By: Joey Keogh
Dir: Youssef Delara, Victor Derran
UK release: Monday, 26th August 2013 (Frightfest)
The world of underground dub-step is, rather strangely, considered a great basis for a movie in ‘Snap’, a thriller involving a well-meaning young man named Jim (Jake Hoffman, basically a poor man’s Jason Biggs, but moodier) who, following a childhood trauma which we only get a glimpse of through flashbacks, now suffers from schizophrenia – but it’s totally cool, because he just so happens to be a bad-ass dub-step composer too.
After falling in love with a beautiful social worker (‘Twilight’s Nikki Reed), Jim realises that he must get his life in order, and decides to finally rid himself of his manipulative older brother (Thomas Dekker) who always seems to be around, giving him shit at the worst possible moment. Add to the mix his kindly, ex-therapist (Scott Bakula) who is trying to figure out what exactly happened to Jim, and ‘Snap’ turns from a simple study of a man struggling to keep his demons in check, to a bizarre relationship drama with some horrible dub-step thrown in for good measure.
‘Snap’ isn’t exactly what one might call an original film – it’s basically ‘Fight Club’ but with less fighting, far less charismatic leads, and lots more shouting in public. The dub-step angle is fairly new, but it also isn’t terribly exciting or even exploited as much as it could’ve been. Hoffman isn’t a strong enough screen presence to carry the film and Reed, though she tries her best, isn’t given a whole lot to do here either. A climactic sequence, involving a hostage situation at a dinner party, is incredibly ill-judged, and makes little sense, even when taking Jim’s deteriorating mental health into account.
Likewise, his childhood trauma, which is harked back to constantly throughout the film, doesn’t ring true, and to suggest that it’s the cause of his adult schizophrenia is an oddly ill-informed judgement on the part of the filmmakers. ‘Fight Club’ did this twist to death, and since its release, audiences have been able to spot it coming a mile away. Earlier this year, ‘Girls Against Boys’ made the same mistake as ‘Snap’, by making it incredibly obvious, from the outset, that the main character is talking to herself which, when it is ultimately revealed, renders everything that’s come before it completely irrelevant and inconsistent.
‘Snap’ tries to go with the shock factor in the final act, revealing that a second character is schizophrenic, but if you haven’t guessed it from the moment this person (and their “friend”) first appears onscreen, then this may be the first film dealing with this theme that you have ever watched and, in this case, it may be best to see something a bit smarter and more effective, like ‘Shutter Island’, before your brains completely turn to mush. Otherwise, there’s nothing to recommend ‘Snap’. It’s diverting enough, for the most part, but it falls apart in the final act and the dub-step is really irritating – surely Morrissey didn’t sign up on the retooling of ‘How Soon Is Now’ playing over the end credits?