JENNIFER HELP US (2014)
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Jennifer Help Us is a spooky little independent horror that was filmed entirely on an iPhone4 and whose makers are so intent on getting their flick out, that they’ve released it online…for free (link here).
Simple story has three girls traveling to a local abandoned home that is their rural town’s legendary haunted house. Something horrible happened here and now most avoid the place. The girls are not there on a dare or to explore, they have a fourth girl with them, bound and gagged in their car trunk. Jennifer (Rachel Brennan Leyh) is a new girl in town and messed around with the wrong girl’s boyfriend. Local mean girl Tara (Alaina Dawn Sharp) and her friends, Mindy (Courtney Bandeko) and Pegs (Kelsi Simpson) plan to leave Jennifer tied up in the haunted house for the weekend to teach her a lesson. Someone else has come to the place, though, someone with ties to whatever happened here and who is not in their right mind. When Jennifer escapes, she realizes this demented individual can be manipulated to do horrible things and her three abductors are now slated to become the victims with gruesome fates in store for each.
Written and directed by Juan Ortiz, the film is given the look of a 70s horror in the Chainsaw Massacre vein with various filters and shot composition and it actually works quite well in creating an unsettling atmosphere much like a horror of that era. The film isn’t perfect, but Ortiz has apparently seen his share of horror flicks and actually creates some chills and a very creepy atmosphere with his stylish camera work…all on an iPhone. There are some disturbing moments and a few gruesome kills, as vengeful Jennifer manipulates the disturbed masked killer (Jenny Gorsett) into getting payback on her three abductors and it is effectively spooky. His female killer is unsettling in animal skull mask and blood-stained yellow dress and an effective villain for an ultra low budget flick. The four young actresses are actually pretty decent in their performances, too and all seem to have some background in theater or acting from school, according to the film’s website. The flick is tight at slightly over an hour and the backstory is glimpsed in flashbacks, but otherwise kept pretty vague, which works to give it an air of mystery. There are some lapses in logic and the kills are mostly off camera, probably due to budget constraints, but there are some bloody moments and with more of a budget and a bit more experienced cast, Ortiz might have had something here…which is probably why he is so anxious to get his film seen, he’s giving it away for free.
I liked this little flick. Not perfect and it’s definitely a low budget amateur production, but it shows a lot of promise for filmmaker Ortiz and is actually pretty creepy and disturbing as it is. I am a big fan of low budget horror and certainly will champion low budget films and filmmakers if I like what I see and here I do. Sure, we’ve seen stuff like this before, but it is a homage and one that works and it’s the effort that counts. If you have the time, I recommend you check it out and maybe someday we will see more from Juan Ortiz. I’ll leave the link to the film below if you want to check it out!
Jennifer Help Us full movie… http://www.jenniferhelpus.com/play-movie.html