If you are an independent filmmaker it’s an important and exciting step to get your story out there. I commend every person that ever makes such a step, and get’s their movie made, and “out there” for people to see. However when doing so, taking such a gamble it’s important that you show the audiences something they not only want to see, but something significantly different, after all one of the big plus points of being an indie filmmaker is that you do not have to comply with convention, isn’t it?
Seven twentysomethings are heading for Las Vegas for a wild weekend. Having been steered on a detour, the wheels on their vehicle blow out, and they find themselves trapped in the middle of nowhere. Isolated from everything they are familiar with they stumble upon a diner/repair shop/motel ran by some incredibly friendly young guys. Accepting their help, and friendship was the first big mistake these holidaying kids made.
I hate to write negative things about movies, especially when they are of the independant variety because it's often more than just finance that is on the line, but with The Helpers I simply cannot help myself, this move is truly dreadful.
Things start roughly when we are shown exactly the same distance shot of a vehicle several times, expected to believe it is a different shot. Then we have the rather irritating found footage element, where one of the characters films everything that happens, rather annoyingly this includes the white scored out frame and the word REC (for record) every time we see through the camera.
You stay with the movie because you want to see what is happening, when we are introduced to the movies villains, you really do wonder what is their agenda. It’s all downhill from here however, laboriously drawn out sequences with loathsome individuals, overly friendly serial killers, a sickening Scooby Doo type reveal at the end with elements that some idiot thought were valid points to expose, but were in fact ridiculous. As the movie reaches its final 20 minutes, you get a real feeling of improvisation, and not in a good way.
The Helpers is horror for the lowest common denominator, if elements such as logic are popular in your list of demands in a movie, this is clearly one to avoid. Rather interestingly if you visit the IMDB page for this movie it seems to be missing a writer, and maybe there is a big clue here as to why the movie is so bad.
In praise I must say, that the move is at times beautifully shot, quick fleeting images of the motel shot at speed from the distance is a really nice touch. Killings are filmed from nice angles. But sadly the good points are buried under a legacy of bad ones.
It’s possible to deliver a torture porn/motel killer movie with a great purpose, Psycho, Vacancy, Shadow and even recent additions like Vile have these elements, sadly The Helpers will not be a movie to add to the list.
Expect The Helpers to jump out on some budget DVD label next year.