See Jane Run

Year: 2007
Director: Ryan Webb
Cast: Jennifer Clary, Sasha Andrew, Joe Estevez, John Rodriguez, Kevin Harberer

Taking its title from the popular children's basils "Dick and Jane" is a clever little idea; the only problem is we never actually see Jane run. In fact, we don't see Jane do much of anything except whine, look mopey, and, overall, be a real party pooper.

The plot of this film is about as clich├ęd as it gets in the slasher genre: a group of friends are traveling through the country, decide it is a good idea to pick up a hitchhiker, get lured into going to a barbecue restaurant (which is actually a house) and begin to get killed off one by one by the madman living there. Yes, sounds almost exactly like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, doesn't it? Only one problem...this film isn't nowhere near as effective.

First, Jane is supposed to be our heroine, yet she is extremely annoying, whining about anything and everything and is obviously suffering from some sort of social anxiety disorder that is never really explained. This makes it impossible to root for her or to really care what happens to her. Secondly, the friends are assured that the place they are being sent to is the "best barbecue restaurant in the state of Texas," yet when they pull up IT'S A FRICKIN HOUSE!! I mean, a real house in the middle of a suburban neighborhood! I don't know about you, but that would be my first clue that something is not right. I certainly wouldn't go to the door expecting to be served barbecue, but that is exactly what the four of them do. Even worse, it's actually a really nice house, taking away any hope of the setting providing creepy atmosphere. Run down crappy house in middle of nowhere=scary. Nice, new suburban house with awesome landscaping, cool backyard patio, and nice looking neighbors close by=not scary. Even worse yet, the killer is completely not intimidating or scary in the least. Think of Jerry Seinfeld as a serial killer. Nothing remotely scary about it, is there? He wears no mask, is not huge and stocky, and acts pretty normal (you know, despite the killing part). Again, like so many of these films, the ending is completely predictable once we establish that Jane is our heroine (as lousy of one as she is), though the last 20 minutes of the film consist of her being tied to a chair. Oh...she almost gets rescued by a jogger (yeah, when a passing jogger can here your victim tied to a chair in your garage, you know you haven't selected your location wisely).

The positive thing about this film is that it is gorier than what I thought it would be. Not that I am a huge gorehound, but when pretty much everything else about the film sucks, it's a nice surprise. The blood flows here in gallons, and for being such a wussy looking killer, the guy actually is pretty brutal with his weapons.

Overall, this film is a lame rip-off of "TCM" and countless other films that COULD have been creepy and effective, but the filmmakers seem hellbent on doing everything they could to make it NOT creepy and effective. Even The Butcher, another recent DTV slasher film with a very similar plot was able to get the setting/atmosphere right. This was just a real let down.

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