Directed and co-written by Nathan Hope
After anonymously flirting with men online, teenager Jillian disappears and only her best friend Sarah has the caring nature and courage to find her.
Despite the photo of Anna Kendrick wielding a gun and looking all cyber kick-ass on the DVD cover, this is no cyber thriller and definitely does not include a gun-toting character. Instead, ELSEWHERE is a teen horror thriller that sees Tania Raymonde star as Jillian, a flirtatious rough and ready teen who dreams of leaving her trailer home she shares with her slobbish mother, and venturing away to pastures new, somewhere she can start a new life with prospects. Her best friend Sarah (Anna Kendrick) lives in a comfortable home but her mother’s never around, working away or staying at the office til late at night. Though Jillian’s homelife is significantly worse, Sarah too feels neglected at home. Sarah’s concern about her friend grows when she talks about a Mr X she met online, one of a string of admirers on a flirty social network in which Jillian has posted sexy anonymous photographs of her body for men to ogle. Sarah’s concern is validated when Jillian goes missing, but with the local police unwilling to cooperate to locate a well-known runaway, Sarah is left to find her friend by herself.
ELSEWHERE almost acts as a LOST reunion, as actors Tania Raymonde who starred as Alex Rousseau and Jon Gries who played Ben Linus’ father Roger in the J.J. Abram’s series both star in the movie. Both of these actors give strong performances, as well as Anna Kendrick as a quiet but confident girl who must summon all her inner strength to find her friend. Unfortunately, the identity of Mr X is guessable early on in the movie but that doesn’t hinder the enjoyment of a well-made thriller, even if it’s not a groundbreaking one.
In terms of bloody horror, there’s hardly any in the movie, instead relying on some very well executed jump scares, that made me leap out my chair, flashbacks and a game of cat and mouse between Sarah and the mysterious Mr X. You can tell the crew had fun making this movie, and its content subject is quite relevant in today’s society where youngsters are putting themselves on display to strangers on the internet, believing it to be safe. This is the true horror of the tale, the fact that you never know who’s on the other side of the computer screen and what they’re capable of.
The script is decent enough and provides many witty banter between Jillian and her cohorts. The co-stars who make up the high school and graduate friends of Sarah and Jillian also further enforces teenage issues between the different sexes, with the script injecting some fantastic putdowns too. A variety of locations are used in the movie, including the homes of the girls and their friends, the local library and a creepy graveyard, creating a sense of fear that wherever they are in the town, they’re not safe and are being watched.
ELSEWHERE is a well-made thriller but don’t expect too much from it storywise. Enjoy it for what it is.