The faux documentary and found footage subgenres have a great deal of overlap, especially in horror. At times, they can be used to tell a fascinating and compelling story.
And at other times, it can be used merely as a gimmick for an idea that was never that interesting to begin with. Sadly, Shudder’s new exclusive film, Confessional falls into the latter.
Presenting itself as an actual documentary compiled by one of the characters, Confessional weaves personal accounts and interviews of several different people to try and paint an objective view of what really happened, surrounding the tragic deaths of two college students.
Each person has a slightly different account, and each one is at least partially responsible for what happened.In many ways, the film feels more like a reality show than an actual movie, which was very much the point. It just feels like the movie relied solely on this tactic and didn’t have much else going on.
The performances range from passable to distractingly bad. It’s a decent premise that feels like it had potential, but the movie’s own gimmicks and lack of substance prevented that premise from really taking off.
Given the subject matter of young people dying, and those “responsible” being forced to confront their role in it felt a bit similar to Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why. Confessional isn’t quite as coherently put together as that series, but it also doesn’t feel as sensationalized either.
Confessional isn’t a terrible film by any means. There’s far worse out there. In fact there’s far worse already on Shudder. But many of those far worse movies are at least so bad they’re entertaining or funny.
This movie commits the one cardinal sin that The Last Drive In host Joe Bob Briggs cannot abide, it’s boring.
If it were truly terrible, it would maybe be fun to watch. But instead it’s just a bit dull and something to have on in the background if you’re trying to get housework done or something…
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