Main cast: Daniel Baldwin (Senator Davis), Tuckie White (Lacie Donovan), Matt Lucki (Killian Morgan), Jake Hames (Jake), Alja Jackson (Keisha Jackson), Kristina Geddes (Riley), Zak Hawkins (Ty), Lily Hex (Amanda), and Jeremy Kahn (Carter)
Director: David McElroy
Lacie Donovan, a college student, has to take a job after class, and so far she is having problems balancing her studies and her job. She means to take the semester break as a chance to catch up on her studies, but she is persuaded by her friends to take part in a paid research study. Killian tells her that a friend who signed up for something like this spent a few weeks just playing video games. It’s a great way to relax and get paid! Unfortunately, they soon discover that they have signed up to become guinea pigs in a medical research, and some of them are turning into murderous maniacs with what seems like superhuman strength and speed…
Daniel Baldwin is the person with the biggest billing in After Effect, and his role is minimal. That is a pretty good indication of how low budget this movie is going to be. The cast is actually pretty decent for once, but the budget limitation is obvious in the execution of this movie – with some unfortunate side effects, so to speak. On paper, it’s probably an economical way to film a horror movie, as the premise of this movie allows the whole thing to take place in mainly one location – a labyrinthine hospital-like building. Making the whole thing dimly lit would have the double benefit of creating a creepy atmosphere and saving on electricity too!
Unfortunately, this means for the most part I get a movie where a bunch of dolts are running around dimly lit corridors, tracked by the camera crew, or hiding in a dimly lit room. After Effect takes almost 50 minutes to get the action into gear, and when that happens, it’s one cheaply and badly staged scene after another. The monsters in question are just a bunch of people with fake blood smeared on their faces. There are very few scares and those scary moments are so unimaginatively done that it’s far easier to yawn than shiver in reaction to those scenes. And then, the final “twist” of a revelation that is so absurd that I actually laugh at the nonsense of it all.
Well, on one hand I’m quite impressed that the movie turns out to be somewhat coherent after all its efforts to keep production costs down. On the other hand, maybe it’s better to not make a movie until enough money is raised?