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DVD Review: ‘Tape 407’

★☆☆☆☆

What do you say about a film which is so inept that the experience of sitting through it is frankly excruciating. Tape 407 (2011), the new horror (and that word is used in its loosest sense) film by directors Dale Fabrigar and Everette Wallin and starring Abigail Schrader, Samantha Lester and James Lyon leaves you speechless with its banality.

Trish (Schrader) and Jessie (Lester) are flying home to their parents in LA after spending Christmas in New York (why they spent the holiday on the other side of the country from their family is never explained – but hey a coherent storyline here would be giving the film too much credit). Sometime during the night flight the plane crashes after hitting sever turbulence.

Trish and Jessie (unfortunately) survive and with what’s left of their fellow passengers try to make their way to civilisation and help. But they’re in the middle of no-man’s land and as the long night drags on they realise the crash was only the start of their worries – there is something very big and very bad tempered out there in the dark which seems intent on picking them off one by one.

A fashion journalist once said that there is always something positive to say about a designer’s new collection, even if only that you like the buttons on a jacket. You would believe the same should go for films. Surely every movie has some saving grace – sharp cinematography, memorable soundtrack, superior effects. Unfortunately there’s no such hope where Tape 407 is concerned. Even the ending – which admittedly does give you a jolt even if you can see it coming a mile off – is not enough to save a film which is so lost in its own total ineptitude that the only impression it leaves is one of boredom.

From the moment Trish turns on the hand-held video recorder to film all and sundry, you’re almost shouting with her sister Jessie and the other passengers for her to turn it off and shut up. If you were stuck on a plane with this obnoxious teenager and Tape 407’s array of other irritating characters, you’d be praying for it to crash if only to put you out of your misery.

Cleaver Patterson