Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Addicted (2013): An Overdose of Mediocre

The Addicted 2013 AKA Rehab

Led by a budding journalist named Nicole (Jenny Gayner), a group of friends spend the night in an abandoned rehab clinic with the intent of capturing some paranormal activity on film. What they come across, however, is a sinister spirit AND a serial killer, both of whom intend on cutting their evening a little short.

Written and directed by Sean J. Vincent (who also stars), The Addicted finds itself trying juggle a lot of balls, but ultimately drops many of them. The catalyst for the film’s horror comes from a storied past involving a drug rehabilitation facility, where a diabolical doctor has been keeping his patients hooked on heroin. This leads to one of the patients killing himself, which then results in an evil spirit that haunts the now abandoned rehab clinic as well as gives birth to a serial killer with a penchant for injecting his victims with enough heroin to NOT kill them. Whatever sense that makes. So it’s already quite apparent that there’s a whole lot of antagonist to deal with here, and how they connect does nothing but make things even more convoluted.  

The Addicted 2013 AKA Rehab 1

At what would normally be a reasonable 90 minutes, The Addicted finds a way to overstay its welcome. There are a number of scenes that feel painfully dragged out as well as moments that literally serve no purpose to the story or the characters. One of the most egregious moments comes in the form of a 5 minute musical montage, in which the four main characters get completely bombed before heading out to spend the night at the rehabilitation facility. This poorly thought out scene not only brings the film to a complete halt, it makes absolutely no sense in the context of these “adult” characters. Furthermore, the lead character, Nicole, is looking to hit the big time and become a credible journalist, so why would she get smashed just before going out on a self-imposed assignment?! I don't think Anderson Cooper downs a fifth of vodka before going to the Gaza Strip.

There are plenty of other questionable and often silly elements strewn throughout The Addicted. Multiple characters are dragged away by their feet a la the ending of REC. In fact, it actually happens to the same character three times. You’d think he might have been a little more alert after the second time it happened. Every time the killer shows up, at least a few dozen light bulbs explode, which makes me wonder: who the hell replaces those things? Also, are they LEDs? ‘Cause them shit’s are expensive. The killer spends a lot of time breaking through drywall, which is kind of funny considering the location is a old brick building. And of course, the typical bad decisions are constantly made, including the ever so wonderful “I just hit the killer with a weapon - then I dropped the weapon - then I went on to make sure the killer was dead only to have said killer get up and kill me” scene.

The Addicted 2013 AKA Rehab 2

In the end, The Addicted simply tries to do too much without being able to do much of anything well. It would've been a better idea to either go with a straight slasher film or a straight supernatural film, as opposed to trying to mix the two together. Honestly, I would've preferred them to lean more towards the supernatural, as it's the supernatural elements that are the most enjoyable in a fashion reminiscent of mid-90s Full Moon flicks. For me, a hokey supernatural film with goofy special effects works far better than an unoriginal, stereotypical slasher movie with a plot and setting I've seen dozens of times before.

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