13 November 2019 | vchimpanzee
Interesting mystery, sort of funny, amazing ending
It was called The Catastrophe in the Carolinas on a tabloid-type TV series hosted by Susan Moyer. No city was ever specified but there are several brief shots of the Charlotte skyline, and the Bank of America Tower spends a lot of time on screen.
Blaine Cartier is in charge of his late parents' estate, to the dismay of sister Desiree. Both act like spoiled brats but they care a lot about their image. And they are hosting the coming-out party for Torrance on April 1, 2007.
Attending the party are Senate candidate Peter, filmmaker Ryan, and celebrity gossip expert Charles. Peter thinks very highly of himself but doesn't seem quite right mentally. Ryan seems a little on the creepy side but may be harmless. And Charles is a jerk.
Also at the party is Milan, who cares about helping people. An elaborate prank is played for the holiday, and it goes terribly wrong.
The siblings end up in court, in the Union County N.C. courthouse I remember so well from when I was in college. Strange that the court case is taking place in such a small building if the setting of the movie is a large city, but it's a nice looking historic building. And it gets a second appearance later. Despite the seriousness of the case, the siblings seem to get out of their jam, with the only punishment being that Blaine loses control of the family fortune to sister Desiree.
Charles goes on TV with Susan Moyer. It's an amazingly realistic depiction.This could boost Charles' career, but of course this is because people are taking delight in misfortune and juicy gossip.
Blaine moves into a hotel. Based on the credits, I will guess that this is The
Residence at SouthPark, though I've never seen it. Desiree stays in the mansion with butler Wilford.
Then the anniversary of the horrible prank comes around, and things start happening.
Charles is the first victim of an apparent prank. Then the others who are familiar with the details of that previous April get messages that state, in essence, "I know what you did." They meet at the grave of one of the characters who did not survive the previous incident. The cemetery is apparently in Charlotte since we can see the skyline, and the Bank of America Tower remains on screen through most of the scene.
Those who survive are told that if the perpetrator of last April's prank does not come forward, they will die one by one.
And the terror continues. At least one of the murders is fake, because Torrance makes her living as an actress, but it was a very convincing scene.
Some of the subsequent incidents are quite violent, but the rest of the movie is pretty exciting, with car chases and fear of what's coming around every corner. I recognized several Charlotte landmarks in at least one car chase. I never saw the new Little Hardware but I remember the fire that destroyed the old one. If you blink you'll miss the stadium of the NFL's Carolina Panthers.
And then comes the amazing ending. Or at least I thought it was. There's more!
And it's still not over. Wait until you see what happens next!
And be sure to stay around for the credits. You don't want to miss that. It's not a critical plot detail but it's one you want to see.
Was this a great horror movie? Probably not, but it's worth seeing. It's somewhat humorous to start with and in the scenes involving the tabloid TV series. But once the movie makes the transition to more scary and exciting, I think it gets the job done.
Not a classic, but something to enjoy.