AFF 2013 Review: INNOCENCE

By Mark Saldana 

Rating: 2 (Out of 4 Stars)

Teenage supernatural stories are all the rage right now, thanks to the success of the Twilight saga books and movies. The latest entry, which attempts to capitalize on this trend, takes place mostly in a private all girls school run by a faculty of supernatural, sexy women. Seriously, even the school nurse is a hottie, arguably the most gorgeous member of the school staff. With this particularly funny element and other laughable ones, Innocence is a difficult horror film to take somewhat seriously.

Following the tragic accidental death of her mother, Beckett Warner (Sophie Curtis) and her father Miles (Linus Roache) move to Manhattan where Beckett enrolls in an exclusive private prep school for girls.  Beckett begins to look into the school’s mysteriously disturbing past after one of her classmates commits suicide.  She comes to the realization that the faculty and staff of the school may not have the most honorable intentions for their students.

Based on the novel by Jane Mendelsohn, writer/director Hilary Brougher and co-writer Tristine Skyler adapt the story into an over-stylized affair. The film does have descent special effects, and their story has a nice build up with effective use of tension, suspense and scares, but the payoff is ultimately weak and frustratingly illogical. The acting, save for the solid work of teen lead Sophie Curtis, is mostly hammy and over the top. I have not read the book; therefore, I cannot say how faithful an adaptation the film. Regardless, I cannot honestly recommend watching it based on its flaws and issues.

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