Title: Innocence

Also known as:

Year: 2014

Genre: Mystery / Romance / Horror

Language: English

Runtime: 96 min

Director: Hilary Brougher

Writer: Hilary Brougher & Tristine Skyler (screenplay), Jane Mendelsohn (novel)

IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1724965/

Four months after the death of her mother, Beckett and her father move to a new place in Manhattan. Beckett starts a new school and finds it hard to fit in. After the sudden suicide of a class mate, Beckett is noticing strange behavior among the teachers.

Our thoughts:
Are the "Twilight" movies still so profitable that movie covers should still try and look like clones? I wonder, because there have been several sent to me in the last year or so. Probably more than before! One of these movies were "Innocence", which surprisingly sounds very "Twilight" (oddly enough this is usually not the case with these!) when you read about it. The big difference is that the love story isn't quite as central to "Innocence", but there is still plenty of it there (the plot does revolve around virginity and innocent blood!). It is almost always a warning to me when DVD covers try to look like another, more popular movie, because it tells me that the movie doesn't have much to offer on its own. "Innocence" does not.

Beckett's mother dies from surfing.. or was it an aneurysm? Hell, she died of both! The movie starts on the beach and Beckett's mother disappears under a wave and dies. Later in the movie when talking about her death, they say she died of an aneurysm (but failing to mention the surfing). It obviously causes a bit of confusion, but that's okay because one of the few entertaining things of "Innocence" were the confusing parts. Anyway, Beckett and her father move to Manhattan soon after the death of her mother, and Beckett starts a new school. Her father, in all haste, starts dating Beckett's school nurse. Beckett's class mate commits suicide, and this kicks off a spiral of weird stuff happening around Beckett, and she suspects that her school nurse and the teachers are all part of it.

There are some strange things in "Innocence", but most of them are probably unintentional or just odd choices from the filmmakers. The above mentioned surfing/aneurysm incident wouldn't have been weird if it was established better that it kinda was both. There's something off about a garden that is being renovated in school, which serves no purpose at all even later in the movie. The father has lost his wife and is ready to get back on the market after just a few months (with little remorse). The new girlfriend, the school nurse, is constantly at their place but there is never a discussion between Beckett and her father about the relationship. Students are given drugs by the school nurse without ever questioning it. I don't know, it's just all so odd. There are so many ideas that seem to be thrown into it without second thought about whether it's logical or not. It's not a good thing, but at the same time it kinda does make it more entertaining...

When you strip off all the poorly planned ideas mentioned above, the movie is incredibly run-of-the-mill. I don't think that there will be a single scene in this movie that I remember a year from now. It's like the movie doesn't even want to try. I'm not stating this as a fact so don't quote me on it, but watching it you get the sense that the producers heard about the success of "Twilight", picked out book about teenagers and something occult, and decided to purchase the rights to make it. This is probably not correct at all since the author seems to be a producer, but still there is a severe lack of unique ideas and attempts at being its own thing.

Bland movies are off-putting to me as reviewer. There is nothing more painful than sitting down with a mediocre and forgettable horror movie that I need to say something about. Luckily "Innocence" had some oddly amusing things in it that I could comment on, but beyond that there is nothing to say. It's a movie about teenagers in a school where something weird is going on (something-something witchcraft) with a little love story included. Yes, it ticks a few boxes as far as decent production values go, but that means nothing at all when a movie is so unremarkable and mediocre as "Innocence". It wouldn't be too out there to compare "Innocence" to the recently reviewed "Cherry Tree". Both are about a teenager at school where strange things are starting to happen and she is the center of it all. The difference is that "Innocence" is extremely uneventful with a poor climax while "Cherry Tree" actually included some intriguing ideas.

Positive things:
- Some poor ideas that are executed worse added some entertainment.

Negative things:
- It's just so mediocre and uninspired.

Gore: 0.5/5
Nudity: 0/5
Story: 1.5/5
Effects: 1.5/5
Comedy: 0.5/5

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