The Curse of Downers Grove Blu-ray review
Whoever named the town Downers Grove apparently had a sick sense of humor. Every year, someone from the senior class dies a brutal death. Take, for example, the kid who was playing on a water tower, slipped and went splat in front of his friends. Although this is clearly a case of stupidity, it’s treated as part of Downers Grove’s legendary curse, so brought on because the town was settled on (of course…) scared Indian ground. Other instances include drownings, car crashes, murders, overdoses, “farming accidents” and the like…
It’s a week before graduation and the curse has yet to claim that year’s victim. “Maybe,” says Chrissy (Bella Heathcote, David Chase’s NOT FADE AWAY; she will appear in the upcoming PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES), “it won’t happen this year.” Sure, and maybe the jocks will invite the clarinetists out for brewskies after graduation. Just to up the feeling of uneasiness, Chrissy is left for the week with her brother while their mom is out of town, making it an opportune time for death to come knocking. More danger is added when Chrissy and her friend Tracy (Penelope Mitchell, who had a recurring role on The CW’s THE VAMPIRE DIARIES) is nearly raped by a nearby town football hero (Kevin Zegers, 2013’s ALL THE WRONG REASONS), who doesn’t take the rejection well…
Here’s the answer to your question of, Why don’t the townspeople just relocate? Because then the movie would be THE ORDINARY LIVES OF A GROUP OF TEENAGERS FROM THE TOWN OVER FROM DOWNERS GROVE. The best part of that is that THE CURSE OF DOWNERS GROVE wouldn’t exist and horror fans would be spared all of clichés that abound.
THE CURSE OF DOWNERS GROVE brings in so many familiar elements that it can’t possibly handle all of them or, it seems apparent, even a few, since all of it falls flat. There’s the empty house, the cursed building on sacred ground, the geeky classmate with a crush on the lead, the abusive father who demands his son be good at football (played by Tom Arnold!)…And it all amounts to a completely worthless and dimensionless movie.
THE CURSE OF DOWNERS GROVE is directed by Derick Martini (2011’s HICK, which starred Chloë Grace Moretz and Eddie Redmayne), who co-wrote the screenplay with author Bret Easton Ellis (because hey, why not?). With this effort, it’s clear that Ellis has been putting more effort into his tweets than his words. Consider the way Chrissy speaks in expository summations like, “It’s because our town was built on land that was stolen from the Indians in 1832.” Following this, there’s even time for a brief shaming: “I can’t help but wonder if this has something to do with the curse. If that were the case, then all of America would be cursed.” Preach it…
THE CURSE OF DOWNERS GROVE is a lazy effort that spilled its brains out somewhere before the opening credits. But the biggest loss is the audience’s time.
Video: 2.40:1 in 1080p with MPEG-4 AVC codec. Black levels are deep, benefiting the overall atmosphere of the movie.
Audio: English Dolby TrueHD 5.1. Subtitles in Spanish. The dialogue is clean and the sound effects come through nicely.
Behind the Scenes of THE CURSE OF DOWNERS GROVE (4:34) is a standard BTS featurette.