Starring: Ashley Hinshaw, Rhys Wakefield, Natalie Hall. USA. 1h 39m
Along with a new wave of sophisticated teen sensation thrillers like It Follows (2014), Dark Summer (2015) and The Guest (2014), Plus 1 also swans around like a peacock flaunting an unusual story told in a unfamiliar fashion. The summer party to break all records has begun but something strange has invited itself to the party with devastating consequences.
All of the stereotypical characters are present, a couple who are actually in love, a chubby geek trying to get laid, the obvious rich kid hosting the party and an older gruff who only wants to kick ass for being the outcast who wasn’t invited (boo hoo mofo). But in the late hours a strange electrical current seems to travel to the house and blows a bulb outside where the gruff outcast and his girlfriend are hauled up for the night, as the light comes back on the fighter sees someone and runs off to kick his ass. Meanwhile at the party, the romantic couple mull around separately after an argument and the geek gets lucky but at regular intervals there are power cuts and surges, during each one it seems a different person/s are cloned but what would happened if you see your own doppelganger? Many urban legends say that it’s bad luck, so bad it results in death and this party is about to find out on a massive scale.
It’s an interesting concept and part of the magic is that it’s never really detailed exactly what is happening or why, and I love the ambiguity of it all, We don’t know what’s causing it and how to end it, and watching the bewilders teens try to work out a solution to the problem. At first it’s witnessed by individuals who either shake it off or just ignore the events, but eventually it becomes a group problem and they all deal with it in the same way, apart from one girl, and her actions help to make the mass hysteria seem like a totally insane and primitive reaction.
It’s a bit of one hit wonder, the film keeps enough suspense for you to want to get through it at least once, trying to decipher what is going on, but with little pay off, I can’t see myself sitting through it again. It looks beautiful, even without the strippers.. and somehow the bizarre elements do work. The only downside is just how subtle the revelation is. It straddles the lo fi sci fi approach but refuses to commit to being that unique blend of intelligent drama and instead it throws up lots of stereotypical Hollywood horror elements. As if chucking Cabin in the Woods (2011) cast into Another Earth (2011) I hope it does work for some people as it can help introduce many to the more surreal world of lofi sci fi.
L – Doppleganger films, Introduction to Lofi Scifi