Review by Paul Grammatico
In the current climate we witness actions and; more often, inactions with certain incidents and events. As a result of these actions or inactions, there can be severe consequences. Hood River Entertainment’s latest offering Don’t Look Back is a stark, dark, and excellent exploration of the very essence of karma.
Caitlyn Kramer (Courtney Bell), on her birthday, becomes a victim of a home invasion. She is killed along with her Father (Orlando Eric Street). After nine months, Caitlyn is brought back to life but is horribly traumatised. She begins her healing process with therapy and the support of her boyfriend Josh Bowman (Skyler Hart). While running in a park, Caitlyn witnesses Douglas Helton (Dean J. West), being assaulted by Tony Cusumano (Han Soto) while the other people in the park do nothing to stop the beating. When Doug dies from his injuries, Caitlyn and the group in the park are confronted by Doug’s brother Lucas Helton (Will Stout) at a police station. Being outed by Lucas on television and ostracised by the public, the group faces a bigger problem as karma comes back to kill them one by one.
Written and directed by Jeffrey Reddick (Final Destination), this film has a strong Final Destination vibe and that’s a good thing. This well-crafted horror/thriller is very stylised in the way that the Destination films are crafted where an action brings about a reaction. The urban Louisiana atmosphere provides a creepy atmosphere which gives you the feel that something is always around the corner. This is illustrated with various jump scares and how each of the characters meet their fate.
The acting performances are highly competent with Courtney Bell as the haunted “final girl”, Skyler Hart as the beleaguered boyfriend, and Will Stout as the vengeful brother. Despite their characters being a bit on the stock side, they play these characters and play them well with as much complexity as the story allows.
With the various twists and turns and how the movie deals up an unexpected wrap at the end, this film is an enjoyable, popcorn inspired watch. For the fans who are jonesing for another Final Destination, Don’t Look Back should satisfy your fix.
Check out our interview with writer/director Jeffrey Reddick.