Friday, June 28, 2013

"Red Hook": slasher thriller about a treasure hunt in NYC doesn't do justice to the Brooklyn neighborhood

Red Hook”, as the name of an independent thriller film, caught my eye because Red Hook is also the name of the business area in lower Brooklyn that was heavily damaged by Hurricane Sandy.  I thought I would find a film heavily about the culture of the borough (maybe even a mention of old Ebbets Field), but Elizabeth Lucas gives us is a rather jaded view of the dark places in the Big Apple (a lot of it is Manhattan), in a rather stereotyped slasher thriller in which the heroine is a young woman Jenny (Crhistina Brucato) with agoraphobia, having survived a horrible childhood incident (the pre-credits opening) where she witnesses a babysitter being murdered by an intruder posing as a cop.

It takes the almost a third of the length of the 86 minute film to get to the main course, a “scavenger hunt” arranged by one of the (apparent) students at the “University of New York City” (the film couldn’t mention NYU or CCNY).  Each team (a boy and girl) have to find the clue, make and transmit a cell phone photo of the trophy, and receive the next clue by text.  “Get a text message, follow the clues.” (That sort of plot was used on the Howdy Doody show in the 1950’s.)  It’s not hard to imagine that the “treasures” are, well, anti-social to say the least. When Jenny has to find a used condom in the Rambles  in Central Park (the film makes a tasteless joke about it being an area for gays), there’s an obvious way to make the condom in her purse “used”.  Her boy friend is attractive but so artificially smooth.

Other teams do not fare too well, and wind up dispatched in various gory ways.  Not many will survive the treasure hunt.
The official site (Phase 4) is here
There’s one scene in a Village bar, which I did not recognize.  

Pictures:  Red Hook area, my own, from visit on Feb. 23, 2013, early Saturday evening.  Most damage appeared to be repaired. 

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