Monday, October 28, 2013

Among Friends Movie Review – A Killer Party?

Runtime: 87 minutes
Release Date: August 27, 2013
Rating: R
Director: Danielle Harris

Danielle Harris finally steps behind the camera, and her first outing is...okay.

Among Friends opens with shots of various men and woman getting dressed up for a party at their friend Bernadette's house. Three men and three women eventually reach the party thanks to the help of a limousine driver played by Kane Hodder. They share a few drinks, but when they sit down, they realize that they can't move. By the time they realize that they're paralyzed, they also realize that Bernadette is whacked in the head.

It turns out that Bernadette brought them all there for a little vengeance. From the hidden cameras she installed in her home, she knows all their dirty little secrets, and she enjoys rubbing salt in their wounds. They each receive a special present from her that somehow relates to their secret. She knows that one of the men raped one of his friends, that three of them engaged in a threesome, and that one masturbated while watching two of his friends have sex.

Bernadette also reveals that their missing friend Lily came to her with a secret. After her "friend" raped her, she learned she was pregnant and asked Bernadette to take her to the abortion clinic. Bernadette decides that each of the people should be punished for what they did wrong, and she is the one who should dole out the punishments.

Among Friends had an interesting concept, and I think it could have been a much better movie than it was. Jennifer Blanc and Brianne Davi were two of the standouts in the movie. Blanc portrays one third of the three some group, and she does a great job sitting at a table as her friend throws her past in the face. When Bernadette gives her the option to be punished or let a friend take her place, you can actually believe the dilemma she faces. Davis is just as good, playing an actress who trips during the entire dinner party. She believes that she's on the set of a film and confuses the people at the table with other actors.

If you read the box, you'll see Harris listed as a "scream queen" on the front of the box. While she does appear in the film, it's in a brief blink and you'll miss it scene. Those who remember her from the Halloween series will get a kick out of seeing a grown up Harris dressed in a red-and-white clown costume.

Among Friends doesn't really have any major issues, but it seemed slow at times. Bernadette is the perfect crazy chick, but we don't get any real motivation for why she does what she does. Raping a friend is a horrible thing, but is that what really caused her to snap? She already had cameras scattered around her house, and it's clear that she tracked her friends for years. We never learn why she went crazy, why she picked this night to enact her vengeance, or even why she didn't just convince Lily to go to the cops. While entertaining at times, Among Friends just left a number of unanswered questions behind.

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