Blackout (2008)

Blackout_2007_PosterI’m not sure where to start with this film. It has so much potential, but falls short in all aspects. It’s fairly predictable plot and lackluster characters provide little intrigue or mystery to call itself a thriller.

The beginning starts out interesting enough introducing the three main characters. There is widower Karl, whose wife has recently committed suicide; young woman, Claudia, whose grandmother has just been in a terrible accident; and Tommy, a seemingly bad boy, who appears to be escaping his past. These three unlikely people, each with their own personal demons, get stuck in an elevator of a high-rise apartment complex that is currently being renovated. And they don’t have cell phone service. And it’s a holiday weekend. Of course. Sounds like a perfect pitch for the beginning of a thrilling horror movie. But not really.

As time elapses in the elevator, flashbacks reveal intimate details about each individual. I did like this aspect, as it kept my attention and interest, slowly feeding these plot lines. But I was hoping for some interesting pay-off. Instead, all information is placed in our laps without an ounce of creativity or surprise.

Here is a rundown of the characters and each of their stories with spoilers therein (if you can really call them spoilers). Claudia has asthma and is too serious for her own good. Her grandmother gets hit by a car and her last dying request is for Claudia to retrieve a photo of her and her late husband. Tommy is actually a softy for his girlfriend and accidently kills his girlfriend’s drunken father while trying to protect her. So he and his girlfriend plan to run away together. Karl, a sexual deviant, uses his wife’s death (which we obviously know isn’t suicide now) as a pick-up line for women. He plays this innocent act to seduce them and takes them home to create a murderous mess- a mess that needs to be cleaned up. So the trio each have their own serious impending deed that needs their attention. Unfortunately for two of these people, they are trapped in an elevator with a serial killer.

blackout-2008-movie-image-coupleThe movie is about as captivating as that rundown. No buildup what-so-ever. The most interesting scenes are of Karl’s sick and abnormal behavior. But even those short moments are not scary in the least bit. What about the elevator scenes? Certainly the director has created some sort of claustrophobic atmosphere, right? Nope, not at all. *Sigh* …what a disappointment. I didn’t care about these characters or what happened to them. But if you must know, Karl stabs Tommy in the neck and kills him in attempt to rape Claudia. Claudia barely escapes and Karl gets his arm severed and dies in the collapse of the elevator. The end.

It’s hard not to compare this movie with M. Night Shyamalan’s Devil (also being a “stuck in an elevator” movie), but really these two films should not be lumped in the same category. That is the only thing they have in common. Devil is actually scary with an innovative and fresh plot. Blackout doesn’t leave you with much to think about. One good thing I can say is that there were some pretty good special effects- a few captivating visual scenes showing close-up elevator mechanical parts and sweeping views of the building and city. But maybe they should have spent that time and money on a better script. Just saying.

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Blackout (2008) on IMDb

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