Like Night Trap without the musical numbers… or vampires… or traps.
14 Cameras (2018): 4 out of 10: In the direct sequel to 13 Cameras our creepy stalker guy kidnaps some women and spies on an average family on vacation. That’s it.
The Good: First, this is not a found footage film. Thank God. It really would have been easy to imagine this as such, so let us all be thankful that at least the filmmakers didn’t do that.
Also, my wife liked this film. She isn’t asking for the 4k Ultra Blu-ray release for Christmas or anything, but she genuinely enjoyed it to the point that she asked if we could watch the first one. Wifey doesn’t like horror movies as a rule. She likes true crime thrillers, however. And she is turning into one of those white suburban women who are convinced that there are swarthy men in vans looking to kidnap them from Sephora. I can see this as a film that feeds into various suburban paranoia about vacation rentals and Airbnb.
The Bad: I know this is a matter of taste to a point, but lead bad guy Neville Archambault just doesn’t do it for me. Don’t get me wrong, he is a grade-A creepy. But that is all he is. He isn’t particularly frightening, and he isn’t entertaining. He is kind of dull.
Speaking of dull, our victims are dull as dishwater. I know that we are supposed to seeing a regular family (husband, wife, daughter, son, and daughter’s female college friend) spend a week in a nice house in the middle of nowhere. But good lord these people are dull, their vacation is dull (they do nothing and go nowhere), and the “drama” is dull. I am not saying they should be the Lannisters, but who would watch these people on purpose?
There are also some kidnapped girls outside the family, but their origin story is botched and I do not understand why they were kidnapped or who they are? They only seem to be there to reinforce the fears of the suburban housewife viewers. They are not there for any exploitation, mind you.
In fact, God forbid if 14 Cameras exploits anyone in a voyeur and kidnap horror movie. The only nudity is a dull brief shower scene with the daughter while our murdering, kidnapping, voyeur bad guy never gets around to molesting any of his women. To put this in perspective, 14 Cameras has the same amount of nudity as the Molly Ringwald/ John Hughes comedy Sixteen Candles and less rape.
The Ugly: Bad acting abounds. The dad in the movie was an easy lead as the worst actor/ written character of the bunch… well until a patrol officer showed up at the end to ham it up so awful it takes you right out of the film.
A lot of this movie comprises our bad guy doing the kind of filler that used to be in the Jackass movies between stunts (I dare you to use this toothbrush) with the rest of the cast more unwilling Fear Factor contestants than actual characters.
In conclusion: We have all had the experience where we were skeeved out by a less than clean hotel room. If you want to relive that in the dullest manner possible, this is your film.