? (QUESTION MARK) (2012) Review

Directed by: Yash Dave, Allison Patel
Starring: Yaman Chatwal, Varun Thakur, Manvi Gagru, Sonam Mukherjee

Another found footage horror film? I have to say that I am actually beginning to get as tired of them as I have become of zombie movies. On the other hand though this is a found footage horror film from India, and as I've never ever seen an Indian horror movie in my life I thought I'd give this one the benefit of the doubt and see what kind of fresh ideas it can bring to the table. I was also intrigued by the enigmatic title which is simply the question mark symbol.

The plot is extremely simple and generic. Basically a group of students arranged a trip to an isolated cabin in the mountains where they planned to make a film as part of a college project. After they arrived some crazy shit started to happen for no apparent reason and the only evidence recovered was this footage found on a video camera. That's really all there is to it.

I mentioned earlier that I wanted to see what fresh ideas the filmmakers could bring to the table. The answer to that is absolutely nothing. ? is pretty much a mashup of THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT and PARANORMAL ACTIVITY along with a whole array of other found footage films. It doesn't have an original bone in its body. There is (of course) plenty of shaky camera work and plenty of night vision footage, furniture being moved, people being dragged off by some unseen force and lots of screaming, yelling and crying.
There is no explanation as to why all of this is happening. Sometimes the no explanation angle works in horror movies, but not here. Is the cabin haunted? If so, why? Was it built on an ancient Indian burial ground?
There are so many unanswered questions. Maybe that's why they decided to title the film ?

To make things worse, almost every cliche imaginable is crammed in here. A long drive to an isolated cabin in the woods, ghost stories over a campfire, young people getting drunk, people crying with their face right up in the camera lens, I could go on. And of course the whole movie is crafted in a way to try and convince the audience that the footage is real. There are no credits at the end, the movie just ends abruptly and instead of "Directed by..." we get a lame "Footage compiled by..." Does that kind of crap actually work anymore? Do the filmmakers actually think that their audience could be that stupid?

This movie has almost no redeeming qualities whatsoever. In fact the only positive thing I can say is that the acting was decent and for the most part realistic. But that is nowhere near enough to make up for everything else which sucked. I feel extremely grateful that I caught the Youtube premiere of ? so I didn't waste any of my money on it.

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