'Chain Letter (Unrated)'
(Nikki Reed, Keith David, Brad Dourif, Betsy Russell, Michael J. Pagan, et al / DVD / R / 2011 / IMAGE Entertainment One)
Overview: Six high school friends are bound together again by a sinister chain letter passing into their lives through e-mails and text messages. If the deadly letter isn’t passed on, the recipient faces a grisly, unexpected death – and nothing can stop it. As time runs out and the deadly letter’s rules become more challenging, the survivors must untangle the chilling secret – or die trying.
DVD Verdict: In this age of e-mail, texting, tweeting and twittering, it's inevitable that screenwriters utilize this media as warnings about invasion of privacy and our loss of face to face communication. 'Chain Letter' is one such movie.
And yes, I know there's a huge submarket that lives for gory horror, but I suppose I'm the purist who thinks any gore should support the story, and not be an end desired unto itself. There's several scenes of gore in this film that exist merely to evoke a certain reaction from the audience, but serve no role in developing either the characters or the story.
Sadly, the execution is pedestrian, shallow and only mildly interesting.
The 20-something "teens" as usual aren't appealing and the motivation for their gruesome deaths is left hanging and merely serves as a prelude to the inevitable sequel.
Horror vets Brad Dourif, Keith David and Betsy Russell get paychecks for their cliche roles but are unremarkable! I was involved up until its ridiculous ending - the final nail in the coffin, so to speak! [MB] This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.35:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Feature of: