Sunday, October 14, 2012

Choose Movie Review

Runtime: 83 minutes
Director: Marcus Graves
Rating: R
Release Date: March 16, 2011

Choose opens with a typical teenage girl chatting online with her friend. When her dad interrupts their chat, her friend signs off and she gets ready for bed. A few hours later, she hears a noise coming from her parents’ room and goes into check on them. A masked man grabs her from behind and gives her the ultimate choice: kill her mom or kill her dad. After she makes her choice, it jumps into the main plot of the movie. Oh, and did I mention that this all takes place in the first five minutes?

If you think that beginning sounds a little like Scream, hold on because the connections just keep coming. Fiona (Katheryn Winnick, Killers) lost her mom and has a fractured relationship with her father. Her mother died a few years before, committing suicide in a motel swimming pool. She left behind a note, warning her daughter that life has choices. Do you see where this is going?

Fiona’s dad, Tom (Kevin Pollak, The Usual Suspects) is conveniently the sheriff, while Fiona is a college journalists who dreams of being a star reporter. He and his partner Benson (Richard Short, American Horror Story) are investigating the murders, and he just wants his daughter to stay away. Bruce Dern (Silent Running) also shows up as a doctor who is the connection between the killer and the reason for his killings.

You cannot help comparing Choose with Scream even if you overlook the earlier things. There’s one scene where Fiona sits in a crowded library and an unknown figure suddenly pops up and stars IM-ing her about her mother’s death. Hm, I seem to remember a similar scene in Scream 2.

That might sound like I didn’t enjoy Choose, which isn’t true. Unlike other horror movies where you have to sit through way too much exposition before the murders start happening, this one never lets up. The killer goes from victim to victim, seemingly picking people at random, and it isn’t until the end that you learn why. There’s the pianist who has to choose between losing his fingers or his hearing, and the model who has to choose between her looks or her sight. Any film that can make me blanch a little is one worth watching.

Pollak is probably the best actor in the movie. Granted, he might not be the first actor you reach for when making a horror movie, but damn if he isn’t good. He somehow makes you believe that he genuinely cares about his daughter, while at the same time make you wonder if he has something to do with the murders. Choose begins to get a little predictable towards the end, and there are some things that feel reminiscent of other movies, but it still has a solid plot that kept me entertained.

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