Reviews: Condemned

Oh, look here. Another movie called Condemned. Isn't that original?

"I'm a messy eater,"
Condemned is an 83 minute long Image Entertainment film about a girl Maya, played by Dylan Penn, who is sick of dealing with her constantly arguing parents, and decides to move in with her boyfriend who is secretly living with a couple friends in an old run down building on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. With neighbors that are meth heads, junkies, degenerates, and into some other questionable lifestyle choices, this hell hole is even more toxic than it appears. 

To start it off, the introduction to this movie really has absolutely no purpose. It feels rushed and attributes nothing to the rest of the experience. Some of the choices to show the passing of time feel completely out of context or as if they were taken from another film. However, once the story picks up and some of the building's residents come to center stage, it's an interesting approach to a subject that puts an uncommon twist on the story. While a little bit of the acting was hard to watch from time to time, some of the choices that the characters made were realistic and helped keep the audience engaged. The special effects makeup was not fooling anyone. It's obvious that the film didn't have much of a budget. However, it was nice seeing organic touches sprinkled throughout. I actually thought my computer was glitching out during the online screener. This was probably the best part about the entire movie.

"Oh my god!!! No! Not another
movie called Condemned!!!"
There wasn't any fantastic cinematography in Condemned that stood out, nor were there any camera tricks except for some cool looking piping shots. The four main characters were stereotypical horror movie friends. Although no one got murdered while having sex, it's the same dumb mistakes we're used to seeing, and you hope they die quickly and early on. Some of the more unique and interesting characters were a few of the residents, yet the virus seemed to not only kill their brains, but also their ability to stand in the spotlight. 

The ending to Condemned was predictable and felt like a cop out. Although there were not many directions it could go, at least they stuck to the continued theme of disappointment. The score is half new age punk and half late '80s club music, both being appropriate at the times they were used. Overall, Condemned was a rollercoaster ride, one with a rickety track, and a journey you want to escape from about halfway through. 

Condemned is directed and written by Eli Morgan Gesner. Cast members include Lydia Hearst and Ronen Rubinstein, producers Jack Heller, Jason Sokoloff, and Dallas Sonnier.


-Kirsten Anderson

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