“Panama baby – WOOOO!”
Story: A group of recent college grads go to Panama to celebrate and talk about their plans to adult. But the tourist area is so played. Let’s go into this totally restricted jungle area that’s known for lots of missing tourists! It’ll be fun, we’re so rebel! What’s that noise y’all? Y’all?
Scares: Bless its heart, this film tries. But with the sheer stupidity of these characters, even the jump scares made me giggle.
Splat factor: Discovering bodies, finding bloody friends, characters getting attacked. So, yeah there’s some.
Closing scene “shocker”?: Actually, there isn’t one. But there is a WHOA towards the end that works really well. Best part of the film…which isn’t saying much, but I feel I’ve gotta mention it.
Remake, Sequel or OG (Original Ghoul)?: Original.
Trick or Treat?: Three guys, three girls, a bottle of Patron, and an area of the Panamanian jungle that’s been declared off limits for your own safety. What could go wrong? Well, this film can be summed up by So Much Stupid, so apparently everything. There’s a lot of the beloved cliche of good ol’ stupid people doing stupid things. Like?
- Dude watches a freaky video from people who have visited the forest…then a local buddy says that area’s forbidden now because of “the troubles”. So of course he thinks damn y’all, we need to get there!
- Naturally they all split up once they get to their destination.
- He just saw his bloody friend dragged off by a monster, yet dude heads into the cave because nosies, calling his friend’s name. You actually earned a college diploma? IN WHAT.
- Once they get everyone together again, a scary ass noise noises, and they bolt. In different directions. (They deserve to die.)
- They’ve never been to this place before, and it’s getting dark… Let’s explore! We can find our lost friend! So, they’re lost now.
- The local gal who was all “hey, it’s gorgeous – and totally safe, trust!” becomes absolutely terrified the moment she hears a noise in the jungle. Switcheroonie!
- A local guy – who only met them once – decides to go try to find them by himself. Nothing happens to him…sike! Me, I’d have been “gee, they’re great folks. I hope they get back safe. Bartender, another tequila!”
Oh. Spoiler alert.
Now for the monster. Chupacabra! Uh…maybe? More like a weird Slenderman meets Gollum meets Toxie meets The Decent creatures. I’m thinking the filmmakers decided to use something they’d already come up with instead of designing something from scratch, or just copied and pasted from these other films. It’s effective at times, but sadly the screenwriters wrote such stupid characters I couldn’t really sink into the well-done (if derivative) creature FX.
But this film does know the demo it’s shooting for. Lots and lots of “fun music” to show the that this film is down with the kids! Hello, fellow kids! We are knowing you excellently! Then there’s the American equivalent of Pantsu, slow motion gal-with-gal dancing! With lingering booty and bare torso shots! Fimmakers, you know The Kids can go to the interwebs for all the booty they want, right?
Then there’s the surfing. Kids dig The Surfing, right? Lots of padding with these scenes. Get to the stupids doing stupid and getting bloody, already! Oh and look, it’s our old friend found footage! How unique. But FF soon mixes with old school storytelling, thankfully. And along with the well done (but totally expected) “shocker” in the last few minutes of the film, I’m gonna give points to this film for using social media as a believable plot-driver. Gotta give credit where credit’s due.
It’s a fun watch with friends, after many alcoholic beverages. (Not during. You’re gonna want to be squiffed.) Maybe more so than the other drinking game-worthy films I’ve covered so far this year, if only for the hilarity of drunk-watching all the stupidity.
Score: 2 out of 5 pumpkins. The inordinate level of stupid cost it a ‘kin. Or maybe added one. I’m not sure. My brain hurts from all the stupid.