Saturday 4 June 2011


The latest After Dark Original sees two evil twins tormenting their classmates. Watch the trailer and read my review, next...

Following a rash of teen suicides at a local school, Detective Lampkin (Orlando Jones) is sent to investigate whether anything more sinister is going on. When he suspects foul play, top of his list of suspects are Jonah and Seth (Edmund and Gary Entin), a pair of twin teenage boys who seem to have no sorrow over the deaths of their classmates. As Detective Lampkin gets closer to finding out the truth, Jonah and Seth reveal some secret powers that may take him off their trail.

Seconds Apart is now the fourth film to be released under the After Dark Originals banner and after seeing the trailer, looked to me to be the most straight forward story of them all. As it turns out it's the opposite, as this film has so many ideas going on it doesn't know what to do with them all. The opening scene features of a group of stereotypical jocks sitting around talking about their various unfortunate romantic conquests, before quickly introducing us to the macabre masterplan of the central twins who, with their identical emo haircuts and dress sense, film the jocks' apparent suicides. It's as if Damien from The Omen grew up to be the weird video camera boy from American Beauty, times two.

Orlando Jones (whose dramatic fall from stardom after Evolution is now probably the subject of many an obscure quiz question) does a pretty good job as the Detective haunted by his wife's death and looking to make sense of the wreckage that is his life. It's like he's walked right off the set of an early 2000's Morgan Freeman thriller, and just happened to stop for a break at this lesser work. It's a shame Jones has had to settle for work like this, as he's clearly better than it.

Perhaps the most obvious thing hampering the film is its two leads characters. The actors do a perfectly good job at performing everyday tasks in unison (brushing their teeth, combing their hair), but their characters are so cold and unsympathetic that you'll never consider siding with either of them, even when their unique bond is threatened by the arrival of (what else?) a hot girl. The motivation for their videotaped killings is never plausibly addressed, just ball-parked into them being from a 'dysfunctional family'.

What Seconds Apart does feature to differentiate it from the other After Dark Originals (Husk, Prowl, Fertile Ground) are a collection of inventively grisly death scenes. I've honestly never heard of death by imaginary tapeworm before. Having said that, it delivers more in gruesome imagery than it does in actual scares, and juggles with so many ideas that it doesn't care when a few of them hit the floor, which when we arrive at the climax is a little bit frustrating. 

It may look slick enough and offer some gore to appease the horror fans, but compared to the other After Dark Originals there's not a lot worth noting beyond the central concept that identical twins are inherently weird and scary. Emo kids will lap it up, but other audiences may feel split down the middle.


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