“Don’t Blink” is directed by Travis Oats and for a feature debut as director, the film is pretty impressive. It is a strong story that creates a dark unease with serious subject matter, straight forward dialog and disturbing climactic scenes that just continue the story right up until the end-an end without finality! Something that makes this movie feel more authentic as a horror film. Plus (and I am trying not to spoil it) that unfinished moment that ends the film allows for this idea and concept to continue in a paranormal/horror mythos. “Don’t Blink” stars Mena Suvari,Brian Austin Green, Zack Ward, Joanne Kelly, Fiona Gubelmann, David de Lautour, Leif Gantvoort, Curtiss Frisle, Emelie O’Hara and Samantha Jacober.
The story deals with a paranormal or supernatural uncertainty that builds creates an unnatural creepy atmosphere almost from the start. Okay the start is actually a concerted, cheese feast intro. At least that is how it felt to me, it actually sets the tone and gives us our characters backstory without taking up a lot of dialog in the main story. A story that is freaky, built into society’s psyche based on religious mythology, and alien mythos alike. The plot has a group of friends taking a trip to an excluded, out-of-the-way retreat in the mountains of Colorado (I think-I think of Colorado whenever I hear a John Denver song). Anyway the location is nothing if not “unsettling”.
The acting in “Don’t Blink” is pretty tight, most of the cast give strong performances bringing cliché characters together in one disturbing experience. At times it does feel a bit too polished and insincere, but that is just because such attention has been paid to piecing this film together as perfect as possible. A task that is manages pretty d*mn nicely – in my opinion. The characters are relatable on some level, yeah they are stereotypes but they personalities are so individually blended that the cliché seems somewhat elevated to a more modern equivalent. Plus I have been sold on Brian Austin Green since ‘Sarah Connor Chronicles’ and of course the “Laid To Rest” franchise.
“Don’t Blink” uses mostly practical effects, with camera tricks for the obvious main horror element of the film. For every practical effect scene everything works to create a gruesome, disturbing raw moment. It elevates the very dramatically driven story, and terrifying reality of these characters. Again this is a testament to the cast and crew’s strength to produce a quality film. The soundtrack was a bit ineffective in pushing the psychological profile of the story into the necessary areas of unease that the subject matter and acting demand. That is not to say that it doesn’t serve to carry the story’s emotional component through the film, it just doesn’t have the power that all the other components hold in this nightmare scenario. However-overall “Don’t Blink” is a great horror story that warrants attention from horror fans. I think both psychological horror and paranormal horror fans will be very pleased with this one.