Introductory onscreen text tells of a notorious classroom, said to be haunted ever since one of its school's professors went missing along with a pupil he may or may not have been shagging. Of course, a small TV crew took upon themselves to investigate further and - you've guessed it - this film represents footage filmed by them, and found retrospectively by the police...
So, as the "found footage" begins, we meet Annie (Valentina Kolaric). She's a budding journalist, and one who her boss reckons is the best employee he's known in 30 years. Strangely, her first few moments on camera suggest she's utterly inept.
Anyway, she and her cameraman Kurt (Vince Major) first set about interviewing people with prior experience of the classroom. A few students who claim to have witnessed paranormal activity there, a couple of mediums who were called in to cleanse the place of evil spirits, and even a cynical priest amusingly called Antonio Ruggero (Wesley Rice). He insists the whole story is nothing more than an elaborate hoax.
Suitably intrigued by these stories and the fact that the school's headmaster is vehemently against their investigations, Annie and Kurt arrange to stay in Classroom 6 overnight - enlisting local psychic and former student Jack (Mike McLaughlin) for further assistance.
Insisting that they're locked in the building for the night (why?), what could possibly go wrong ...?
Dear me. There are bad "found footage" films and then there's CLASSROOM 6. A film utterly devoid of original ideas, energy or inspiration.
Brazilian filmmaker Jonas Odenheimer's directorial debut follows the conventions of the saturated sub-genre so rigidly that even a horror novice can second-guess what's coming at each turn. The introductory text has been done to death; the lights go out and panic ensues? Yep, seen it countless times. The female lead gets a moment where she can address the camera, in close-up, weeping and apologising for all the shit she's brought upon herself and her colleague? Hmm, seems familiar. Spectral figures spotted meandering spookily in darkened corridors? Of course. No mobile 'phone signal? A given. The shaky camcorder footage that conveniently suffers from a lot of static interference whenever the action is upped? Yes, yes, yes.
The script, by Odenheimer, is often ridiculous. It makes what were probably half-decent performances look really bad, as not one character can rise above its naive clumsiness and convince the viewer that what they're witnessing is real. As a faux documentary, this fails resoundingly.
Lighting and editing are adequate but, really, that's not enough. With a predictable, cliché-riddled plot and half-baked scare scenes (the sudden cut-to-black as the final scene reaches its crescendo is another expected chestnut of the sub-genre), there really is nothing to recommend CLASSROOM 6.
Now, I realise this is a fairly damning review. As it happens, I'm a sucker for a terrible film so I'd probably hunt this down if I was reading these words. But, unless you're a masochist like I am, my advice would be to steer clear. Honestly, if you've seen just one "found footage" film in your lifetime, then you've seen all that CLASSROOM 6 has to offer. And the chances are, you saw it being done better than it is here.
Now, on to Left Films' UK DVD...
The film looks healthy enough in this 16x9 presentation. Images are clean and solid, while any noise is I presume intended given the low res documentary style of filmmaking at play. Colours are true and blacks remain solid throughout.
English audio comes in 2.0 and 5.1 mixes. There's not much between the two, but both are reliable sources.
A static main menu page leads us into an animated scene selection option allowing access to the film via 10 chapters (top tip: chapter 10 is the closing titles, which you may want to skip straight to).
Extras begin with "The Interview", Odenheimer's 12-minute short film from 2012. In it, a cop is required to prove his worth for a job with the mafia by killing an innocent man. It's stylish, tense ... and a lot better than this disc's main feature.
A 4-minute Making Of featurette features some behind-the-scenes footage along with soundbites from cast and crew.
Kolaric is present for a 5-minute interview which is interspersed with clips from the film. If you want to know how the lead actress in this terrible movie got into acting etc, then here's where you need to be. Perhaps the only trace of wit on this entire disc, the interview is framed in a camcorder style with the [REC] symbol present in the top left-hand corner throughout.
A 4-minute alternate ending is provided for those who just can't get enough of cliché.
Finally, the film's original 2-minute trailer is that rare beast: a preview that's honest enough to imply that feature its advertising is shit.
The DVD opens up with defaulted trailers for the enjoyable SCREAM PARK, THE DEVIL'S WOODS - which seems humdrum - and JONAH LIVES, which looks interesting.
Left Films' DVD serves CLASSROOM 6 perfectly well. It's just a shame that the film is utter bollocks (4-star film reviews, per the cover ... really?!).
Review by Stuart Willis
|Released by Left Films|
|Region 2 - PAL|
|see main review|