I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this but I absolutely love the found-footage genre. Even though it may be gimmicky, found footage films suck me in and make me stay until the very end.
Hooked Up comes from newcomer director Pablo Larcuen and was filmed entirely on an iPhone. I can definitely give Mr. Larcuen an ‘A’ for effort but…his enthusiasm for the concept does not carry the film in all regards.
Tonio and Peter are friends who decide to trek to Barcelona to get completely wasted, chase girls, and allow Peter to get over his ex-girlfriend Lisa. The two friends hop on a plane, and after some partying and heavy drinking, we’re already twenty minutes into the film. The first act is a bit of drag. But things begin to pick up when the friends finally hit up a nightclub. Tonio and Peter meet two girls there; Katia, who looks way out of Peter’s league, and Noemi, who is so sloppy drunk. Tonio doesn’t have any morals, though, so this is not a deterrent.The guys accompany their new lady friends back to Katia’s grandparents’ apartment building since Tonio and Peter only have one bed in their hotel. Upon arrival, the guys are trying to get right into some good old-fashioned sex but things soon take a turn for the worse. The gents want to leave but there’s a masked psychotic woman who has them trapped in the building.
So, it sounds like REC but it’s not…it’s just one woman against two men. There are a couple of problems that arise within the first thirty minutes alone. However, my biggest issue with the picture is that it was filmed with an iPhone. When all these terrible things start to occur, it would have been really easy to use it to call the police. Unfortunately, Tonio previously took the SIM card out of his cell phone. Of course, he did.
The script for the film is not great and I can live with that for the most part but how could someone be so dumb as to travel to a foreign country without the benefit of a working phone! That just didn’t make much sense and it kind of pissed me off. Not to nitpick but on top of that, Tonio was recording for far longer than his battery would realistically hold out.
There were only four characters in the film and performance-wise, they did a decent job, minus a few instances of bad dialogue.
I gave this film a lot of slack because it’s a micro-budget project and it’s clear that a lot of passion went into it. And truthfully, it’s not that bad. I was actually impressed that the video quality wasn’t as bad as I had expected. The direction isn’t half bad. It seems that Pablo Larcuen is a fan of the found-footage genre and his enthusiasm shows through.
I would suggest giving this film a chance if you’re a fan of found-footage horror and aren’t already sick of the whole I-thought-I-was-getting-sex-but-oh-no-I’m-trapped-in-the-house-with-a-psycho sub-genre. You’re bound to find some entertainment value in the film but will undoubtedly notice that it doesn’t really bring anything new to the table. Hooked Up is now available on DVD and VOD.
WICKED RATING: [usr 3]
Title: Hooked Up
Director: Pablo Larcuen
Writer(s): Pablo Larcuen
Stars: Jonah Ehrenreich, Júlia Molins
Release Date: April 7, 2015
Studio/ Production Co: Ombra Films
Length: 90 Minutes
Sub-Genre: Horror, Comedy, Thriller