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REALITY KILLS

Iím sure there exists a great horror movie about the reality TV phenomenon.  REALITY KILLS, however, isnít it!

The Package 
     This 2002 film, which plays off the formula of BIG BROTHER and other recent reality television programs, at least has an impressive pedigree.  It was co-produced, appropriately enough, by John Langley, the creator of COPS, which is viewed by many as the show that kicked off the reality trend.  The director was the talented (though highly erratic) Canadian Rafael Zelinsky, whose many low budget feats include SCREWBALLS (1983) and FUN (1994).  As for REALITY KILLSí largely unknown cast, the less said the better!

The Story
     TRUE LIVINí is a top rated reality TV program in which seven people are pitted against each other in an isolated setting.  For TRUE LIVINíS latest season, the locale is an isolated barn where a past massacre is rumored to have taken place.
     Among the twentysomething contestants are the wannabe actress Serendipity, the DJ Crash, the lesbian Gar and the apparently virginal Charlotte.  All initially clash, and than the gals begin pairing off with the guys--all but Charlotte, who it seems will remain forever a virgin, and Crash, who nobody can stand.  The latter is inevitably voted off in the first elimination round, and isnít at all happy about it!
     But then the body of a cameraman is found hanging in the barn, and chaos takes over.  Everybody begins turning on everybody else as suspicion for the killing runs rampant and paranoia takes over.  In the meantime more bodies are discovered.  Clearly one of the participants (or possibly even two) is responsible...and the body count continues to rise.

The Direction 
     The biggest problem with this shot-on-handheld-video production is that it emulates its real life forebears (BIG BROTHER, etc.) too closely.  This means all the characters are annoying twerps with whom itís impossible to sympathize.  Nor does the film improve any once the killing starts; it turns from an irritating gab fest into an even more grating BLAIR WITCH-like swirl of screaming and shouting, with a ďsurpriseĒ ending thatís not especially surprising or satisfying.
     Rafael Zelinsky is capable of far better than this.  The pic, aside from satirizing reality television, is very much in the mode of the hipper-than-thou SCREAM films, with constant nods to past horror movies (including a somewhat witty BLAIR WITCH reference).  The results are dull and irritating by turns, but never especially scary or entertaining.
 

Vital Statistics 

REALITY KILLS [REALITY CHECK]
Xenon Pictures Inc.
 

Director: Rafael Zelinsky
Producers: John Langley, Maggie Langley
Screenplay: Brent Askari, Chum Langhorne
Cinematography: Sead Mutarevic
Editing: Eric Chase
Case: Vanessa Christelle, Natalia Cigliuti, Timothy Lee DePriest, Nate Dushku, Kym Hoy, Kalil Kane, Courtney Peldon, Sticky Fingaz
 


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