Year Released: 2001
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 96 minutes
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When I read that this film is geared towards the “Buffy” audience I got scared. I got scared bad. It’s bad enough that big time Hollywood studios are pumping our mega-plexes full with lifeless teen horror films, but when I see an indie churning out the same kind of garbage, I just have to hang my head and weep for the days when the little guys had balls. Now that I’ve seen “The Source”, I can definitely that the film doesn’t have a whole lot of balls, but at the same time it isn’t all that bad either. Imagine that…a teen horror film taking place at a high school that’s actually quite entertaining. Well smack my ass and call me Sally.
Four outcasts (a gothic new kid on campus, a science nerd, a hippie chick and a rebel), sick of being pushed around by their classmates and school faculty, decide to take to playing around in the forest when they discover a big glowing rock. As each of them takes turns stepping into the glow, they find themselves lifted off the ground, engulfed by the rock’s energy. After a couple of rides on the rock, the energy opens special latent powers within each teen, turning them into something like the X-Men if you will. Ashley the Rebel finds that she has gained the power of hypnotic suggestion. Zack the nerd finds himself with the ability to read other’s minds. Phoebe the hippie is granted the power of telekinesis. And gothic Reese, which the rock’s energy affects stronger than anyone else due to his traumatic past, receives the power of regenerative healing as well as the ability to throw psychic blasts. Honing their skills in the forest, the friends decide to take the show to the school campus where they exact mischievous revenge on those that have done them wrong. But soon, mischief turns to murder as one of the teens gets a god complex.
The entertainment factor of “The Source” lies in the fact that it’s a fantasy revenge tale. Anyone that was ever picked on in school can relate to the fantasy of somehow coming upon magical powers so that they could, for once, have the upper hand. And boy, do the kids and teachers in this movie really deserve what’s coming to them. I think this is kinda why “The Source” dodges the bullet, for the most part, of being another irritating teen horror flick. Usually, these kinds of movies are jam packed with a bunch of glamorous brats, striking poses so that they can look their best before they get taken down. Not that “The Source” isn’t loaded up with pretty people, cuz it is, but it’s just that everyone at that school is just so damn cruel. You anxiously await each and every one of them to get what they deserve. But this is where the film falls short. The revenge taken out on these knuckleheads isn’t near as deliciously wicked as I was hoping. I realize that in the end, these kids aren’t really supposed to be monsters, but c’mon…a little more spice would’ve kicked this baby up to at least another half star.
What they do intend as kick however, and this is where “The Source” falls into typical teen movie nonsense, is music video style jack-assery. Once the teens arrive on campus with their powers honed, the camera starts shaking and titling for no apparent reason. The film speed speeds up and slows down. But the thing that got me the most were these little lights jiggling all around the shots, looking like sun glaring off a bunch of compact mirrors. Boo. The teens also take to dressing like rock stars and the techno soundtrack barges in all too frequently to help drown the fun. This revenge tale is supposed to be fun because of what it is, not because there’s a bunch of pretty lights, asses in leather pants and loud music. It’s like all this flash is supposed to be the cue for excitement. Yuck!
Despite the aforementioned flaws, “The Source” ain’t too shabby. Besides, how many movies do you know that have not one, but two smear the queer scenes? That’s just good fun.
Film rating * * * 1/2 – 3 ½ stars ^ DVD rating * * * – 3 stars
Posted on February 10, 2002 in Reviews by Eric Campos
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