However, it is surprisingly difficult to to review a thoroughly bland film because there’s only so many times a writer can use the words “dull”, “tedious”, “boring” and other such synonyms before the review itself becomes, well, dull, tedious and boring. And that, dear reader, is the dilemma I face today reviewing the clumsily titled anthology horror ‘The 100 Candles Game’, a movie so cliched and so remarkably forgettable that I honestly had to watch it twice before I felt that I could review it with any merit.
Oh don’t get me wrong, it’s undoubtedly bad and deserves a place on any “worst horror movies” list. But it’s just so mediocre in terms of its direction, it’s performances, it’s writing and it’s overall horror execution that it’s hard to be truly angry with it. It’s the cinematic equivalent of candy floss - a flavourless mass of nothingness that provides little nourishment and disappears the very instant it is consumed. Also, I guess it would be very bad for your teeth if you tried to eat the DVD which, in retrospect, would have been far more preferable to actually watching it.
Set in a world where basic concepts such as terror and suspense fail to exist, ‘The 100 Candles Games’ sees 4 people engaging in a candle-lit session of spooky storytelling. These stories run the gamut of generic horror plots - creepy kids, unseen scary forces, more creepy kids, exorcisms, monsters and, just to be safe, a few more creepy kids. So, essentially what we have here is an adult version of the Canadian cult kid series ‘Are You Afraid Of The Dark?’ but with even more cliches and terrible performances.
With so many scenarios for potential frights, including one featuring my most potent fear, claustrophobia, it is quite astonishing just how not scary ‘The 100 Candles Game’ is and despite the input of 9, yes, 9(!!!) different filmmakers, the lack of any frights at all is somewhat startling in itself. From the individual stories which lack any originality, suspense or directorial flair to the overarching plot of the storytellers themselves, every aspect of the movie reeks of dull familiarity. There’s not even the potential of enjoying the movie as a gory guilty pleasure as there’s so little blood used that even the most undemanding of horror fans could find little to like.
If ‘The 100 Candles Game’ had been part of a students A-Level media studies coursework then I would have more respect for it because even though it’s thunderously boring, there are some set pieces that exhibit definite potential - most notably, a well constructed and genuinely thrilling vignette about a young boy dealing with freaky fog which easily stands out as the highlight of the film. However, as a studio backed feature with proper distribution rights, it is criminally insubstantial and should be dismissed by audiences and critics alike as the generic slice of badly acted nonsense it is. That is unless you’re an insomniac because I can personally guarantee that the movie will have you asleep in a matter of minutes. In fact, *yawn* just thinking about ‘The 100..... Candles Game’ for this long *yawn* is making me feel.....a bit......zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.