Based on the film poster and the plot, I was expecting a terrifying thriller where those who had wronged their lovers were hunted down for the ultimate revenge – death by love. Did the film live up to the poster and plot synopsis? Not really. But that didn’t mean it wasn’t worth a watch.
The film is directed well, with some interesting shot choices and plenty of clichéd horror motifs that work for the most part. Directed by the writer Scott Jeffrey, he’s confident in switching between the moods within the film, and whilst he has a habit of relying heavily on changing lighting to display mood, it fits within the tone of the film.
Awkward teenager Faye tries to cast a love spell on her teacher. When her crush is outed to the whole school by a bully, she turns to black magic to summon Cupid and destroy love for everybody in the school.
The concept itself is quite good, and the relationship between the main two teenage girls is realistic – some girls just want to watch the world burn. Unfortunately there were too many subplots thrown in. Scenes with Faye’s mother felt unnecessary, and the awkward scenes between the two teenagers were cringe-worthy. The main plot of bitchy teenagers being hunted down by an evil love god during detention is a simple but great concept, and it would have been better to stand alone.
ACTING | CHARACTERS | DIALOGUE:
Ooff, this is tough. The two young female leads are good, with the bully Elise played by Sarah T Cohen being the stand-out. She gave me flashbacks of my own teaching days and reminded me of one or two girls in particular who I had the displeasure of spending evenings in detention with. There’s some awkward acting from both male love interests – school friend Matt and teacher Mr Jones. But then there is poor Miss Drake who is just not able to deliver her lines convincingly. It doesn’t help that most of her dialogue is clichéd, and maybe her character didn’t have enough depth, but her performance brings every scene down. Another reason a shorter edit could be helpful to the overall film.
VISUAL EFFECTS | MAKEUP | DESIGN:
MUSIC | SCORE | SOUND DESIGN:
Good use of sound and music to bring around the tense approach of Cupid. There is also the interesting use of a heart beat when he is dangerously close which – being Cupid – works well. It just didn’t need the visual computer cue with it…
When the film uses lighting and camera work to portray Cupid, it’s brilliant. Similar to previous low budget horrors Jeepers Creepers and Paranormal Activity, the less you see the better. It’s unfortunate then that the director chooses to give us so many full shots of Cupid, who is clearly a lovely guy in a creepy mask and a costume shop toga. Less is more for this one, and the tense shots involving eyes and arrows are brilliant – as are the scenes showing the poison from Cupid’s arrow. But every shot of blood spatter or cupid himself brings the audience straight out of the moment.
I also loved the animation style at the start of the film, even if it was completely unnecessary.
It’s a real mixed bag of a film. The bits that work well, really work well. There’s a lot of promise, and with a bigger budget and tighter editing, this film had the potential to wow. Unfortunately, by going all in on every element – developing back stories for every character, giving us two separate preludes before eventually getting to the main plot, showing Cupid in his full glory, giving us multiple love stories and triangles – it highlights the low budget and ‘student film’ feel. I wouldn’t recommend it as a watch to anyone but super horror enthusiasts, but I also wouldn’t be surprised to see the creative team behind it come out with bigger and better stuff in the next few years – plenty of promise on show.