First: Really? My father used to have a thing about never patronizing a business that deliberately misspelled its title. I get that. I feel the same way about names that all run together using lowercase letters, as if that makes everything more profound.
Anyway. To sum up: About 70 years ago, the whole population of a tiny New Hampshire town left home and walked a trail that led to the death and/or disappearance of just about everyone. Now, a couple of photographers/writers, along with support staff and a local, attempt to recreate that walk to find out more about the townsfolk’s final days. A horror movie ensues.
The first two-thirds of this movie scared the bejesus out of me. I’m a sucker for excellent sound effects, and even on our lousy home system, the music and sound-related creepiness had me ducking under blankets. And I can’t really talk about the rest of my opinions without a great big spoiler tag, so:
SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER NOW YOU KNOW
So, as everyone went nuts, here’s what happened: really creepy things regarding numbers and map settings and coordinates, which were so cool. I am a complete sucker for that sort of time and location displacement. It’s more effective, scare-wise, for me than a thousand icky deaths. Really, for all that I enjoy horror movies, I don’t enjoy a thousand icky deaths at all. Give me a Session 9 over splatterpunk any day.
I wryly mentioned to Bryant later that of course the male characters, when going insane, became all homicidal, while the female characters became victims. That’s not true, upon reflection. Suicide claimed three of the seven, murder three. A ludicrous stupid inconclusive ending claimed the last. At the same time, the trope from most of horror media remained consistent: when it was time for sharp implements to penetrate people, men were doing it to women (except for the final girl bent on revenge).
(And on a personal note, yes, I found the suicides troubling, but not particularly wrenching among all the other awful things going on. I guess I can say that the acts fit the context, horrible as they were.)
Did I find it worth the $4.99 iTunes rental? I’d say an unqualified “yes,” but the ending turns it into a totally qualified “sorta yes?” Interesting effects, a few fascinating characters, a few compelling performances. Balance that against a few really wooden performances and an ending that made me want to throw things.
So: meh? Wait for Netflix to stream it, maybe. Be aware, though: the ending is just inane.