Movie Review: #SCREAMERS (2016)

#SCREAMERS is the new horror film from director Dean Ronalds and actor/writer/producer Tom Malloy, who also stars in the movie. Ronalds and Malloy actually co-wrote the fresh take on found footage story together. The film is being released through Dread Central Presents, the genre label from Epic Pictures.

It may not be a popular opinion, but I personally enjoy found footage films and have discovered some indie gems over the years like Grave Encounters and Hell House, LLC.  Other than being from the same subgenre, I think #SCREAMERS shares several similarities with found footage darling, The Blair Witch Project. I feel that the acting style and stories are also similar. Don’t freak out Blair Witch kids, but I believe that #SCREAMERS ultimately delivers more scares than The Blair Witch Project.

#SCREAMERS tells the tale of best friends and entrepreneurs Tom (Malloy) and Chris (Chris Bannow) who launch the social media site Gigaler, which is like a more personalized version of Youtube.  They’ve built a base of subscribers and hope to increase traffic on the site by posting unusual and enticing videos that are submitted either by members of the site or anonymously. Gigaler’s curator Griffin (Griffin Matthews) receives a strange jump scare video, they call a “screamer”, from an anonymous source that quickly goes viral.

As most of us have learned, not everything on the internet remains anonymous.  When they receive a second video, Tom and Chris ask their Programmer Abbi (Abbi Snee) to track the source of the videos because they want to contract with the creators. Abbi is able to procure a phone number and address where the videos originated from. When Tom speaks with the woman at the other end of the phone, and who also appears to be the woman in the videos, the Gigaler team is led down a terrifying rabbit hole involving a missing girl and a legendary serial killer.

The honest and intimate portrayals in the film made me feel like I was experiencing #SCREAMERS in real time with real people; so when Tom, Chris, Griffin, and Abbi decide to jump in the car and confront the creators of the screamer videos, I had an immediate feeling of dread.

In the end, Tom’s obsession with the woman behind the voice on the phone determines the fate of everyone around him and makes #SCREAMERS feel like a journey into digital madness. It’s up to you to watch the film and decide what is real. #SCREAMERSarrives in select theaters on April 5th and on digital and on demand April 17th through Dread Central Presents.

Michelle Swope
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