Sunday, April 1, 2007

How Unfortunate: First Born

First Born
Directed by Isaac Webb
Released direct-to-DVD March 20, 2007

My only reason for renting this film, currently on the shelves at my local Blockbuster, is that I worked two summers ago for a month as an intern at Elevation Filmworks in New York City while Elevation was making this movie. I was extremely curious as to how it would turn out and when it would be released. A few months ago, the news came out that it would be put on DVD without a theatrical release, which I knew couldn't be a great sign.

And unfortunately, the movie is awful. Its quality implies a different kind of film, one which was destined for a DVD-only release (though other such films, like 2005's "Havoc" starring Anne Hathaway, certainly have far better production values). The first is terribly slow, even though it runs only 1 hour and 35 minutes (though the DVD package said 120 minutes??). It is supposed to be a sort of horror/thriller about a woman whose life takes a turn for the bizarre and freaky after she becomes pregnant and moves out of New York City, but it simply succeeds in being a bit too creepy. Most of the time a "jump" scene will be a preceded by a direct shot of whatever the audience is not supposed to see coming so that it is hardly frightening. Elisabeth Shue, great in movies like "Back to the Future II" and "Leaving Las Vegas," is sadly not very good at all, and there is little interesting to say about the rest of the cast. If you watch this movie, just be aware that it is a direct-to-DVD film, which looks and feels a bit too much like there was never any hope to release it in theatres.


(But fast-forward to the credits, and I'm in them! See screen shot above)

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