WALLED IN Review [Netflix Watch Instantly]

Posted by Brian Knowles - November 10th 2009 @ 7:47 pm

Directed by Gilles Paquet-Brenner, 2009
Written by Rodolphe Tissot, Olivier Volpi, Sylvain White, Gilles Paquet-Brenner

When I’m feeling lazy, I like hang out on the couch, drink beer, and watch movies. At those times I have no desire to do anything to advance the quality of my life in any way, and my creative juices are certainly not flowing. The difference between me and director Gilles Paquet-Brenner is that when I’m feeling worthless and indolent I don’t decide to make a movie. At least that is the impression I’ve come away from WALLED IN with, because not one frame of the film suggests anybody involved in its making gave a damn.

Mischa Barton “stars” as a recent college graduate who is the youngest in a family of demolition experts. Her first solo assignment for the family company is to plan the demolition of an old apartment complex in the middle of nowhere, due to be destroyed because the “government” has “ordered it.” The building was designed by an eccentric architect, who made it a habit of burying people alive in the foundations of his creations in order to increase structural rigidity. Something about an ancient Egyptian myth, I think.

WALLED IN also features Cameron Bright (Nicole Kidman’s tiny love interest in BIRTH, who, by the way, isn’t getting any less creepy), and Debra Kara Unger (who isn’t getting any less plastically-looking). Although both of them outshine Barton by quite a bit, this is like saying Brett Ratner is a better director than Donald Petrie.

Speaking of directors, all signs point to Paquet-Brenner being French because: (1) this is a horror film, (2) it is over stylized, and (3) a dog is killed. Please do not confuse the unnecessary stylistic flourishes with directorial competence, however. This movie features some of the worst hand-held camerawork in the history of feature films. In fact, every aspect of the cinematography, from the lighting to the framing, can be described as haphazard, at best.

A movie named WALLED IN should probably feature scenes of people being trapped inside…uh…walls. But Paquet-Brenner does not subscribe to such conventionalities. Other than an entirely unexplained opening credit sequence featuring exactly that, the closest thing we get to experience being trapped between four walls is our heroine falling down into some sort of giant well/silo structure. There is enough room down there to play a game of flag football, though, so to call it being “walled in” is a bit of a stretch.

WALLED IN is the kind of movie where a character screams “I won’t let you kill me!” just so the other character can say something like, “I’m not going to kill you, you are going to kill me!” Nothing anyone says or does is remotely believable, and nothing about its production qualities indicate an effort on behalf of anyone involved in its making. Mr. Paquet-Brenner, if you want, the next time you are feeling this lazy invite me over and I’ll bring some good horror movies we can watch from the comfort of your couch. $7.5 million (WALLED IN’s budget) can buy a ridiculous amount of beer, and maybe you’ll learn something.

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  1. D
    November 13th, 2009 | 6:00 am | #1

    At least the DVD cover looks cool. Maybe I’ll just look at that for another three or four seconds instead of watching the film.

  2. November 14th, 2009 | 8:48 am | #2

    I dont think I’ll be seeing this one.

  3. November 14th, 2009 | 11:05 am | #3

    Oh come on, you guys are a bunch of wimps!

  4. Arin
    October 7th, 2010 | 6:07 pm | #4

    I completely agree. I watched the film hoping to add another random, little-known thriller/horror to my collection as that is usually where my faves come from (among them Session 9, Devil’s Backbone), but this film was completely horrible. Mischa Barton’s performance was deplorable – one of the worst I’ve ever seen. The only thing I liked at all was the color tone of the cinematography, but agree that there was nothing in the shot design that connected with the story. I was completely confused by the end that I intentionally chose to watch this crap.

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