Hey folks, Valkor here. And I'm bringing you number 9 in TOV's 15 films of horror. Though this next film, I wouldn't exactly call it a horror, but definitely one you can add to the mix because it has some elements of suspense with a hint of a chill factor. Coming up is Messages Deleted, directed by Rob Cowan.
Messages Deleted stars Matthew Lillard as Joel Brandt, a struggling screenwriter now teaching advanced screenwriting at a university. One day he comes home and there's a weird message from a guy asking for him and if he doesn't answer he's going to be killed. Joel automatically believes the message is a prank by his friend Adam (Michael Eklund), whom he calls and Adam says "Hey! Wasn't me!" When Joel visits his girlfriend Claire (Chiara Zanni) at the café where she works, a body falls from the sky between them. It's revealed that the body is the person whom made the call and now Joel is caught up in a game where someone is playing out one of his scripts, killing people at random and the whole thing being pinned on him. Hot on the case is Detective Lavery (Deborah Kara Unger), who doesn't believe anything Joel has to say at first, but she's soon listening when a second body is found, done in the same M.O. With the cops hot on his trail, Joel must do what he can to find out who's behind it all and why it's happening.
The film is touted as being written by the guy who wrote Phone Booth and Cellular. If Messages Deleted is a part of this trilogy, then I'd have to say "Yea… that sounds about right" because…
Messages Deleted isn't that bad, it's actually a nice mystery with a decent amount of suspense tossed in. I didn't think I'd like it, but it won me over in the end. Speaking of which, the ending has a nice enough twist to it, especially how it all plays out. I loved the pacing of the film, which was quick enough to keep me interested; definitely not one of those "check your watch… OH MY GOD! It's still going!" types. You know what I'm talkin about. Matthew Lillard, great in Scooby-Doo… actually his Shaggy was the best thing about Scooby-Doo, but in this film he may have hammed it up a bit too much, comin off a little Shia Labeouf-esque, but still enjoyable nonetheless. I can't forget Gina Holden as his student Millie; so cute, so yummy. But hands down best overall goes to Deborah Unger, whose character is not only strong, but sexy.
The film is too, by the numbers – you know what's going to happen even before it happens. Way too predictable. That is until you reach the end and thrown for a bit of a loop. It's not a jaw-dropping ending, but it works.
I was impressed with Messages Deleted and I think a lot of you out there might get a kick out of it. It's a fun thriller you can sink your teeth into and it has an ending that's both shocking and enjoyable. Out of TOV 5 stars, I gotta give Messages Deleted a 3 and it's been Valkor tested and TOV Approved.