We all have that friend, family member, coworker, or even enemy, that posts every little thing they do on YouTube. Sometimes they make it “big” and have a couple hundred followers, but most of the time it’s just annoying. So what happens when a vlogger becomes too annoying to the wrong people? What if it the gory aftermath gets caught on tape? Would you watch it?
Brooke Marks (as herself) is a video blogger, claiming that she’s going to provide her audience with something new, something they haven’t seen a hundred times on other video blogs, but as you watch her posts, you see she’s nothing special. Brooke is just another pretty girl using her assets to get a little attention on the internet. Her “unique” vlog gimmick is preforming what she calls "social experiments". For example, she attempts to see how easy it is to snag a random guy in a bar, and she also likes to give her audience front row seats at humiliating break-ups. Sounds like a typical sorority-girl vlog, right? Well, maybe, until she starts receiving strange videos of her friends dying. When no one can find the bodies, the authorities have to wonder if it’s all a joke gone too far.
When a movie boasts that it’s “sexy, groundbreaking, extreme” on the cover, I usually run the other way. However, with Vlog, I was intrigued enough to check it out. Written and directed by Joshua Butler (The Vampire Diaries) alongside producers from the Saw series: Mark Burg, Chad Cole, and Oren Koules, Vlog has the promise to be a decent film. What prevents this movie from being successful is the lack of believability on all levels. With poor acting and special effects, it is hard to take this movie seriously. Combine that with pacing issues in the script, and you end up with a film that is slow and tedious, even with such a short running time. Going into the film, you expect an "extreme" horror experience, yet what you really get is a mediocre mashup of genres.
This film could easily have been a mockumentary or a drama, but because they decided to add a bit of gore towards the end, it had to be called horror. It's unfortunate that Vlog was so disjointed, because with the story's premise being so relevant to popular culture, having a more efficiently delivered script might have led to a great movie. As a whole, Vlog just cannot stand up to what's expected of the horror genre, and especially can’t hold its own with other movies in the "reality" sub-genre like, Quarantine, [Rec] and The Blair Witch Project. Needless to say it’s very disappointing.
There is a bit of light at the end of this dark tunnel, though. If you should decide to give Vlog a chance, there are two amusing death scenes to look out for. The gore element in this movie is very minimal and unconvincing when compared to films like Saw or Hostel, but there’s just enough to make the movie appealing for gore hounds. All I can say is hydrochloric acid. . .
As for the disc, there is one interesting special feature: if you enjoyed watching Brooke taping her vlogs, you can see what eleven of them would have looked like on the internet. There are the conventional scene selection and subtitles, along with previews for other Anchor Bay movies. Unfortunately, there aren’t extras like audio commentary, a trailer, or bloopers.
I was hoping that Vlog would offer a strong beginning to a new line of horror stories, but instead, this movie is a genre tangled film that will be too monotonous and trite for most horror fans. If you can get through watching a spoiled sorority girl vlog for about 40 minutes, you might find the death scenes to be rewarding. However, there are much better reality horror films out there and I'd only suggest this film to that select group of horror fans that also like reality TV shows.
Film Score: 1/5 Disc score: 1.5/5