The online horror platform is experiencing Facebook Live with a bang.
“Stay out of the rooms with Dario Argento lighting,” warned a warned horror fan as “Stream” was broadcast live on Facebook last night.
“Stream” billed itself as the very first live-action horror film, a fact disputed by one Twitter user, although it was certainly the first of its stature. Crypt TV certainly has the right pedigree, however, and is backed by Eli Roth (“Inn”) and Jason Blum’s Blumhouse Productions, two producers who seem to have the Midas flair when it comes to horror. Crypt TV kicked off the fifty-minute short with a simple tweet, and it has since racked up over 800,000 views in less than a day.
According to the comments below the video, however, many of those views are from people who couldn’t look away from the shoddy acting and sluggish plot.
READ MORE: ‘Get Out’ Trailer: Jordan Peele’s Blumhouse Horror Movie Looks Absolutely Crazy
One viewer put it quite bluntly, “Commentary is better than acting,” with many others sounding just to note how funny the comments are.
“I wonder if Eli Roth is still watching this,” one viewer mused, adding another, “It’s still better than any ‘Paranormal Activity’ movie.” Others were more indulgent, calling out haters and praising Crypt TV for trying something new, and pointing out that negative commentators would have clicked if the film hadn’t caught them.
The title of the film is straightforward and to the point, if not a bit obvious. A girl wakes up in a dark warehouse with a message engraved on her arm: “Stop broadcasting or die. Confused, she picks up the phone and tries to escape, running into corpses and traps endangering her friends. She explains very early on that the phone cannot make phone calls, which is why she does not call the police. A menacing clown wearing a three-faced mask taunts her for reuniting with her friends and recording it all on tape, asking her how her movie is going. He seems determined to force his victim to make a film about his own disappearance, perhaps an experience film students can enjoy.
READ MORE: SXSW 2016 review: Netflix horror movie ‘Hush’ proves the effectiveness of the Blumhouse model
The pitch looks quite interesting and many viewers liked the innovative concept. The execution, unfortunately, was sloppy. Internet commentators are rarely right, but in this case the game was amazing and amateurish. Many horror films have rocked without skilled actors, but the actress’ unconvincing moans give the film a bland, monotonous tone, causing the few moments that might have been scary fade into the background.
Production values are extremely low for even a project loosely related to the Roth or Blum brand, and not in a cute way. (“I just saw the knife bend,” one viewer wrote). With a better script this can be forgiven, but when the lead has to hit a dead body for no clear reason, you might as well just ignore it.
The live element could have been used more, with many missed opportunities for audience participation (and it was certainly an audience that wanted to participate). Crypt TV has had success with their interactive Snapchat shorts and maybe wanted to try out the item live without interaction on a longer movie. It doesn’t help that they rigged it while running “Stream”, choosing to reference comments on the live stream that don’t actually exist.
“Nobody says to open this coffin,” notes a distraught spectator. Another offered to call an Uber for the unfortunate victim.
Still, enemies will hate it, and the numbers say it all. (The number of views is still increasing). Even though the comments are the best part of “Stream”, it might not be such a terrible thing. It is a unique experience to watch a movie live on Facebook, an experience that common reviews only improve. Most viewers watched until the end, and many were eager to give Crypt TV its due for the innovative idea: “This is badass … an unexpected plus for my night.”
Watch “Stream” on Facebook now.
Stay up to date with the latest movie and TV news! Sign up for our email newsletters here.