“”Don’t Blink” is a pretty interesting twist on an alien invasion story.”
Travis Oates‘ Don’t Blink could have been one of the better horror films to come along in quite awhile, if not for one pretty significant problem, which I will go into in a moment.
Though the issue isn’t that it’s a bit of a slow burn, and takes its time getting to where it’s trying to go. It’s worth mentioning that there’s little in the way of gore, though that means that the story has to hold up even more than is traditionally the case, because there little to distract you from what’s going on.
What helps immensely is that Don’t Blink is a good looking movie. Too many lower budget movies–I don’t know how much it cost, but it couldn’t be that expensive–often look like they save money by skimping on things like lighting, which is never a good move. Luckily that’s not the path taken in this instance, because the cinematography by Jayson Crothers is really good and makes things look more expensive and rich than they probably are.
Which leads to that problem that I alluded to earlier, which unfortunately is related to the story. I don’t mean that it’s not well-written, though it does feel underwritten, and the characters being little more than sketches, as opposed to fully fleshed-out.
Remember that I mentioned that Don’t Blink was an alien invasion movie? I honestly think it is, but you’re given so little information–other than people vanishing mysteriously and unexpectedly–that you have no idea why anything is happening.
For awhile it’s interesting to watch as things unfold, but soon you’re left wondering what’s the point and begin to come up with theories of your own, such as maybe it’s a people-eating house in the vein of Burnt Offerings? Or maybe it’s like Poltergeist, and restless spirits are running amok? That being said, it’s probably aliens, which I am reasonably sure of because of a cameo by a certain Doctor who goes all MIB on us (which he’s actually listed as in the credits). The thing is, should anyone have to wait till the last five or ten minutes of a movie to hopefully learn what’s been driving the action for the past hour or so?
I don’t think so. This lack of information doesn’t ruin the movie though in hindsight it bothers me a bit that the filmmakers didn’t seem to buy into their own central conceit.
Don’t Blink is currently on Netflix, by way of IFC Midnight (where some pretty interesting horror is coming from, it’s worth mentioning).