MOST HORRIBLE THINGS (aka Love Hurts) * USA 2022 Dir: Hiroshi Katagiri. 93 mins
Arriving at a lavish mansion, detectives Holden (Sean Patrick Flanery) and Denver (Natalie Burn) are tasked with looking over the incident and figuring out what happened. Looking back on the incident, they realize that Eva (Sarah J. Butler), Jason (Andres Erickson), Jeff (Rich Paul), Cindy (Martina Vargas), and Calvin (Vincent van Hinte) were invited to the event by their Host (Sean Sprawling) to a special holiday-themed party on Valentine’s Day under the premise of a massive reward for participating the whole evening. As the night continues, though, and they decide to let their darkest secrets and inner insecurities get the better of them it turns their evening into a nightmare that might not leave everyone alive.
Overall, “Most Horrible Things” is an underwhelming thriller without much going on. One of the better features is a rather fine series of gore effects which comes from some brutal and creative kills throughout which aren’t frequent enough to be much more than momentary diversions away from the rest of the underwhelming features. While not overly gory or graphic, there’s enough uniqueness here to help atone for a series of huge gaping flaws in the rest of the film which starts with some of the most obnoxious and unenjoyable group of people that are intended to be likable. Self-centered social media personalities that are intended to be there under the impression of getting to meet their true love but find themselves bickering and fighting with each other or spouting clichéd notions of pseudo-psychological nonsense involving their various interactions with each other that tend to just be dull and lifeless. It all comes off the same as numerous other films in this ‘parties-gone-wrong’ style of films where despicable people come together to turn things around on them. That becomes even more apparent when the film stops the main setup to keep going back to Denver and Holden interviewing the survivor about what happened so the momentum of the film gets undone early on and often by the repeated halts to the pacing that allows us brief bits of uninterrupted bits of their unlikable behavior so it’s hard to get invested with what’s going on here. The tempo is still lively enough to make it a watchable effort but it won’t be an enjoyable time.
Review by Don Anelli