From time to time I review movies that are not quite up to the spit and polish of most films due to extreme budgetary constraints. I try to watch them with that in mind and focus on what the filmmaker was trying to do and if they succeeded or at least gave it the old college try. 

ANTISOCIAL BEHAVIOR suffers from some technical issues and some clunky dialogue and acting at times, but at its core it does a fine job with a story of dark psychological horror. 

Joe (Jackson Kuehn) has suppressed a lot about his childhood but he is starting to break apart at the seams. Fortunately, he has his roommate Scott (Chad Bishop) who has become a surrogate brother of sorts since their time together in a family home. 

One night at a party, Joe meets the comely Wendy (Mary Elizabeth Boylan) who appears to be dealing with insecurity issues herself. Unfortunately, that same night Joe begins having horrible visions that something is after him. 

His behavior becomes more and more erratic and he’s soon coughing up softball-sized fleshy tumors that pulsate with life. The overly patient and attentive Wendy is there for him, but as he travels farther and farther down a dark path, memories from his past come to light and their revelations are far from comforting. 

Skirting between drama and surreal horror, ANTISOCIAL BEHAVIOR is engaging and reminded me of early David Cronenberg.

On the positive side, Writer/Director Kenneth Guertin does a great job within his budget limitations and my attention was certainly held by the mystery of what was unfolding. I was also impressed with the extent of physical and CGI FX that were employed. 

But if I'm to be completely honest, the film did feel overly familiar at times (minus the bloody lung biscuits, of course). It was also a tad uneven with bursts of true vision intermingled with other scenes that were flat and generic. 

Kuehn commits to the borderline psychotic Joe and brings the necessary pathos and energy to the film, unfortunately Boylan and Bishop are only middling in their supporting roles. Sometimes they nail it, other time their performances leave a lot to be desired. 

All in all, ANTISOCIAL BEHAVIOR is above average for films of this type and worth a gander. But it plays more like a quality student thesis film than a theatrical motion picture. But if you’re fine with that going in, then you should enjoy the dark ride.

JULY 21, 2014