07 October 2014

I AM ZOZO (a.k.a Are You There?)


Alternate Title:
Are You There?

USA, 2012
Director: Scott Di Lalla


A couple of weeks ago, I was kinda flabbergasted when I saw my blog buddy Karina posting on FB about a movie she just recently found in the bargain bin... a movie I've never heard about before: "Are You There?", something about creepy girls playing with Ouija Boards. According to the taglines, it's "A demonic tale of the occult" (hm...) and "Based on true events" (meh...).

After some investigation, I realized it's a movie I actually have heard of before:
"I Am ZoZo" (shitty title), which was retitled to the rather generic "Are You There?" for the European DVD release. Karina hated it so much, she didn't wanted to have the DVD in her flat anymore, and so she sent it to me, because she knows that I watch basically everything :)

So, did I like it? Hm, not really, though to my surprise, I ended up enjoying it a lot more than I expected. Based on a weird ghost theory about a mysterious specter called "ZoZo", the movie follows five teenagers who spend a Halloween weekend playing with a Ouija Board, accidentally attracting the attention of a
weird demonic presence.

What could have been something as awesome as Kevin Tenney's 80s classic "Witchboard" is sadly just a poorly developed and highly predictable lowest-budget flick, full of annoying cardboard characters, untalented actors, boring ghost-talk scenes and horrendous dialogue, like:
"Now for the last time, put your hands back on the planchette and shut your facehole!" - "Dayum! Look at the possessed girl. My facehole is gonna get a cold beer." - "Fine." - "Shut your facehole?"
or: "I am terrified of elevators. How embarrassing." - "No, don't be embarrassed. I'm terrified of the dark." - "So, if we were trapped in an elevator and suddenly the lights went out, we would be done for." - "Exactly!"

Scott Di Lalla's direction is unfocused and really awkward, the screenplay is a convoluted mess that can't decide between ghost flick and some-teenagers-having-a-good-time-lamefest, and seriously... who thought it might be scary to show a planchette go from "Z" to "O" over and over again?

Nevertheless, there are a few things that made it watchable: the fact that it was entirely filmed on Super-8 which gives it a wonderfully grainy retro-look, two scenes that are actually quite eerie (the bathroom scene, the entire ending incl. kitty pumpkin + wiccan girl getting attacked), and the unbelievably awesome score, consisting of some awesome music by BC Smith, as well as fascinating tunes like "Heaven" by Blood Warrior, "Solo Con Te" by London Below or "Heron Blue" by Sun Kil Moon.

Not zo good, not zo bad. Okay, I guess. Thanks Karina! =)

Wiki ~ Imdb


  1. It was worth sending it to you just to read "not zo good, not zo bad"

    You were a lot kinder than I was. The grainy feel didn't bother me as much as the unnecessary shaking of the camera. It made the cheapness seem more obvious. I still think the camera man should have been a character who filmed stuff!

    That'll keep us going until my next bargain bin find

    K :-)

    1. Ha! :-D

      Neither the shaky camera (I've seen way worse), nor the obvious cheapness didn't bother me. It was lame, but good enough not to hate it.

      Looking forward to your next find ;-)

  2. You guys have convinced me that ZoZo is a No Go.


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