Director(s) – Matthew Festle (Found Footage of Fear, Jason Thunder: Agent Impossible) and Matt Leal (Tales from the Grave: The Movie, What We Leave Behind)
Starring – Matthew Festle, Thom Michael Mulligan (RoboWoman, A Gothic Tale), and Jackson Turner (Found Footage of Fear, Meathook Massacre Part VI: Bloodline)
Release Date – 2020
Rating – 3/5
This pandemic has stopped much of the world and changed everything that we knew. This “new normal” has put a strain on a lot of industries. Some indie filmmakers have learned to adapt and overcome these new restrictions but this has resulted in films featuring just one or two people in each scene and the film is poorly edited together to tell a story.
However, directors Matthew Festle and Matt Leal discovered a unique way to overcome this and deliver a solid film. Sometime back I saw Festle sharing news that his film Hacked was available to purchase on blu. I shared it on the site and he was kind enough to send over a copy for me to review. Thanks Matthew!
**spoiler Alert** The film follows two true crime fans that have built up a solid following for their true crime podcast. One of the men is grounded and very business forward while the other is very excitable and often unhinged. The company that has been hosting the podcast doesn’t care for the wildcard host and wants to take the one that seems to have his act together and partner him with another true crime podcaster. That’s when things for the other goes south and he becomes a little too unpredictable and unstable. **Spoiler Alert**
I was curious how Hacked would play out. Most of the country, at least those of us that have some common sense, have been practicing social distancing, wearing masks, and avoiding crowded places. It’s damn near impossible to film a traditional film while following those guidelines. However, Hacked really impressed me.
The acting in this one is pretty solid but there was a few instances that I didn’t really care for. Festle and Turner work very well together. They really do have the chemistry that you would expect from two that co-host a podcast/videoblog. They work very well together and their scenes together, may not be traditional, but they work very well.
With that being said, Festle almost delivers a duel performance. His character at the beginning of the film is very energetic and enthused but later in the film he intensity rises with his character becoming very chaotic and maniacal. The supporting cast is decent, however, I didn’t care for the awkward segments featuring random YouTubers/podcasters talking about how Festle’s character went too far. These should not be included in the film and really drags the pacing down.
The story for this one works. Sure, it does become dull at times but the overall story works especially when you consider the impact covid has on how movies can be filmed. The main characters are written well enough that they help with the story. Finally, the film has some bloody moments which are indicated on the film’s poster but for those of you looking for a gory flick will be very disappointed. These bloody scenes look cool but the practical effects are very minimal. Overall, Hacked is a fun first time watch. It’s not something that will leave a lasting impact on the genre but it shows that you can’t stop creativity especially in the middle of a global pandemic. Give this one a shot because you will not be disappointed.