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Hack!

Directed by Directed by Matt Flynn

Written by Written by Matt Flynn

Starring Starring Danica McKellar, Lochlyn Munro, Jay Kenneth Johnson, Juliet Landau

Produced by Produced by Brian Hartman Sean kanan, Mike Wittlin

Rated R

100 mins

**


Hack is one of those strange movies that I have absolutely no idea what to say about it.

But before I get into the commentary, let me introduce you to the plot and give you a better idea of why I’m so downright baffled by this thing. Basically, a biology major is leading a group of stereotypical college students on an extra-credit excursion to an island owned by a couple of horror movie buffs who pretty much meet every convention you’d expect of horror movie buffs. Specifically, they’re completely insane. And they’re working on a little project of their own—a horror movie.

Guess who gets to play the victims!

I spent literally the entirety of Hack! on a roller coaster ride of sorts, where my respect for the movie dropped (ugh, just what I need—yet another horny coeds get slashed movie) and then climbed (tell me I didn’t just see someone take an oversized croquet mallet to the head!) and then dropped (someone please tell me why the flaming Asian guy is singing Fame in the middle of the woods) and then finally got on this strange rickety track where it would go up and down in rapid oscillations until, finally, the movie was over.

My reaction to Hack! was like one of those weird YouTube videos you see every so often where someone’s facial expressions change so rapidly you almost can’t follow them.

This, of course, makes for a big problem for me. I’m supposed to tell you what I thought of this—and I certainly did that—but I’m also supposed to tell you whether or not you should go see it yourself. And for the life of me, I can’t tell you either way.

I can’t tell you that Hack! was a good movie. It spent a lot of time being derivative—even the characters would call events taking place in the film thus. It spent a lot of time insulting my intelligence—thank you for specifically killing off the promiscuous and the drug-users, guys; I love it when writers make their films exactly according to Randy from Scream’s rules.

And yet, it gave me some good laughs and a couple good scares. These are not hallmarks of a bad film. Bad movies usually don’t make me laugh and they almost never make me jump.

This of course adds up to one inexorable conclusion: man am I ever glad I put the two-star rating in place. Seriously, that’s what this sucker is—a prime on-the-hoof example of a two-star movie if I’ve ever seen one.

The ending is, much like the rest of the movie, solidly not bad. It’s entertaining, yet it’s already been done. They’ll even cite the movie from which it was stolen! It was Dead Calm.

The special features include Spanish subtitles and a trailer for Hack!

All in all, if you’re looking for a movie that takes way too many lessons from the past and applies them haphazardly to the future, and includes some good laughs and scares, then Hack! will make a good rental. But if you have no taste for cliche, then Hack! is a total loss.

Steve Anderson is a film critic who collects action figures so he can dress them up as his favorite horror villains. He lives somewhere in the United States.


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