• A Review Page For Those Movies You Watch At Home!

    Couch Potato Movie Reviews is, obviously, a blog that exclusively reviews movies. What makes this blog different is the fact that all of the films we are reviewing are all movies that are available on home movie rental companies such as Redbox, Netflix, Blockbuster, and your quickly disappearing neighborhood rental store. This blog is designed to take a more detailed look at those movies that either were sent straight to DVD, received a very limited release in the theaters, or were distributed through the art house or film festival circuit. We will also review those big Hollywood films, but only after they are available for home viewing.

    All the reviews are written by fans of the great art of film making rather than some newspaper reviewer or stuffy film student. We don’t know everything about film but we do know what we like, and we are more than happy to share our opinions with you. What you do with those opinions are totally up to you, although comments are welcome and encouraged.

    Each film review has a one to five star rating at the end of the critique. Here is what those star ratings mean for you couch potatoes:

    * * * * * : Five stars: go and buy this one, don’t just rent it!

    * * * * : Four stars: put this at the top of your rental list.

    * * * : Three stars: average, not bad just not great either.

    * * : Two stars: only rent if you have to see everything.

    * : One star: don’t waste your time with this.

April Fools

TITLE: April Fools

YEAR: 2007

GENRE: Horror

Independent horror films can be a haven for creative ideas in what has become a fairly stale genre. More often than not however these low budget films instead turn to photocopying some plotline or idea from the big studios and make a cheap imitation. It seems that there are hundreds of independent horror films that make this grave mistake and end up creating a forgettable mess of a film. This is the case with April Fools, a limited production that seems to take the plot from I Know What You Did Last Summer and does its best hip-hop imitation.

Six high school students led by young hottie Deanna (played by Melanie Reif) play a harsh prank on a nerd in their high school and accidentally kill him. In order to protect their futures the group decides to cover up their part in the murder and make the episode look like a gang-related shooting. One year later at the students’ annual April dance a mysterious killer emerges and starts to knock off the teenagers one by one. Missy (Aaliyah Franks), one of the six, fears for her life and spills the beans to her police detective father (Obba Babatunde) and his partner (Darrin Dewitt Henson). Is there a chance for Missy to survive the night?

April Fools is a paint by numbers horror film and is worthy of passing on for a lot of reasons. First of all the plot has been used dozens of times: teens accidentally kill person, cover up the murder, and later a killer arrives and targets the teens. There are no attempts to even try to make the story creative and offers nothing new to the genre. We also have our usual stereotypical bunch of teens: the jock, the hot girl, the innocent girl, the tough guy, and the wanna-be gangster are all represented in formulaic glory. Other stereotypes are also included, including the fat white police officer who ends up dead and numerous African-American stereotypes. Most of the cast is African-America so that is a bit original compared to most pale-faced horror casts, but the novelty of this film ends there. The suspense level is virtually non-existent as director Nancy Norman (in her only directorial attempt) leaves expectation on the cutting room floor, and the kills are simplistic and lack any creativity or gore. The cinematography relies too much on some at-times creative slow motion scenes, but after ten to twelve times this too becomes stale. On the positive, the acting is fairly good at times although over dramatic at others. The music is the best part of April Fools and is fairly well done by Platinum rapper Lil’ Flip, although the three full songs included in the film complete with the cast gyrating to his music is a little much. The dénouement is especially anti-climatic and predictable, and seasoned horror fans will figure out the identity of the killer within the first 20 minutes of the film.

It is too bad when an independent horror film does not take advantage of giving the fans something new and creative, and April Fools can be added to the huge list of lousy low budget horror offerings outside of the Hollywood machine that copy its big brother in the film making world. April Fools is not creative, well made, or even delivers any quality kills. I hate to stoop to symbolism, but April Fools is a joke and should be left among the hundreds of Z-grade trash efforts.

*

–Mark

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: