"Karma's a bitch," says Devon Sawa's Bill to James, the protagonist of 388 Arletta Avenue.James played with a nicely dead-on everyman vacancy by Nick Stahl has just confronted Bill with several disturbing facts: his home has been repeatedly broken into, his computer tampered with, his cat has been "replaced," and now his wife is missing. And that's just the beginning.Turns out James and his friends tormented Bill relentlessly during grade school and James, in his desperation, believes Sawa's character is behind it.Though that's far from the central <more>
thesis of Randall Cole's latest feature, it's a very engaging sidebar and probably the most alluring plot point in what seems at first to be a pretty standard found-footage psycho-stalker creeper.Except that 388 is actually a very intelligently-crafted film with an almost diabolically clever script. Stahl is tormented by everything from phantom mix CDs, footage of his wife bound and gagged somewhere, and ultimately set-up for her impending murder after he actually DOES kill someone . While I was never bored by this film, I does suffer from a low-energy level at times. Stahl is left, quite unfortunately, to carry the film as Kirshner, an enjoyable and underused actress, is MIA no pun intended for most of the film. He does a commendable job, playing his ordinariness with an unsettling true-to-life banality, and he's never very likable... which is a very hard thing to achieve and still keep an audience's focus. It also probably contains one of the most creepy, amoral villains you'll encounter on film.Don't expect a traditional thriller, and certainly not something that will make you feel warm and cozy. It's one man's descent into hell for absolutely no reason other than someone's sadistic kicks.
Suspenseful. The very best kind of thriller (by will_kori)
I love being scared, but I hate slasher flicks or movies where they are just finding new and more gruesome ways to kill people.388 Arletta Avenue is the very best kind of thriller. Criteria for a great horror pic include: 1. Something that could really happen no risen from the dead or supernatural beings .2. Characters who behave rationally. Who don't choose to do something completely stupid that nobody would ever do.3. A plot that makes sense. Some of the other reviews on the site are obviously written by people who didn't "get it". Especially the ending. It made perfect <more>
sense, just not what those people expected. I thought it was a brilliant and terrifying ending This is a movie that plays with your mind. You become so involved because something like this could happen. What if you were being watched? If someone had access to your house and would come in without you ever knowing? If they set up cameras everywhere and could see and hear everything? Deakin does a fantastic job, so frustrated and bewildered about what the hell is going on. Long after the movie was over, we were still talking about it.
I enjoyed the heck out of 388 Arletta Avenue. No bombs, no bullets, no intrigue; just a slice of life, and another, and another, all progressing toward another slice. What is happening, next? But Why? How can he? Why doesn't he? Since that didn't work, should he? The viewer is the creep by perspective but has the plagued man's identity. No thoughts of creep's purpose are revealed, the reactions of all others were reality-typical. It did have a few over-long moments, but whose life doesn't? I didn't miss the bombs, or the bullets, and the intrigue WAS there, upon <more>
reflection, but just from my own mind.The ending was mostly expected AFTER I saw the ending, but NOT before, which to me is even more of the attraction.If you want the easy-answers-ending tied in a happy bundle, go elsewhere; if you want a very possible real-life nightmare, watch it.
Finally, a film in the sub genre that actually works. I want to call this a found footage, however, it's not really, and maybe that's exactly why it works so well - there is no pretense that these events are "real", there are no ridiculous "shaky cam" moments that give you motion sickness.Instead, Randall Cole gives us a solid bit of film-making, taking the POV genre to a new level with a well thought out storyline, excellent character development, and solid direction.It's a story that could easily play out in real life, and Cole seamlessly takes us through the <more>
gradual break down of a relationship, one that he hints deliciously that has some deeper, darker demons in the past, but one we don't fully or indeed need get to see. The psychological turmoil faced by "James", brilliantly played by Nick Stahl, gets more over-powering as Cole takes on his journey into hell, culminating in a shocking ending that will leave you wanting more.There's a definite feel of "The Poughkeepsie Tapes" about 388 Arletta Avenue, but this is a good thing, because whilst the Tapes has been around for several years, it's still somewhat unheard of and still a groundbreaking movie for what the story contains - 388 Arletta takes the premise and brings it right into your living room.388 Arletta Avenue - unrelenting, unremitting. Unmissable.8/10
I watched this on Netflix, I almost didn't as it was only rated 2 and a half stars, then it averaged just 4 here. The plot seemed interesting with two respected lead actors. Maybe the plot was done before, either natural or in supernatural form. There are a lot of movies using that voyeuristic home video look comprised mainly from the watcher's cameras point of views. This one was different, being something that could very well happen in real life showing how easily lives can be unraveled by a total stranger. Just seeing how possible it is made it way scarier than the <more>
"paranormal" or "crime footage" attempts done to death. As others have mentioned, it's the unknown that makes this movie scary and interesting. Oh yes, done before but what hasn't? It's not a recycled comic strip or classic movie remade, therefore for those reasons alone it contains an original advantage over re-boots. It also proves that a movie doesn't need extreme gore or violence to grab your attention just as much. There's also no nudity or unnecessary language. Perhaps that could very well be the reason for the low marks as some people may have expected that. There are no out of sync scenes, production gimmicks or flashbacks; it starts and ends in order.I think this movie well deserves a fair watch but the real surprise to me was its classic way of still giving you chills and maybe forcing you to leave or not leave a light on after you see it. Nick Stahl is fantastic and is one of the most underrated actors out there and I have no idea what the complaints are about. It's very well acted and is portrayed as realistic as anyone in his character's situation. Basically the movie focuses on Stahl's character, not so much the villain or victim, because he is just as much the victim and the one psychologically tortured to the breaking point. SPOILER----> I would have liked a better ending but that too adds to the movie's realism of something very possible in real life going on under our noses, in our own neighborhoods and towns.