Director – Rigoberto Castaneda
Cast – Amber Tamblyn, Aidan Gillen, Armie Hammer, Katie Stuart, Eloisa Bennetts
Release Year – 2007
Reviewed by John of the Dead
This is a flick that I expected to like despite its DTV release, but I was wrong. Why did I expect to like this film? Well its plot is a claustrophobic one, and its low number of characters means the conflict most likely has to come from the characters themselves, which I usually find enjoyment in. Unfortunately, poor execution and equally poor writing kept this film from becoming anything special.
Blackout follows three different people from three different walks of life who become trapped in a stuck elevator. They realize that this event falls on a holiday, which means no one will come to their rescue. That is the least of their worries, however, when the tension of their grave situation gets the best of them.
How often do we see a film with an interesting plot that just fails in the end? I see it a lot, and I saw it with this film. The fact that nearly the entire film takes place in an elevator is a great way to give us a claustrophobic feel throughout the film, which is quite scary in its own right if the viewer were to be put in that situation. Many good things can come from this scenario, but despite a few glimpses of hope this claustrophobic element was never used to full or even partial potential.
As I mentioned earlier, we have a small number of characters in this film, namely the three characters that are stuck in the elevator together. Because of this, we are forced to receive about 90 percent of the conflict from the characters themselves, which was good and bad. It was good because in a claustrophobic situation there really is no other way to achieve proper conflict, and it was bad because it was simply poorly written. I never found myself caring for any of the characters, especially our lead character Claudia(Amber Tamblyn), whom I was supposed to care for. I guess I can credit this film for making me dislike the characters I was supposed to dislike, but that may be by default instead of creativity. I did however enjoy the storylined sub-plots for each character, showing the conflict they personally were going through and how being stuck in the elevator had great potential to ruin all of their lives. It was good for character development, and for explaining some of their actions.
Overall, this is a poor watch that had much potential but fails due to lack of direction and poor execution. I say skip this one.