Mean Spirited – Frightfest Movie Review
Director: Jeff Ryan
Writer: Joe Adams, Jeff Ryan (Screenplay)
- Michelle Veintimilla (Gotham)
- Neville Archambault (The Landlord)
- Daniel Rashid (Being Frank)
- Will Madden (Thunder Road)
- Jeff Ryan (The Way Way Back)
Plot: After receiving an invitation to his estranged friend’s mountain cottage, a wannabe Vlogger aims to bury the hatchet with their now-celebrity friend who isn’t quite himself anymore.
Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: Mean Spirited starts with a wannabe Vlogger Andy (Madden) agrees to bring his team Tom (Rashid), Joey (DeCotis), Dew and Nikki (Veintimilla) to meet up with an old friend and celebrity Bryce (Ryan). The idea of the trip is to try and make up with each other, but it becomes clear not everything is as smooth between the pair.
As the journey continues, Andy’s pranks start to get to the rest of the crew, but something else is going on. Something the friends can’t quite put their fingers on.
Verdict on Mean Spirited
Andy is a wannabe Vlogger who is jealous of Bryce and is always searching for the next concept for a video. He leans towards pranks, putting his friends through the odd events over the weekend. Andy has something in his past, which has created tension between him and Bryce.
Bryce is a successful Vlogger that has found a few ideas that make for success online. He relies on his image to help drive him forward. Bryce is the most relaxed member of the group over the weekend.
Tom is a timid camera on the team, he prefers being behind the camera and brings his girlfriend on the trip. He finds himself getting pushed into things he isn’t prepared for, usually ending up at the but of the jokes.
In the supporting characters, Nikki is like the entry into the world, being Tom’s girlfriend, and learning about the world he works in. Joey and Dew complete the team who work on the videos.
Will Madden is the desperate vlogger; he will bring everything to make this character come off as selfish in his motivation. He brings a performance that makes us want to hate him as he goes about his ways.
Jeff Ryan, both starring and directing, brings the character who is above the chasing of fame. He is the one person that feels at peace in the movie.
The supporting cast completes the group, as they play into the different expected roles within the Vlogging world, the cameraman, editor and loud one who goes over the line.
The story follows an aspiring Vlogger that wants to learn why his former friend has changed so much in his new fame. This sees his team going on a weekend away, only for things to start spiralling out of control.
The story uses the modern determination to become internet celebrities and how far people will go to make this happen. In the horror side of the story, we see how people are changing, reflecting fame and evil as one.
Mean Spirited is a horror comedy that uses the modern Vlogger hot takes to grab attention. This sees flashy headlines, intention quick takes for the video moments. When it is preparing the locations of the videos, it returns to normal filmmaking, moving away from the Vlogger style. The movie does use a mix of found footage styles, with a lot of the sequences being filmed for the show they are making. This means we get the chance to show value later in the recovery of the previously shot moments.
Final Thoughts –Mean Spirited is a great reflection of stardom and possession.