Friday, December 12, 2014
DVD Review: APP (2013)
Directed by Bobby Boermans
Distributed by RAM Releasing
I had not heard anything about this film going into it. I honestly wasn't expecting much, but I was blown away by this one. I'm really surprised there is not more buzz about this film. Here is the plot of the film from the Ram Releasing website:
Anna, a student at the University of Amsterdam, lives with her best friend Sophie and balances psychology classes with supporting her brother and his recovery following a traumatic motorcycle accident. She’s never far from her cellphone, and after a night of partying in the dorms, Anna wakes up groggy and hungover only to find that a new app has been inexplicably added to it. Initially helpful and clever, IRIS soon begins behaving mysteriously, answering personal questions it shouldn’t know the answers to, and sending inappropriate images to her contacts. When it becomes clear she can’t simply delete the unwanted evil app, Anna’s efforts to confront it will set in motion a fearful series of events that will put her life, and that of her roommate and her fragile brother, in fatal danger.
What's really unnerving about this film is that something similar to this could actually happen. Now I'm not saying a killer app could download to our phones, but I do have to wonder about that camera and microphone on our smartphones. Someone could probably create a virus or some kind of bug that could turn your microphone and camera on without you knowing. This concept makes up the creepiest part of this film for me, as the phone takes over and records Anna without her knowing.
APP was enjoyable on many levels. I thought the acting was excellent and the concept was unique and was carried out perfectly. One of the best things about this movie was that you can actually download the same app from the film onto your smartphone for a unique two screen experience. In fact, the movie claims to be the "first second screen film". It must be, because I have never seen this concept before. What I assumed was going to be just a dumb gimmick turned out to be a very interesting and fun part of this film. The app you put on your phone syncs up with the film through sound cues in the movie. At certain times in the film, your phone will show you something that pertains to that particular scene. This was really neat and I was impressed as the filmmakers had to film extra footage just for the extra scenes in the app. I can see this concept being put to use by many more films in the future. While APP did a good job with it, I can see the potential for other films to use this concept in a much broader way.
APP will be coming to DVD and Blu-ray on December 30th. The DVD contains the following bonus features:
* Director's Commentary
* Special Effects Bonus Featurette
* APP Theatrical Trailer and Bonus Ram Trailers
You can download the IRIS app by texting the word IRIS to 97-000, or search for the IRIS app in your phone's app store.
CLICK HERE to watch the trailer
CLICK HERE to watch on Amazon Prime
CLICK HERE to pre-order the DVD
CLICK HERE to pre-order the Blu-ray