Hey gang, valkor here. I gotta give credit to filmmakers who take chances, step outside the box and attempt to take a genre to new heights by doing something out of the norm. If it works, you’re an instant hit. But if you fail… well it’s back to the drawing board. Enter writer/director Richard Anthony Dunford, who is about give horror fans a new perspective of terror with his latest film “POV”. Spoilers... but nothing major.
POV is a horror film shot entirely from the first-person perspective of protagonist Zack (Tom Clear); just out of a messy break up, his buddies decide to take him on a night out to an apartment building under renovation, where they’ll chat, drink and party the evening away to help Zack forget his troubles. The building is not without some creepy history (what dilapidated building doesn’t have its share of ghost stories right?); turns out the previous owner thought the occupants were possessed, so he set the place on fire, killing everyone inside. When the police found him, his eyes were gouged out with the words “I can still see them” scrawled on a wall in his own blood. Well mid party, Zack starts having his own visions and as the night progresses, the visions become more frequent and real. And his friends either become possessed flesh eaters or they walk around in an almost trance state… with their eyes gouged out. Bodies start dropping and all hell breaks loose, with Zack doing his best to get out of this fiasco alive. Has he really been taken over by the building’s curse? Or is there something more to it?
Watching POV reminds me of playing P.T., which I occasionally like to dip into when the mood for something truly disturbing strikes. The two are very similar in that they’re both 1st person and the main character is traipsing through the same area, never really knowing what lurks around the next corner. While the idea worked for P.T., does POV fall under the same umbrella?
The short answer is “yes” with a “but” at the end. The idea of a horror done in first-person isn’t entirely new as V/H/S’s “Amateur Night” was done in a similar fashion, with amazing and startling effect. POV offers up that same level of insanity, in a much longer format but from the eyes of our main character rather than a set of video recording glasses. And the gimmick doesn’t wear thin, but actually enhances the experience, adding an engaging level of unpredictability, which is rare for many a horror films that usually follow a “paint by numbers” format. The plot is very easy to follow as it’s somewhat engaging (more on that later) and once the horrors kick in… prepare yourself for one trippy experience. The entire effect of Zack facing off against these demons is chilling yet cool and exciting and I enjoyed almost every minute of it. The filmmakers should also be commended on the effect works, especially given such a limited budget. I don’t think I’ll sleep all that well in the next couple of days as I still can’t get the images of those people with the gouged out eyes, out of my head! Next up, while the acting isn’t anything to write home about, the performances are well done and carry the film forward towards it climatic end – with a twist! Tom Clear gets props as he pretty much carries the film (hey it’s all about Zack) starting out as down in the dumps from his breakup to frantic friend killer. In the end, POV might take awhile to get started, but when it does prepare for some chills and thrills.
And this is where that "but" kicks in. And that’s the film’s only drawback – that it takes too long to get started; there’s about 40 minutes of dialogue and setup before the action kicks in and much of it is meaningless chatter. I almost called it quits with this one – almost. Definitely tough this one out because there's still plenty of meat on this bone.
Those gouged out eyes! I didn’t wanna sleep anyway!!
POV is available on digital VOD formats through Continuum Motion Pictures as well as “The Horror Show” website. Expect a US DVD release in the not too distant future. However , if you’re looking for a unique horror experience that provides chills and thrills at nearly every turn, then definitely give POV a try. And out of TOV 5 stars, I give the film a 3.5.