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Twice the Party, Twice the Fun... Until Everyone Starts Dying: Cinefantastique Review of Plus One

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2014-01-14-plusone_still2_410.jpgPLUS ONE (aka +1). Directed by Dennis Iliadis. IFC Midnight, Available on DVD 1/14/14, 97 mins. With: Ashley Hinshaw, Rhys Wakefield, Logan Miller.

At the kind of teen party that happens only in movies courting the demo that dreams of going to this kind of teen party -- you know: copious booze and drugs; gyrating strippers; million-dollar sound system; general ambiance of Rome-at-the-fall -- an alien force of indeterminate origin begins messing with the space-time continuum, conjuring up an alt-party a few minutes out-of-sync with the original. While this essentially means they're getting double the bang for their liquor buck, it also presents no little threat as the timelines begin to converge, and the revelers realize that only one party is going to make it all the way to the finish.

Director Dennis Iliadis' take-down of the Project X brand of teen comedy wraps up in satisfyingly brutal fashion -- if your general musings while watching such films tend toward nuclear bombs and attacks by rabid lemurs, you'll be happy here. But it replicates the flaw of the similarly satirical Cabin in the Woods, forcing you to wade at length through the clichés of the genre in order to get to the (literal) deconstruction. The pay-off is worth it, particularly in regards to the film's central plot-strand, which has a desperate boyfriend (Rhys Wakefield) struggling to make up with his girlfriend (Ashley Hinshaw) and resorting to some fateful decisions with each rebuff. Vengeance is at hand for those of us who were stuck in basement rec rooms with a scratchy copy of Déjà vu playing in the background.