If it’s not broke, don’t try to fix it. That was a motto the filmmakers behind the modern slasher Don’t Look were clear cut on. It was even part of their successful crowdfunding campaign, more on that later.
Don’t Look tells the story of five friends who leave the trappings of NYC for a rural weekend retreat, which turns into a blood soaked nightmare.
That concept, much like the movie itself, is a throwback to classic horror films we know and love. Before I say another word, I must note what makes this movie unique.
It was directed and written by females. Luciana Faulhaber directed, produced and stars as Lorena in Don’t Look. Jessica Boucher and Daniell Killay co-wrote the movie. This is a feature debut in all three cases.
To be clear, I fully agree with Penelope Spheeris who believes the media should not isolate female directors as is they were rare animals in the jungles of the film industry.
Directors should be acknowledged for their directing ability, not just their gender. That being said, I must admit that was part of the reason I wanted to review Don’t Look. Unless you were told, most would be surprised this movie was written and directed by women. By that I mean they did not shy away from using sex appeal as part of the narrative.
For example, one of these ladies is in her underwear, being chased through the woods by our killer. Clips of this moment made the trailer. This scene, like several others of Don’t Look will be very familiar to fans of the genre.
I can best equate this to the dark comedy, horror classic American Psycho. That gem from 2000 was Directed by Mary Harron and written by herself and Guinevere Turner. American Psycho boldly adapted the novel without allowing gender politics to change it.
Don’t Look successfully raised upwards of $50,000 from over 500 backers on Kickstarter. From the beginning they proudly stated Don’t Look followed in the tradition of classic horror movies. I must say the movie lives up to this claim.
At times they even made fun of these horror tropes, such as when a character points out that he has no cellphone signal three different times.
The kills in the movie should be enough to satisfy most horror fans. I found Hailey Heisick as Sherri and Jarrod Robbins as Kelley to be entertaining as a backwoods couple thrown into the mix.
While Don’t Look does deliver on what fans will expect from the genre, it does not exceed them or even approach originality. Most of this movie was hand held, where at the beginning this only made the car interior scenes hard to watch.
The acting was sufficient. The writing could have been better, such as when a main character was not aware of a key part of her own backstory in order to have a big reveal.
The cast of Don’t Look includes Jeff Berg (“House Of Demons”, “Love, Death & Robots (TV)”), Lindsay Eshelman, Javier E. Gomez, Curtis K. Case (“Drone Wars”).
If you are a huge fan of the genre looking for a nostalgia watch, this movie will scratch that itch. Don’t Look became available on DVD and multiple Digital platforms May 14th of 2019 by way of Wildeye Releasing.