Next up at Midnight Madness was the Nick Simon directed slasher The Girl In The Photographs about a grocery store clerk named Colleen (Claudia Lee) who becomes the target of a pair of serial killers who like to photograph their victims.
Despite all the talent behind this picture, I felt this effort was decidedly mediocre. There was much said during the Q&A about how unconventional this film was, but I didn't see it. The killers' graphic photograph modus operandi was an interesting hook, but beyond that everything was pretty standard. I suppose the ending was somewhat unique, but that was my least favourite part. I had to think real hard to find a film I enjoyed that ended similarly, so perhaps it came down to personal preference.
It has been a while since I have encountered characters so empty and grating. I imagine that was by design, but that doesn't really work in a slasher movie where you are supposed to be rooting for their survival. The worst of the bunch was Cal Penn as a douchebag photographer named Peter Hemmings, although I must admit – and to paraphrase him in the movie “things are awful, but I'm waiting for things to come back around to good again” - that he did become mildly amusing leading up to the point of his demise. It was sad how much I liked when the movie shifted gears and became extremely violent and bloody, but the characters were so inherent unlikable, it was almost a release. However, I must exclude Claudia Lee in that statement because she made a fine Final Girl.
|Claudia Lee as Colleen in The Girl In The Photographs.|
Being that this film was co-written by Oz Perkins, I find the stark contrast between this and February fascinating. That film had three female characters who were likable, or least sympathetic due to their vulnerabilities, whereas the majority of the people in Girl were obnoxious shells. While it is true Perkins was only one of three writers on the project, I didn't really see anything of him in there. Even the late Wes Craven – who was an executive producer on the film – had more of a presence here, as seen in the opening nod to Scream where Katherine Isabelle appeared in the thankless role of the first victim.
I guess I'm struggling to find what attracted everyone to this project. It is a perfectly functional slasher film, but I can't say that, beyond Lee as the beleaguered Colleen (and some admittedly solid gore effects) there was really anything for me to connect to here.