Chain Letter (2009) starring Madison Bauer, Phil Austin, Nikki Reed, Michael Bailey Smith directed by Deon Taylor Movie Review

Chain Letter (2009)   2/52/52/52/52/5

Brad Dourif in Chain Letter (2009)

You've Got Chain Mail

A psycho targets those who decide not to forward on an electronic chain mail letter which is doing the rounds. That is a version of the one line synopsis which I came across on more than one occasion whilst looking into the horror movie "Chain Letter". Now let me give you a different take starting with an opening scene which in between some tedious shower footage sees someone being chained and gaffa taped in a room. Next thing we know, two people are leaving home driving out of their drive in separate cars unaware that a person is chained to their cars and with the music pumping, well use your imagination as we have a scene which promises much for those who enjoy their horror on the gory side.

But then as the opening credits roll we get this montage of scenes which play like a bad public awareness video as facts about computer viruses, passwords not being safe and government spying is force fed to us in the most annoying of ways. And after this we get what is the most ridiculous of set-ups going with this electronic chain letter doing the rounds with those who delete it as junk ending up victims of a violent psychopath. How violent? Well one guy gets his faced mangled by someone yanks chains back and forth across his pretty boy features.

The opening is all over the place and those who have watched a few horror movies will stop caring about the storyline as they will know that "Chain Letter" will see these teenagers picked off one by one in as violent a way as director Deon Taylor feels he can get away with. In a way think "I Know What You Did Last Summer" and "Final Destination" but the psycho is someone who gets really upset when people think his chain letter is junk mail. To put this into cliche perspective we even get a funeral scene on a sunny but rainy day with all a victim's friends huddled around the grave.

Now being cliche wouldn't be a problem if there was something else which made "Chain Letter" engaging but there is nothing. Instead what we get is the generic atmosphere when one of the characters does something moronic such as peering into an engine bay whilst a heavy engine block hangs above him on chains, yes you wonder what will happen and you will guess right. I want to say here is something good going on but this "Chain Letter" is so routine it is like the junk mail of the movie world.

What this all boils down to is that if you are a horror virgin you might enjoy "Chain Letter" as it has a surprising amount of gore as well as some photogenic actors. But for horror fans this not only ends up a ridiculous movie but one which is only ever a variation on other teen horror movies such as "I Know What You Did Last Summer" and "Final Destination".