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Review: '#HoldYourBreath' deserves a one-word tweet: don't

The worst torture in this horror film is what it does to the audience.

October 04, 2012|By Mark Olsen
  • A scene from "#HoldYourBreath."
A scene from "#HoldYourBreath." (Handout )

It was only a matter of time before some enterprising filmmakers included a Twitter-style indexing hashtag in a movie title. Yet, the new low-rent horror film, "#HoldYourBreath," contains no social media component.

In fact, the movie is almost intentionally retro with its tale of college-age kids who incur the wrath of a malevolent force when they disregard the wisdom of an urban legend. Said characters even lock up their cell phones in the glove box of an SUV before heading off on a camping trip.

The film's basic premise comes from the old superstition about holding your breath while driving past a cemetery lest a wandering spirit possess your body. The evil spirit that sets the story in motion is an executed murderer who plucked out his own eye before getting the chair, and that remains his preferred method for dispatching victims, an eye for an eye and all that.

It seems some people are actually killed by having an eye roughly removed, while others simply pass out before a second round of torture.

Everything about "#HoldYourBreath" is aggressively mediocre, shoddy and undistinguished, such that the flat disaffection of "30 Rock" actress Katrina Bowden's delivery of the line "Awesome, we found an abandoned prison" becomes something of a high point.

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"#HoldYourBreath." MPAA rating: R for strong bloody violence, sexual content, language and some drug use. Running time: 1 hour, 27 minutes. At AMC Burbank 16, Burbank.

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