I had been putting this movie off every since it was first released and I'm not really sure why. I love Elijah Wood, especially when he decides to do something dark, and even own the original film on BluRay. And it's not like I hold that film with such high regard that I couldn't imagine a remake desecrating its sacred celluloid. Not at all. In fact, I'd say I found the original film to just be for shock value and never really drew me in. So having Wood take over the lead would seem like a home run.
And home run it was.
Goddammit does Wood give an absolutely phenomenal performance. Achieving that level of emotion and character depth while being off camera most of the time is a testament to both him and director Franck Khalfoun. Speaking of which, whoever's decision it was to make the film mostly in first person should be applauded. I say that both creatively and the person putting up the money to allow it because that's ballsy. It paid off though, really make you feel like you were in on the crimes, not just a viewer, which added to the disturbing aspect. I was wincing during this entire thing, feeling sorry for the girls and not wanting them to fall for Frank's timid charm. That's good filmmaking.
I watched two really bad movies last night (See No Evil 2, The Final Destination) so getting to watch something that was actually competent may have clouded my judgment a little bit, but I still found it to be an extremely thrilling horror film. I found it a little odd when the camera would pull away from first person perspective given that gimmick's prominence in the film, but it wasn't enough to make me dislike it. I hope we keep seeing Elijah Wood step foot into the horror genre.