“Return of the Curse” is more of a personal experiment than it is a movie. It seems director Chris Penney was more interested in trying to recreate scenes from movies that he liked and see what all the buttons on his new digital camera did than he was in creating a narrative that made sense.

The movie is just a loose collection of scenes tied together with the thinnest of thread where characters change personality and attitude without any reason. The first 5 to 10 minutes of the movie is nothing but random shots of birds or people walking on the beach and it doesn’t get much better from there. A plot doesn’t even begin to develop until the second half of the film. We are just stuck with characters we know nothing about sitting around and talking about how bad things are and how they need to get to the bottom of it, yet we are not given enough information to know what has gone so wrong.

It is not until the end of the movie that we get an explanation and when we do it’s from a character that has undergone a massive and unexplained personality change. Apparently all the trouble that’s followed the film’s characters is due to a curse brought on by a witch in the woods that they were doing a documentary on. Hmm…where have I heard that one before?

The “homages” don’t end with “Blair Witch”, either. Practically every scene and idea in the movie is directly lifted from some other film. Certain sections of the film are unnecessarily shot in black and white with only a few colors highlighted, much like “Sin City”. When questioned about the curse, one character explains, “The first rule of the curse is you don’t talk about the curse. The second rule of the curse is you don’t talk about the curse!” And one completely arbitrary scene in a mental hospital was included just so they could recreate the adrenaline shot scene from “Pulp Fiction”, right down to the exact dialogue. You could even see the actors break character and smirk as they repeated familiar lines. “Nightmare on Elm Street”, “Taxi Driver”, and many more get pillaged throughout the course of this “movie”.

The pieces just don’t fit here. It’s like the plot was an afterthought thrown in to justify releasing an hour and a half of a guy and his friends f*****g around with a camera.

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