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Hal MacDermot [Film Festival 03.15.09] movie review horror

Year: 2006
Directors: Harry Basil
Writers: Jason Cleveland & Brian Clevelenad
IMDB: link
Trailer: link
Review by: cyberhal
Rating: 5 out of 10

On the plus side, I went to a brand new horror festival on the very massive and still spooky Queen Mary cruise liner, dry docked in Long Beach, California. It’s the perfect venue for a blood fest. They even do ghost tours because the place is so haunted. On the down side, the predicable and clichéd film I watched, Fingerprints. The premise is pretty cool: urban legend has it that in the one town of Emerald, if you stop your car on the train tracks, the ghosts of dead children who got splattered there, will push your car off and leave their fingerprints. It’s all to do with dead children who play around train tracks because sometime during the 1950s a whole bunch apparently was hit by a train.

Fresh out of rehab and no longer gagging for heroin, Melanie (the appealingly named Leah Pipes) returns home to Complete Bitch Mother and Totally Pussy Whipped But Nice Father, and super hot sister Crystal (Kristin Cavallari from Laguna Beach) to start a new life. However, since the OD that dropped her in rehab, she can “see things,” and when she tries the old train track trick (gosh, I never thought she would), she spies a ghost child called Julie. She sort of makes friends with Julie, although the other ghost kids seem to want to kill her. I still can’t work out why some ghost like her, and some don’t.

Now to the list of clichés: there’s the school counselor who gains Mel’s trust and then betrays her parents. Watch out for wolves in liberal teacher’s clothing, babe. There's the probably crazy old woman who turns out to be related to the children who disappeared, and to the train conductor who may or may not have killed them. The young buck who’s a badun’ and son of the Sherriff and tries to rape poor Mel. Could go on, but it’s too easy. Actually to be fair, I thought that Sally Kirkland did a pretty good job as crazy old woman, despite the limitations of the job. Same for Geoffrey Lewis as useless town drunk (or does he harbor a secret *gasp*).

After a slow start, the movie picks up pace somewhat and moves between supernatural ghost story and sort of teen slasher. Mel has an ice pick under her bed although she doesn’t use it nearly enough. Children, or rather teens, start to disappear again and the “whole nightmare is happening again, and only Mel can stop it.” Personally, I couldn’t wait for them all to be killed off. The FX in this film were okay, but wasted on the story. Luckily, the movie that came afterwards in the festival, Midnight Movie, was awesome.

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