1 out of 5
Directed by: Tim Shechmeister
I don’t want to start giving out 0s for ratings, because then I feel like I’ll be too tempted to fall back on that, but Tim Shechmeister’s Can’t Take It Back is as close to a film-viewing experience I’ve had during which I’m not even sure I’m watching anything – like, excepting that there are images moving before my eyes on a screen, I have zero brain activity, zero feelings or thoughts triggered by said images, and so no sure indication that there’s a movie playing and I’m not just seeing shapes and hearing sounds – and so the zero is more representative of that effect than of quality. Because, sure, Can’t Take It Back’s vague ghost revenge story isn’t so far off the mark of any given cash-in ghost revenge flick, but it is so completely lacking in definition (visually, characters, story, scares) that it very quickly sinks from time waster to below average to… non-existent.
A girl who was once bullied online is taking her revenge. This was released in 2017, but it still feels rather dated in its use of technology for that point, and at least 50% of the movie is taken up by characters hearing a sound, then letting the camera slooowly wander around the corners of a room before a cheap (and ineffective) jump scare. I can appreciate that a low, low budget was being accommodated here, but I’m not sure how that necessitates a story that can’t even keep its easy-peasey setup straight, confused if we’re dealing with a vengeful spirit, or a possession, or etcetera.
Logan Paul is in this, if that triggers anything for you, but beyond appearing shirtless for a moment, he’s in check. The real curiosity is why this was funded by Shudder.