Film Review: Don’t Look Up (2009)

SYNOPSIS:

Marcus is on the verge of being a washed up horror film director. His first film made him a “wonder kid” however his second film didn’t do so hot. Marcus however doesn’t get his inspiration the way most do, you see Marcus is actually able to see ghosts and their stories which he soon turns into films. One would think Marcus would have it made, however some ghosts simply don’t want their stories to be told.

REVIEW:

Directed by: Fruit Chan
Starring: Reshad Strik, Henry Thomas and Carmen Chaplin

“Cant really say that the film is a remake of Bela Olts last movie because no one has seen his version…”

Here we go yet another foreign horror remake making its way onto the video shelves around the country. I already know what you are thinking but stop for a minute and hear me out. First the film is directed by Fruit Chan, who you might remember from 3 Extremes…. (For real I still haven’t ate a dumpling after watching that)…so sit back and open your mind cause Don’t Look Up really isn’t that bad of a film.

Don’t Look Up starts by letting the viewer know the gypsy legend of Matya, a woman who was killed for having “the devil’s mark”. Matya’s mother was a woman named Chavi who had made a pact with the gypsy Devil Beng that she might find a lover whose wealth and power would make her equally powerful. Beng granted Chavi her wish on one condition that the lover’s first child would belong to him. Matya as you can see was doomed from the beginning. The film then informs the viewer that in 1928 a film maker named Bela Olt was attempting to film Matya’s story, the film however was never finished and Olt went missing. The viewer gets to learn all of this before the movie really even gets going.

When Don’t Look Up does start it is obviously a flashback sequence in which Bela Olt is filming his version (with a cameo by Eli Roth as Bela). The woman who plays Chavi walks towards the camera with a candle and then looks up, when she looks up there is suddenly a crying sound. Bela flips out and pulls the camera off of its tripod and begins to frantically run around hoping that he can capture the image of Matya’s ghost on camera, instead he does see Matya but is caught up in a flood of water that seems to surround the screaming ghost.

When Don’t Look Up starts back up again the viewer is introduced to Marcus. Marcus is a film maker who gets his inspiration from ghosts around him; he has some sort of ESP which allows him to sense things that have happened in the past. Whenever Marcus has one of his episodes however he loses control of his body and spazzes out pretty bad which causes most of his coworkers to think strangely of him. Marcus visits briefly with his ex girlfriend Claire before he goes off to Romania to work on his new project, which is a remake of Bela Olt’s final film, well really it isn’t a remake since all that exists of the original film are some still shots of the woman playing Chavi with a candle. Claire has become very sick and has recently gone through chemotherapy, her brother also isn’t too pleased to see Marcus hanging around his sister and soon Marcus is on his way to Romania to film his movie.

Once again the legend is told about the film, in case you didn’t see it at the beginning and the viewer gets some fun shots of the crew working on the film. One of the more humorous moments in Don’t Look Up involve the group shooting the scene that shows the birth of Matya, the scene is so over the top that it really has to be seen to be believed. It isn’t all fun and games though on the set because soon strange things begin to happen. First there is a strange and foul stench, then the lights keep going out not to mention Marcus keeps having some crazy fits where he see’s an elderly figure who informs him that they are “happy that someone has come to finally make the movie”.

The ghosts in Don’t Look Up are hardly satisfied with parlor tricks however and soon some really strange things begin to happen for instance footage of Olts original film find their way into the dailies of the only scene Marcus has shot that even resembles the original film. Then the deaths start to happen, mostly brought on by swarms of flies or a falling light. Matya was a cursed woman in life, and now it seems that her story might also be cursed to any who try to capture it.


Fruit Chan’s Don’t Look Up really isn’t that bad of a film, but it really isn’t something we haven’t all seen before. Even the “twist” that occurs has been going on for the last ten years or so, so don’t expect to be impressed or even wowed with something you haven’t seen before. That’s not to say that Don’t Look Up is boring, because it really isn’t. The cast is excellent and the set pieces are wonderful pieces of eye candy, with the exception of some very noticeable CGI effects the movie really does look good.

There are a couple scenes for the gore hounds out there including a horrible “tongue splitting” sequence and a shot where a woman’s eye is gouged out. For the most part though Don’t Look Up relies on its scary noises and suddenly something creepy going on before a kill formula that we have all seen before, but Fruit Chan does deliver when it comes to the creepy sequences.

In all Don’t Look Up is an entertaining film that offers some pretty decent scares and some characters that a viewer really can care about; however there really isn’t anything new here.

Don’t Look Up (2009)

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