A former YouTube star’s attempt to reconcile with his former best friend takes a sinister turn in this crazy horror comedy.
Years ago, Andy and Bryce were best friends who started up a viral channel revolving around pranks. However, as time went on, Bryce became more popular when he creates a character called “Thunderman” and leaves Andy hanging. While Bryce has become a major viral star, Andy’s channel is failing. When Bryce offers Andy a chance to come to the Poconos for a weekend of fun and to perhaps make up from their estrangement, Andy decides to go and make a vlog out of it.
Coming along for the ride is Andy’s current collaborator Tom, mutual friend Dew, Tom’s crush Nikki, and tomboy Joey. Upon their arrival, they come across a mysterious figure in a goat mask. However, they ignore it and run into Bryce. Bryce and Andy slowly begin to make up until the first night, the group decides to play with a Ouija board which moves itself. Soon enough, strange occurrences begin to occur and affect the group. Will they be able to overcome whatever is joining them or will it be too late?
This film co-written and directed by Jeff Ryan is quite interesting in its execution as it brings to mind the upcoming film Slayers in the use of having social media influencers in the central roles. Where Slayers has influencers involved with vampires, this film pits a top influencer and his former friend, a failing YouTuber, possibly facing some sort of demonic presence.
Kudos goes to director Ryan, who also plays viral star Bryce, and Will Madden, who plays Andy, who blames his former friend for his channel going downhill. Between the demonic chaos, tensions go both smooth and chaotic between Bryce and Andy. Their one-time friendship turned rivalry is a major part of the film and we have the other characters involved here staying Switzerland for the most part. Dew, played by Will Martin, is quite funny but we soon notice something changing him when he’s the first to undergo something strange after an encounter with the goat-head demon.
Daniel Rashid is the quiet Tom, who only gains his confidence when he’s around his crush Nikki, played by Michelle Veintimilla. She does like him as well and would prefer to take things slow. Tom soon must rely on Andy when things go insane and when it comes to Joey, played by Maria DeCotis, she has this little crush on Bryce. The third act, which is the third day, is where it all goes crazy and leads to not a twist, but a double twist. You heard that right, it veers off one way then veers another and is pretty shocking with the film ending with a mid-credit scene that puts everything in perspective.
Mean Spirited is a fun, wild, and sinister film that pits viral influencers against a demonic presence. Director Jeff Ryan and Will Madden show some chemistry as the frenemies, being the heart of the film and the other characters prove to be vital as well.
WFG RATING: B
Entertainment Squad presents a First-Name Films production. Director: Jeff Ryan. Producers: Joe Adams and Owen Williams. Writers: Jeff Ryan and Joe Adams. Cinematography: Kenneth Wales. Editing: Bryce Levy.
Cast: Will Madden, Jeff Ryan, Daniel Rashid, Michelle Veintemilla, Maria DeCotis, Will Martin.
The film debuted on October 18 at the Screamfest Film Festival.