Indy Film Fest: All the Wrong Friends
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In the thriller genre, it’s increasingly more difficult to wow audiences and get the type of response most such films set out to invoke. Too many times, thrillers unfortunately stay too true to traditional formulas and offer nothing new. That is the case with “All the Wrong Friends.”
A group of friends heads out to a music festival. But when two other pals unexpectedly hitch a ride and the group makes an unscheduled stop, thoughts of a fun-filled weekend trip are replaced by a single thought when they find a dead body: Survive.
The core idea of the film could have been something really intriguing, but everything quickly becomes a cliché or stereotype and you quickly find yourself not caring about any of the characters except perhaps Alison (Brina Palencia), an injured hiker who shows up with her brother on the friends’ doorstep. Her character has a reason for her actions and passion behind her emotions when things begin to fall apart.
What’s even more maddening is the fact that once we learn the killer’s identity, no motive is provided. Are they trying to escape a bad relationship? Is it a love triangle? We get nothing along the line of a motive except, “It’s nothing personal. I’m just cleaning up.” Cleaning up what? The witnesses? OK, I get that, but why did they kill the first person in the first place?
The thing I love about “All the Wrong Friends” is that it is the first feature from Southern Methodist University’s Summer Film Production Program. Filmed over the course of 12 days by a crew of 20 students, it could be the start of something big for the program. And for a lover of film, anything that gets people creating new flicks we all can enjoy is great thing in my book.
Even though “All the Wrong Friends” misses an opportunity due to its stereotypical characters, flat plot and stiff dialogue, it at least serves as a launchpad for a budding summer film program at SMU.