Judge Daryl Loomis is a beast on the ice.
Now you see him, now you're dead.
Independent horror movies are some of my favorite things to review; finding young and hungry filmmakers who love the genre and have something new to say about it is a genuine pleasure for me. Unfortunately, one has to wade through a lot to find those thing and, most of the time, one finds movies like Aberration. I try very hard to say something positive about every movie I review but, here, I find myself at a total loss.
In a high school obsessed with hockey, emotions run high and loyalties are short. Elliott (Cal Thomas, Meeting a Bullet) and Kyle (Kristian Capalik, Shamelove) are top players and, at one point, best friends. But now they're bitter enemies and Christy (Gwendolyn Garver, The Brazen Bull), friend to both, is caught in the middle. She also sees ghosts of the future in her dreams and, when one of those dreams comes true and another player shows up dead at school, she knows that more death is on the way. The only trouble is finding out who is committing these murders before the body count grows even higher.
For a movie that is virtually all exposition, it seems like Aberration would make more sense than it does. But, after scenes extended expositional dialog followed by other scenes of utterly unrelated expositional dialog, it's hard not to wonder how many scripts director Douglas Elfort-Argent (Reality Horror Night) decided to shove together in one ninety minute movie. Both sides of the story make a modicum of sense. The outcast former best friend's adversarial relationship with his hockey teammates and the girl who sees ghosts both might work independently, but there's nothing holding the two together in the story. It would have been particularly easy to just excise the ghost business, as it has next to nothing to do in the movie beyond a couple of inserted scenes and a final cliched horror end scene that really shouldn't be there.
It would have made a better movie had Aberration focused on the friendship story, but it still wouldn't have solved its biggest problem. The one thing that absolutely should be opaque in something like this is the true identity of the killer, but not only is Elfort-Argent not fooling anybody with it, the answer is patently obvious from the first time you see the character. No mystery means no suspense, which means, really, no movie at all. It's just a bunch of scenes strung together until we get our expected climax and a whole bunch of yawning in between.
Poor acting, awkward direction, and no real violence don't help much. There's no suspense or tension anywhere to be found and it's really just poor work in every way. I wish I had never seen Aberration, but that's the price one must pay to see the things on its same level that are truly wonderful. Sadly, this is far from one of those.
The DVD comes from RLJ in a truly average bare-bones release. The anamorphic image is clean, but a little dark, with murky but non-distracting colors. The surround sound mix has some work going on in the rear channels and perfectly clear dialog, but it's nothing that will knock your socks off or make you feel any different about the movie. There are no extras on the disc.
You have a lot of choices in your horror movies. During this horror holiday season, I hope you choose something other than Aberration and save yourself a lot of boredom.
Give us your feedback!
What's "fair"? Whether positive or negative, our reviews should be unbiased, informative, and critique the material on its own merits.
Scales of Justice
Studio: RLJ Entertainment
Review content copyright © 2013 Daryl Loomis; Site design and review layout copyright © 2014 Verdict Partners LLC. All rights reserved.