Title: Hooked Up

Also known as:

Year: 2013

Genre: Independent / Horror / Mockumentary

Language: English

Runtime: 93 min

Director: Pablo Larcuen

Writer: Pablo Larcuen & Eduard Sola

IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3160020/

Two guys leave for Barcelona for a trip of partying and girls. As they drunkenly follow a girl home, the nights gets weirder by the minute. Before they know it, there's something in that house that wants them dead. The windows and doors have been locked and covered, and there is little hope of ever seeing the light of day again.

Our thoughts:
The marketing for "Hooked Up" seems pretty set on making sure that you know that this was shot on an iPhone. I can't vouche for it since I don't know, but it also claims to be the first horror feature shot on an iPhone. I like the idea of independent filmmakers using what's in front of them to make movies, so I have no problem with this. However, that an iPhone was used is not relevant whether this movie by Pablo Larcuen is good or not, and unfortunately it is not a very good movie.

It's the classic story of people in a foreign lands getting into trouble. A guy and his newly single friend take a trip to Barcelona where they party and try to get laid (well, one tries to convince his friend to get over the ex-girlfriend and find someone to fuck in Barcelona). As expected, this leads to bad things. They both find girls that they like, and all four go home to one of them. It just happens to be the one that is hiding something very dark in her house! The night turns into a violent mess and there is no way to get out. Of course, they make sure to shoot it all on their camera! As you would when you are in danger, for no reason at all.

"Hooked Up" is not a good movie. It might not be as corny as its title, but it is another example of a found footage movie that doesn't utilize the style well. Yes, with the movie being shot on an iPhone, the found footage approach was probably easier, but they should have asked themselves if it helped the movie or not. In this case, many of the biggest annoyances was the camera. Let me expand on that. First of all, why does it seem like they are using a "real" camera instead of an iPhone? Wouldn't it be more convenient if the characters actually used their phones?

Secondly, the movie falls into the same holes as most mockumentary/found footage movies: why do they continue to shoot? I can be open-minded and understand why, say, people who are trying to find ghosts continue to shoot once they are attacked by one (for evidence and all that). This movie doesn't give you a reason, and the closest you get is because they need the light on the camera.

For the third reason, I'll throw a few points together that might not irritate most people, but that made me even more negative towards the style they went with. If the guys are so obsessed with having sex and filming everything they can, then why doesn't the camera show the blowjob one of them gets? Surely he'd want to move the camera just a little bit lower? And who stands in a bar, talking about serious things with his friend, holding a camera in eye level? That's not natural in any way. There are so many instances in "Hooked Up" where you can't help but think that it could've worked much better if they just went the traditional way.

Beyond the cinematography, "Hooked Up" rarely reaches up to being decent even. There are moments that are okay. I think that the location is great (trapped in a house), and it managed to bring in an occult feel to it despite not truly being in that genre. The woman chasing them with a mask and a knife is simple but effective on a visual level, though it doesn't garner any scares. I had no real issue with the special effects that's worth mentioning.

If these few positive things sound crucial to you, and you don't care that you hate your lead characters from the first minutes, and that the story evolves into dumb places that I don't want to mention for spoilers, then watch it by all means. Just remember that "Hooked Up" is a bad movie, and an even worse found footage movie. I'm open to the future of Pablo Larcuen but I'm not gonna go out of my way to seek it out.

Positive things:
- The location was effective.
- The visual of being chased by a girl in a mask with a knife in her hand was very basic but it works well.
- Decent effects.

Negative things:
- It's bad. The characters and story are equally dumb.
- Horrible example of a found footage movie.

Gore: 2/5
Nudity: 2/5
Story: 1.5/5
Effects: 2.5/5
Comedy: 0.5/5

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