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Chain Letter (2010) Review

Chain Letter is a 2010 American horror film directed by Deon Taylor and starring Nikki Reed, Jessica Szohr, and Keith David. The film follows a group of friends who are terrorized by a chain letter that kills its recipients if they do not pass it on.

I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect from this movie going in to watch it. From the generic plot line, to the slain teenagers, everything about it reeks ‘clich√©’. Gladly I can report that whilst Chain Letter may not be the most original movie I’ve seen in my years of watching horror it’s still very enjoyable. The acting quality is strong, all the lead characters are well fleshed out (as much as they need to be) and the movie’s pacing is spot on. Things never seem to drag (apart from the opening scene – pun intended), there is no overly long character exposition, cause quite frankly who cares… We want to see death scenes and Chain letter doesn’t disappoint on this front either. Most of the gore is done brilliantly and looks authentic. Chain Letter is not all about gore though. There’s plenty of nerve jangler moments that’ll have you reaching for the pillow, it can be a heartstopper when it wants to be.

Watch out for Brad Dourif as the slightly kooky teacher Mr. Smirker (unfortunate name or what) who has a clear beef with modern day tech. In fact if there’s any moralistic aspect to this movie it revolves around the use of technology in our modern day lifestyle. Privacy is not what it used to be as we all know. Thankfully a lot of this intellectualist stuff is kept to a minimum, it’s not overly intrusive, if at all.

To summaries if you enjoy watching teenagers getting ripped to pieces and fancy a good nights viewing that not only enthralls you but grabs you by the nuts, then this is for you. Recommended.

The film was panned by critics and was a box office bomb, grossing just $2 million against its $10 million budget. However, it did receive some praise for its acting and direction.

Chain Letter is a poorly executed film that fails to deliver on its promises of scares and thrills. The acting is wooden and the characters are un likable, which makes it difficult to care about their plight. The direction is also uninspired, and the film feels like it was made on a shoestring budget. However, if you’re a fan of low-budget horror films, you might find something to enjoy here. Just don’t expect too much.

Synopsis

The film follows a group of high school friends who begin receiving chain letters in the mail. The letters contain threats of violence and death if they do not pass them on to someone else. The group tries to ignore the letters at first, but as the threats become more real, they must face their fears and find a way to stop the chain before it’s too late.

The film begins with a group of high school friends, Beth (Mimi Michaels), Kelsey (Bryce Johnson), and Jessie (Edison Chen), receiving chain letters in the mail. The letters contain threats of violence and death if they do not pass them on to someone else. The group tries to ignore the letters at first, but as the threats become more real, they must face their fears and find a way to stop the chain before it’s too late.

Beth’s boyfriend, Ryan (Noah Segan), is the first to die after receiving one of the letters. This terrifies the group and they start to take the threats seriously. They try to figure out who is sending the letters and how to stop them, but every time they think they have a lead, it turns out to be a dead end.

The group starts to fall apart as the deaths mount and the threats become more real. Kelsey is the next to die, followed by Jessie. Beth is the only one left and she is determined to find the person responsible and put an end to the chain letter.

Beth finally discovers that the letters are being sent by a woman who is obsessed with the movie “Chain Letter” and is trying to recreate the events of the film. Beth confronts the woman and is able to stop her before she can kill any more people.

The film ends with Beth and her surviving friends trying to piece their lives back together after the ordeal.

Movie Details

Director: Deon Taylor
Writer: Deon Taylor
Actors: Michael Jai White, Ray Park, Michael Eklund
Release Year: 2010