Before Someone Gets Hurt
Dir. Shane Barbanel (2018)
A group of reality tv paranormal investigators investigate things paranormally.
CAUTION: MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS
This movie is absolutely terrible. I know, because I watch a lot of terrible movies, and I watch a lot of Lifetime. This movie is bad for a Lifetime movie. I don’t know how I can make this any more clear, but I’m being forced to write a review for it, so I’ll try to be a little clearer. There’s a recent trend of creating found footage movies about reality tv paranormal investigators who are all kinda faking things for the camera and then find themselves in trouble for real. This tries to ride the coattails of those movies while at the same time being disrespectful to all of the great films that have come before.
The guy in the back was me throughout this entire movie.
The movie suffers in pretty much every way imaginable, with a paper-thin plot with inane dialogue to unconvincing acting and shoddy storyboarding. The largest problem with this film (and trust me, it was hard to nail down) is that it can’t decide what it wants to be. It shifts constantly between found footage and typical, regular camerawork. It could’ve been interesting as found footage, even though that path has been sufficiently trod by better filmmakers, but every time it seemed to be going somewhere it took a more narrative direction. The second-biggest problem with the film is that absolutely none of it is scary, despite having a genuinely good idea at its center.
The reason this group of filmmakers are visiting this house is because it has a long history of people being crucified within, and these horrific acts are being perpetrated by a Satanic cult that is trying to elevate Satan back to his “rightful” place in Heaven. To do so, they are killing people to reach some magic number of murders to raise Satan for good. Unfortunately, we don’t learn about this until well into the movie, and by the time the “action” actually starts, you’re probably already asleep. Not that there’s much action to be had once it does start, but there are a couple of people who get murdered and some interesting exposition that explains why things are happening the way that they are.
The film also manages to jam a “Antichrist baby” subplot in at the very end, with only one previous scene that basically foreshadows the entire thing crammed in somewhere in the middle. Despite this obvious conclusion, there’s no real reason for it to be obvious because the movie never talks about bringing an evil baby into the world. I mean, sure, it’s all Biblical in nature, so it makes sense if you already understand the whole story of the Antichrist that so many other movies have done 1000 times better, but the movie is so lazy it doesn’t bother to explain any of this itself. If you walked into this movie never having seen a movie focused on Satanism, the Antichrist, or anything of its ilk before, you’d have no fucking clue what was going on throughout the movie’s entire runtime.
I’m pregnant with the Devil’s baby. You can tell because I smile ominously at the camera.
Who this movie is for: Lifetime Movie Network fans who want a tad more edge, Lifetime Movie Network fans that have already seen every other movie they’ve released, Lifetime Movie Network fans who have no taste in Lifetime Movie Network movies
Bottom line: The writer of the film is the currently the defending US Masters National Champion in Judo. What can I say, nobody is good at everything, because he certainly sucks at screenwriting. Before Someone Gets Hurt shouldn’t be the title of the movie, it should be a threat to the director. Go find something else to do Before Someone Gets Hurt. If Lifetime made a “found footage” horror movie with someone who had never seen a found footage movie, but they had also only licensed music from the rest of their terrible teen “thriller” movies, you’d actually probably get something even better than what you get with this movie. You’ve seen this done way better a dozen times in the past. Go watch one of those instead.