Don’t Look, the directorial debut of actress Luciana Faulhaber (The Night Crew) begins with a flashback. We know it’s supposed to be a long time ago because it’s sepia-toned, scratchy and there’s a vinyl album playing. A young girl hears a gunshot then sees her father over her mother’s body. He tells her “Cover your eyes. Don’t look” and we hear another gunshot.
Flash forward and the now grown Nicole (Lindsay Eshelman) and four friends decide to get away from the city for Thanksgiving. And what better place to go than her family’s house in the country, memories be damned. Some creepy neighbors “A David Lynch remake of The Beverly Hillbillies” as one character calls them gets things off to a weird start. The lack of cell reception and the masked figure with a fondness for sharp objects are just icing on the cake.
Don’t Look runs a fast seventy minutes, which is both a good and bad thing. It’s good in the fact it doesn’t try to stretch a basic plot out to epic length. This is something too many films such as I Spit On Your Grave: Deja Vu have been doing recently. On the other hand, though, it means the film is nearly half over before the killing starts.
When things do get going there are plenty of kills crammed into that last half hour. For a low budget film, there’s a fair amount of blood and practical effects, no CGI blood spray. Something that’s definitely appreciated when the chainsaw makes its appearance. There’s also, in the spirit of 80s slasher a fair amount of boobs on display. Well actually it’s the same actress showing them off repeatedly, but I doubt most viewers will complain too much about Sherri Baby’s (Hailey Heisick) babies.
Faulhaber, who also plays Lorena, does a good job recreating the look and feel of a mid-level slasher from back in the day. It isn’t bloodless but doesn’t go into Maniac territory with the gore either. The script from Jessica Boucher and Danielle Killay puts a bit more emphasis on the female characters than the originals did. But apart from that, Don’t Look is a fairly accurate recreation of the originals.
An enjoyable film and promising debut for its director. Don’t Look will be available on VOD and DVD May 14 from Wild Eye Releasing. You can check its Facebook page for more details.