Sunday, October 21, 2012

Black Out

Three strangers (Amber Tamblyn, Aiden Gillen, and Armie Hammer) from different walks of life find themselves trapped in an elevator in a nearly empty apartment building after the power goes out. As time passes, they start to lose their shit a little, conflicts arise and secrets are revealed.

Though ultimately saved by its more than capable cast (although Hammer, the world's most absurdly handsome and well put together actor, is oddly miscast as a surly, scruffy punk), Black Out suffers by not quite knowing how to handle/embrace its one location premise. I mean, I get it; it's a tough challenge for a filmmaker. How do you make a thriller set almost entirely in one location without it become stale, slow or repetitive? Problem is, most films ended up going to far in trying to "open up" the action and squander the premise. I mean, this should be a claustrophobic, intimate thriller, but they blow it by jamming in a ton of flashbacks and unnecessary cuts to things going on outside the elevator.

Still, the cast is awesome, and there's a last act twist that, while somewhat predictable, does help up the stakes for the big finale. I had fun watching Black Out, even if I think it mostly failed to live up its potential. The premise and the cast are strong enough to pull you through.

Rating: C+

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