2019 Netflix Halloween Countdown: “14 Cameras”

Updated on May 31, 2020
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There are many movies that are worth seeing, but there are a lot of stinkers as well. My goal here is to weed out the good from the bad.

2019 Netflix Halloween Countdown

For my third annual Netflix Halloween Countdown, I will once again be watching and reviewing some of the spooky, scary, gory, chilling, and horror-themed movies on Netflix. With each review, I will be including an up-to-date table that ranks these movies from best to worst. If you are looking to get in the Halloween spirit, by watching some Halloween-style movies, then these articles are for you!

14 Cameras

Theatrical Release: 7/27/2018
Theatrical Release: 7/27/2018 | Source

Synopsis

A family of five is going on vacation, and they find a really nice house available to rent for the summer. They get to the house and find that it is located in the middle of nowhere. The house is a good drive from anything and everything, but it is well kept, spacious, and even has a decent swimming pool. It would be a great house to relax in for the summer, if it was not for the landlord.

The landlord (Neville Archambault) is creepy and has installed cameras throughout the house. No matter what room they are in, or what they are doing, the landlord is watching. As bad as being spied on may be, the landlord’s perversion is far more disturbing than just “watching” his victims. The vacationing family suspects nothing, and by the time they do, it may be too late to get out safely.

Official Trailer

The Pros & Cons

The Pros
The Cons
Neville Archambault (+8pts)
Too Gross (-4pts)
The Premise (+3pts)
The Pacing (-10pts)
13 Cameras (+3pts)
Dumb Decisions (-3pts)
All movies start with an average score of 75pts, points are then added or subtracted based on each Pro and Con. Each Pro or Con is designated points, ranging from 0-10, to convey how significant these Pros or Cons are.
Source

Pro: Neville Archambault (+8pts)

He was the best part about 13 Cameras, and he was the best part about this movie as well. However, to be clear, he is the best part in the most disturbing sort of way. This role needed to be disturbing. That is kind of the whole point of these movies, and this guy absolutely nailed it.

From the way the character breathes, to his incredibly disturbing stare, this character is creepy before he even does anything. Then the landlord does the creepiest things you could imagine someone like him doing. The premise is a disturbing one, as is the character, but the movie would not work without a convincing actor in the role. I know the actor is not solely responsible for what made this character work, as the director and costume designer played significant roles as well, but Neville Archambault was as hard to watch as he was hard to look away from. The filmmakers needed a disturbing character, and Neville Archambault made it happen in the most chilling, disturbing, and oddly captivating way.

Source

Con: Too Gross (-4pts)

I understood what this movie was trying to do. They wanted the landlord to come across as disturbingly creepy and gross as possible. It was hard to know which part of the character was more disturbing, his appearance or his actions. Okay, his actions were definitely worse because they hurt others, but the filmmakers definitely made the character look the part!

So far, this may not sound like an issue. The filmmakers did what they were trying to do, but I thought there were a few scenes or moments where I thought the filmmakers took it too far. My best example of this was what the landlord did with his tongue. This was certainly disturbing, and that was definitely what the filmmakers were going for, but it was both distracting and hard to take seriously. They went for disturbing, but went so far that it was both comical and hard to look at. This just makes me think the filmmakers got a little carried away with it.

Source

Pro: The Premise (+3pts)

This movie’s premise was certainly effective. It is a chilling, disturbing concept that plays into people’s fears and paranoia. The thought of being spied on in a hotel, motel, Airbnb, apartment, or even a house, is something that most people have thought of at some point. For most this is just a brief feeling, but some people have legit fears regarding this exact situation. This movie really leans into that idea in the most disturbing way. The idea of someone watching you in your most private moments, and the idea that the person watching you has a key to the place you are staying in — so can go through your belongings while you sleep and can even potentially harm you — is a disturbing idea. If only the filmmakers capitalized on the strong premise more effectively.

Source

Con: The Pacing (-10pts)

The filmmakers had their idea, but they seemed to struggle with the pacing of the story. How much do they focus on the family being spied on? How much do they focus on the landlord? The filmmakers struggled to find a balance here, and they struggled to find interesting things for these characters to be doing.

The landlord stuff was always interesting, because it was always compelling to see what disturbing thing he was up to. The family, however, was boring. I just did not care about the relationships between these characters. The filmmakers did not develop them, but kept giving them screen-time even though there was nothing for them to do in the house. These characters were just relaxing around the house, which meant that they were never up to anything interesting, which made for a pretty boring movie. The movie had a solid premise, but by keeping the protagonists cooped up in the house with nothing to do, and by spending so much screen-time focused on them, the movie ended up feeling really slow.

Source

Pro: 13 Cameras (+3pts)

I was surprised at this, but I really enjoyed how the filmmakers tied this movie to 13 Cameras. I really do not want to give away how they did this, but they way that they tied the two movies together really raised the stakes for this movie. It made everything that was happening, leading up to the climax, feel more important. This movie very much stands on its own, but it’s tie-in to the previous movie definitely makes this one better.

14 Cameras ties-in to the 13 Cameras, no doubt, but you do not even need to have seen the last movie for the tie-in to improve this movie for you. It added an extra layer to this story, which made the plot and the ending a lot easier to get invested in. Rather than just have a story about a family trying to get away from a creepy landlord, tying these two movies together in this way made the landlord feel more dangerous, more sadistic, and really got me invested in wanting to see this creep get the justice that was hopefully coming to him. However, did he actually end up getting that justice? You will need to see the movie to find out.

Source

Con: Dumb Decisions (-3pts)

There were a few dumb moments in this movie. These were dumb moments that I have seen in plenty of movies in the past, which only made them more obvious here. One example is when a protagonist gets the antagonist down, then tries to run away without trying to finish the antagonist off. Another example is when a couple of protagonists got rags stuffed into their mouths while being tied up, and they did not even seem to attempt to get the rags out. These were just a couple of examples, but there were definitely other noticeable ones. It just seemed like the writers needed their protagonists to make these poor decisions in order for the plot to proceed, which is something that always bothers me when watching a movie.

Grading Scale

Grade
Category
Points
A+
Amazing
95-100
A-
Great
90-94
B+
Good
85-89
B-
Decent
80-84
C+
Average
75-79
C-
Watchable
70-74
D+
Bad
65-69
D-
Terrible
60-64
F
Garbage
45-59
Source

Grade: C- (72pts)

I thought 13 Cameras had a premise that had a lot of potential, but I thought the filmmakers dropped the ball with it. Then, when I saw that there was a sequel, I was hopefully optimistic. I knew this premise had the potential to make for a great horror movie, so I was looking forward to seeing if the filmmakers could pull it off with 14 Cameras. I liked this movie quite a bit better than the last one, but I still do not think they achieved the full potential of this premise.

The premise is a very creepy one, that plays into the fear of being watched by a perverted, dangerous person. Neville Archambault played the landlord (the creeper), and he has done a fantastic job playing this part. Between the stare, the breathing, and the look, this guy has made this a truly disturbing character. Unfortunately, the filmmakers seemed to struggle with the pacing of the story. They kept their protagonists cooped up in the house with nothing to do, and a lot of screen-time was spent watching them do nothing. I get that this is exactly what the antagonist would be experiencing, but it can end up being boring to the viewer. The premise has potential, and this movie was certainly better than the last, but this movie still fell short of what it could have been.

Ranking

Rank
Movie
Points
1
Tucker & Dale vs. Evil
87pts
2
Insidious
86pts
2
Train to Busan
86pts
3
Horns
85pts
4
The Conjuring
84pts
5
Velvet Buzzsaw
83pts
6
Bird Box
82pts
6
In the Tall Grass
82pts
6
The Ritual
82pts
7
The Babysitter
80pts
7
Cargo
80pts
7
Gerald's Game
80pts
8
Hush
79pts
9
Little Evil
78pts
9
Stitches
78pts
10
14 Cameras
77pts
10
1922
77pts
10
Hold the Dark
77pts
11
The Perfection
76pts
11
Would You Rather
76pts
12
The Eyes of My Mother
75pts
13
Demonic
74pts
14
Green Room
73pts
14
Meet the Blacks
73pts
15
The Bar
72pts
16
Death Note
71pts
17
Yoga Hosers
69pts
18
The Invitation
68pts
19
13 Cameras
66pts
19
The Open House
66pts
20
I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House
65pts

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