First Look Review: Liars All ★☆☆☆☆

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This ridiculous little thriller would like to have you believe it’s a compelling and steamy psycho-sexual thriller involving drugs, threesomes and murder. It isn’t. It’s a convoluted mess without an inch of intelligence and a collection of awful performances.

A group of student friends – mostly American – are in London together over the Christmas period. On New Year’s Eve they decide to host a very daring dare game, goading each other into doing rather naughty things. One guy (Matt Lanter) is tasked to jerk off in front of his best mate (Torrance Coombs). The best mate is dared to steal something from the home of a total stranger. People prick their fingers with the same needle and someone drinks the blood (HIV anyone?). As things escalate, the night ends in the brutal death of one of their number (Gillian Zinser).

Though set in London over Christmas, a lot of the film was shot in Los Angeles (which probably explains the lack of recognisable British brands in the apartment – no Tesco fruit squash to be found here). It’s largely told in flashback, with an empathetic though clearly gossip-hungry detective (Alice Evans, a better actor than this allows her to be) questioning the youths about what happened. This technique makes the film feel disjointed rather than increase the suspense. In the end, it’s hard to care who shagged/split up with/murdered whom and why.

It’s also weird watching 90210 actors Lanter and Zinser playing characters that, oddly enough, don’t seem that different from their ones in the aforementioned show. There has been a bit of buzz online about an (allegedly) racy threesome scene involving a naked Matt Lanter, but if anyone watches the movie for this scene alone they will feel very short-changed.

Although I would much rather see a decent movie than an unclothed Matt Lanter, part of the film’s problem is its zipped-up coyness when it comes to sex and nudity. Though the Liar’s All would like to appear seductive and risqué, nobody’s trousers are never taken off, there’s no naked thrusting or anything resembling penetration. There’s the hint of a hand-job at one point, but the frame cuts-to black seconds after. I’m not saying the film should be pornographic in its approach to sex scenes, but it’s a tad embarrassing how tame it all ends up being, especially when one takes into account the image it so desperate tries to cultivate.

Liars All (2013), directed by Brian Brightly, is yet to secure a UK release date though it is likely to be released in UK cinemas in 2014. 

 

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Second year BA Film & English Student. Watches too many films and enjoys good novels.

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