Review: SX_TAPE


Most gripes falling within the found footage sub-genre of horror tend to be focusing on unlikable characters, the insisting of filming EVERYTHING at all times, and the slow burn of waiting for something to happen. While films like CLOVERFIELD, V/H/S/2 and THE DEN did a great job of breaking those trends, most found footage films, unfortunately, just end up being the same frustrating, completely tired group of cliches. Though the opportunity to take a good look at peoples’ obsession with sex tapes through horror lenses presented itself with Bernard Rose(CANDYMAN)’s SX_TAPE, unfortunately, it fails at that, along with most opportunities it takes on.

Taking a young (and VERY horny) couple, an artist and her always filming boyfriend, SX_TAPE wastes no time in shoving their wanting to get it on anywhere and everywhere right in viewers’ faces, spending the whole first quarter of the film focusing on that, instead of setting up or even establishing them as characters. The found footage sub-genre relies heavily on giving viewers likable characters, making the annoying task of following them via their camera lens worth the time, but SX_TAPE never does that, instead it expects you to sit through 82 minutes of characters you don’t really know (or want to know), who break into an abandoned mental hospital, and well…do nothing.

Very little happens in the film, aside from the occasional (and I do mean occasional) jump scare, a dull first half, and a second half that you’re sadly tuned out of by then. Almost right after heading into the hospital, artist Jill (Caitlyn Folley, THE FP) and her wannabe filmmaker boyfriend Adam (CREEP‘s Ian Duncan) begin to hear things, and Jill begins to bleed steadily from her nose, causing them to (like smart people) immediately leave. When they get outside, their car is towed, and Jill calls a friend and her boyfriend to pick them up, but when the second couple arrive to give Jill and Adam a ride home, they all decide to go back into the hospital in which Jill was hysterically wanting to get out of just minutes before. It’s decisions like that, that makes the film so problematic. You don’t understand why anyone does anything in SX_TAPE, it just never makes sense, and doesn’t even really attempt t0. Jill begins to come onto the abrasive alpha male-like boyfriend of her friend and tells Adam to basically go to hell, then reappears minutes later, trying to be nice.

If all of that sounds uninteresting, well, you’re right to think that. Nothing, aside from the regular found footage horror happenings (jerky camera movements, people in the background, faces popping up on screen), ever happens, the characters just act normal, begin to act odd, then the film continues. While it may seem like it’s the actors’ faults, the problem lies in within the script, as it feels like there really isn’t one. Had there been a well developed script, SX_TAPE might have been able to address some issues with today’s day and age and society’s obsession with wanting to watch EVERYTHING, it just doesn’t address anything other than how to properly leave you wondering why you spent 82 minutes of your life watch yet another POV movie comprised with people who like to film themselves running away from stuff.

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