Review: ‘Stranger Than Fiction’

Executive producers, Etchie Stroh, Robert Baruc. Co-producer, Deborah Thompson Duda.

Executive producers, Etchie Stroh, Robert Baruc. Co-producer, Deborah Thompson Duda.

Directed by Eric Bross. Screenplay, Tim Garrick, Scott Russell. Camera (color), Horacio Marquinez; editor, Caroline Ross; music, Larry Seymour; production designer, Gary Constable; casting, Mary and Karen Margiotta. Reviewed at Cannes Film Festival (market), May 13, 1999. Running time: 90 MIN.

With Mackenzie Astin, Todd Field, Dina Meyer, Natasha Gregson Wagner.

Gifted thesps Todd Field and Natasha Gregson Wagner, who have made their mark in a number of indies, are wasted in Eric Bross’ “Stranger Than Fiction,” an amateurish, poorly scripted and shabbily executed horror thriller. Neither scary nor funny, it’s doubtful that this embarrassing recycling of the most blatant genre conventions could even make a dent in the straight-to-video market.

Hysterical Jared (Mackenzie Astin), all bloody and battered, arrives at the house of his best friend, Austin (Field), in the middle of the night with a horrendous story that involves the killing of a stranger in his apartment. Together with two other close friends, Emma (Dina Meyer) and Violet (Wagner), they return to the scene of the crime to take the body, only to realize that Jared has not been completely honest with them about his private life. Set in Salt Lake City, Tim Garrick and Scott Russell’s inept script wants to say something significant about the nature of friendship (how well do we really know people who presume to be our intimate friends?) and at the same time entertain as a genre item, but fails miserably on both counts.

Stranger Than Fiction

(HORROR)

Production

A Moonstone Entertainment presentation, in association with Unapix Entertainment, of a Bergman Lustig production. Produced by Dana Lustig, Ram Bergman.
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