Review: ‘to.get.her’

A debauched beach-house weekend turns deadly for the distaff teens in "to.get.her," Erica Dunton's cleverly titled and otherwise awful mystery thriller, meagerly funded and off-puttingly rendered in fuzzy "PastelScope." Dunton strains for high-school gravitas and achieves a smidgen of it in her twisty final reel, but film's absurdity, together with horrid dialogue, ought to prevent its graduation from an award-winning Sundance bow to release.

A debauched beach-house weekend turns deadly for the distaff teens in “to.get.her,” Erica Dunton’s cleverly titled and otherwise awful mystery thriller, meagerly funded and off-puttingly rendered in fuzzy “PastelScope.” Prior to a filmlong flashback, the poorly acted pic has clique leader Ana (Jazzy De Lisser) announcing in voiceover that “four of us were murdered” during a weekend bash unwittingly funded by her stepdad. Writer-director Dunton strains for high-school gravitas and achieves a smidgen of it in her twisty final reel, but the absurdity of “to.get.her,” together with horrid dialogue, ought to prevent its graduation from an award-winning Sundance bow to release.

Besides Ana’s wicked stepfather (Ed Wagenseller), potential predators include Bryan (Jason Davis), a lecherous neighbor; and Peter (Jon Stafford), with whom the girl’s mom (Jill Jackson) is seen trysting in pointless scenes that stop the pic cold. Copious drinking leads the young quintet to a dance club, where Dunton crosscuts among the steamy make-out sessions of three of them. The film’s eventual revelation about the girls doesn’t square with their earlier fun, although it does at least supply Dunton with a belated subject. Tech credits are shoddy.

to.get.her

Production

A Puella Films presentation. (International sales: The Film Sales Co., New York.) Produced by Erica Dunton. Executive producers, David Dobbin, Penny Dobbin, Joe Dunton. Co-producers, Luisa Casas-Rodriguez, John Gray. Directed, written by Erica Dunton.

Crew

Camera (color, widescreen, 35mm-to-HD), Derek Tindall; music, Michael Tremante; editor, James Devlin; production designers, Matthew Petersen, Andy Sleet; costume designer, Keith Taylor. Reviewed at Sundance Film Festival (Next), Jan. 21, 2011. Running time: 86 MIN.

With

Jazzy De Lisser, Chelsea Logan, Adwoa Aboah, Audrey Spechier, Jami Eaton, Jill Jackson, Ed Wagenseller, Jon Stafford, Jason Davis, Cullen Moss, Taylor Kowalski, James Forgey, Traci Dinwiddie.

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