly invested in the two main characters, as they traveled to another country and struck out with its women; these guys were pretty close to opposite personality types and it worked. I really didn't know how things were going to sour for them, and I was not disappointed with how it happened. And, now that I think about it, the name works for this movie too. I will definitely admit that I jumped a lot during Hooked Up." -4 Stars

Math Mage - "Slasher/haunted house combo; interesting slasher, decent excuse to keep the camera around (it's dark, so they need a light), predictable twist." - 3 Stars

Trash - "I came into Hooked Up with low expectations -- scratch that, I was forced into seeing Hooked Up as I rolled my eyes and pleaded: "no please, not another". Yet it didn't take long for me to completely change my tone. Hooked Up quickly rises above the gimmick of being a found footage flick shot on a cell phone and gives you a good time with two charismatic guys on their terrible European vacation. The real winners of this movie are the cast; if not for the two leads (Jonah Ehrenreich and Stephen Ohl) I'm not sure this movie would have worked. The guys are so convincing and entertaining, you don't mind watching their iPhone vacation videos. When things go wrong, it's actually pretty freaky; the excellent creepy house setting and a pretty neat supernatural mystery kept me riveted." - 3.5 Stars

The Overlook Theatre Final Rating*
(Below is for after you've seen the film)

The screening of Hooked Up was pretty successful. The humor landed great, and the tension was palpable in the later half of the film. But two things were not clear until after the film ended, the first being The Great Hornito's disappointment. I personally was surprised but after speaking with him it became clear that the third act just lost him completely. The second being that Hooked Up was filmed completely on an iPhone. The reason I'm mentioning this is because Pablo Larcuen (director) talked a bit about the difficulties of pulling off a found footage feature film completely on a phone and I don't think it was worth the trouble. Other than marketing it as the first feature shot on a phone  (To be honest, I did get caught up in the iPhone hype when Tangerine came out) the narrative didn't benefit at all from the style.
By using this unique technique of filming, were you actively trying to subvert or rejuvenate the found-footage sub-genre?

PL - "Not at all. The only reason we filmed it with the phone is because we had no money to rent any equipment. Otherwise we would have shot a different kind of film."
As a film-maker what are the pitfalls you have working within the construct of the iPhone in terms of lighting and framing?

PL - We chose the iPhone because it had the best camera and the most beautiful texture out of all the cameras that we were able to get for free. So, in terms of image (framing, lighting… etc) we didn’t had many problems.
Did you find this process quicker than your average film? Were many re-takes involved?

PL - Because 65% of the film is supposed to be a “fake” sequence shot, we had to do very long takes that involved many people moving in perfect choreography in very narrow spaces. Even though it looks like the two characters are filming the whole thing, we actually had 5 people moving behind the camera: the director of photography (who was also operating the camera), the actor (who was giving his lines and also using his hand on frame), the boom operator, the sound recorder and another person holding a router so we could see the image in a monitor. We rehearsed this choreography for a long time before the shooting.
- Excerpts from an interview with
Pablo Larcuen on VoltureHound

-Lord Battle

The Overlook Theatre materialized in a residence for a special screening on  1/19/2016
*Based on the star ratings turned in by character reviewers, others viewed and got to "Dislike" or "Like" but that does not affect the rating.

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