Hooked Up (2015) – By Kirsten Walsh

First, I want to point out, I hate found footage films. They are extremely overplayed and now, they are extremely overdone. Also, I tend to get motion sickness fairly easily. I still gave this one a chance.

“Tonio and Peter, two young Americans, travel to Barcelona to party and, above all, to score with women. During their very first night out partying, they meet some girls that they go home with. There, things will take an unexpected turn. With no possibility of escape, they must face their worse nightmares.”

Not only are the two young men (played by Jonah Ehrenreich and Stephen Ohl) chauvinistic, but they are ruthless with the camera (which, by the way, is an iPhone). This film could have done without the first fifteen minutes, which consists of the two explaining that one of the guys is broken hearted over his ex, buying plane tickets, and getting on a plane to head to Barcelona. With a sense of innocence, the guys go home with two girls they meet while partying, and hell ensues- almost literally. Secrets come out, knives start flying (well, being carried), and for some reason, the ghost-possessed-girl wears a mask like the one from “Valentine” (with David Boreanz).

Put yourself in the shoes of the young men. Would you continue to carry an iPhone (or any camera for that matter) around while you were getting chased by a ghost who has possessed a girl, bit in the nether regions, or discovering that all of the windows in the house have planks of wood over them and barbed wire? Probably not. So why do these two? Honestly….

Pulling inspiration from films like “Hostel” and “Turistas”, this film capitalizes on the stupidity of American tourists who do not protect themselves. The characters make poor choices throughout the film- like “let’s stay and fight the crazy woman with a knife” and “there’s three of us and one of her”. Had this film come out in the 2004-2007 push of horror films, it might have had a better chance. However, now, found footage is dying, as well as the travelling films.

The sound for the overall film relies on real life sound effects within the scene, which is interesting, but the mix is not balanced for an audience, it is balanced as if it was just the phone recording it. There are moments where it peaks and blows out the sound quality, and others where the fumbling of the boys overtakes the audio. Does it give a realistic approach? Slightly, but it also alienates itself from being a film.

The special effects are decent throughout the film- one of my favorite parts. Carvings, bites, and stabbings all look pretty pro. As the film progresses, the gore becomes more and more just a part of the characters, as they are continuously attacked by a possessed girl.

I wouldn’t say that there is a twist ending, but it definitely fit the film. It touches on the theme of death and what people can do when they are put through extreme strife and suffering. The end of the film was the best part (the last 10 minutes or so).

Would I watch this film again? No. Definitely not. But if I did, I would probably be screaming at the screen the whole time- “STOP RECORDING WITH AN IPHONE AND CALL THE POLICE WITH IT!”

Find out more about this film on IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3160020