Hey Wolfman, looks like someone finally made a movie about you! Ya know, because you’re a stupid loser who has no friends and nobody likes and you smell like shit and are a stupid asshole so no one ever wants to talk to you! Hahahaha, classic burn, Wolf–wait, I’m Wolfman. Shit. The only thing I really knew about Antisocial is that it’s playing at Fantasia International Film Festival and that at some point, a girl is covered in blood and looks at her computer. What else do you need to know when it comes to movie watching?! Sometimes it really is best to go into a movie completely blind and have no preconceived notion. Oh yeah, I also watched this movie because I thought maybe it was about me because I’m a stupid asshole and no one ever wants to talk to me.
See?! I told you that this shot was in the movie! Stop calling me a liar!
Two young girls are making a video log, or “vlog” as the kids these days are calling them, about the clothes they bought at the shopping center, or “mall” as the kids these days are calling them. Suddenly, one of the girls freaks out, bleeding from the face, and the other girl murders her in self defense. KIDS TODAY, AM I RIGHT?! Meanwhile, Sam (Michelle Mylett) is broken up with by her boyfriend and word quickly travels through social media, making her feel really down in the dumps. This only makes Mark (Cody Thompson) push harder to get Sam to come to his New Year’s Eve party, which she reluctantly decides to attend. While at the party, she has a good time, despite most of the other party-goers constantly updating their social networking profiles that are absolutely NOT Facebook. Word starts spreading across this not Facebook website, as well as actual news outlets, about people erupting into violence across the country and no one can figure out why. As these friends start checking their sites, we learn that there’s some sort of subliminal signal coming through the site that’s starting to make the friends act bonkers. As the friends barricade themselves inside the house, and as details start to emerge about what’s actually going on, this group of friends has to make the important decision of waiting out what could be happening, facing the dangers outside the house, or deal with the dangers in the house.
And here’s Cody Thompson doing his best impression of Charlotte Gainsbourg in Antichrist.
I hate it when I have to do this, but sometimes I can’t help pointing out when a movie feels like an amalgam of other movies that have come before it. The mysterious nature of all of the people becoming “rage infected”, for lack of a better term, and how it tied into technology reminded me a lot of The Signal. We know that the social networking sites played a role in what was going on, or maybe it was just computers and phones in general, but clearly Antisocial was trying to say something about the addictive nature of social media, as opposed to The Signal, which really never gave you an answer for why the events in that film were happening. The claustrophobic nature of all of these friends being in this one house and watching the events unfold in the outside world felt really similar to Pontypool, which relied only on outside sources when it came to figuring out what was happening. Not only is it an interesting way of watching events unfold, it also works well for a film that has a lower budget and can’t afford to show the larger scale of an epidemic, so that’s another thing that worked in Antisocial‘s favor. Unfortunately, rather than let the “infection” be a mystery, we had the answers of why these things were happening explained to us, so once that explanation came to us, the movie took a turn towards Pulse territory and the combination of technology and something supernatural. Granted, Antisocial didn’t claim that ghosts or anything were taking over these people, just the matter-of-fact explanation of everything made it all seem a little ridiculous. I did think they attempted a somewhat “scientific” approach towards the justification of what had happened, which I appreciated it, but I also thought there would have been more to enjoy had the explanation been left in the viewers hands. Even though the ending does get a little bit silly towards the end of the film with the “cure” that is achieved for whatever madness these people have been stricken with, there’s also a few decent gore effects towards the end as well. Those effects were a welcome addition to a movie that was relatively devoid of gore, and it was good to see a handful of them in quick succession. If you’re a fan of any of the movies I’ve listed, Antisocial might be worth checking out to see how this film was influenced by them, and if nothing else, maybe it will cause you to revisit them.
Wolfman Moon Scale