Fingerprints (film, 2009)
A review of the DVD from Death Ray #19.
FILM: TWO STARS EXTRAS: TWO STARS
Director: Harry Basil
Writers: Brian Cleveland, Jason Cleveland
Starring: Leah Pipes, Kristin Cavallari, Josh Henderson, Lou Diamond Phillips, Geoffrey Lewis
Urban legend gets extra adornment in this fright flick pitched right at the slumber party market.
There’s a Texan urban legend that says a certain level-crossing is haunted. The site of a terrible rail accident, where a bus load of children were smashed to bits by a train. If you stop your car short of the tracks and put it in neutral, ghostly tots will push it to safety. This tale forms the basis of Fingerprints (so called because the kids leave ghostly handprints behind). As this tragic anecdote is more of a tour guide’s aside than a story, the film has added lunatic station masters and a psychic teen to make some sort of narrative.
Said psychic teen Melanie (Pipes) is just out of rehab, she’s not a bad girl, but her first and only dalliance with heroine led to the death of her boyfriend. She herself OD’d, but was revived, with the side-effect that she can now see the dead. Becoming intrigued by the town ghost story, she unearths a darker mystery.
Pretty boys, teen troubles and a caricature of an awkward mother/ daughter relationship put this squarely in the pink corner – this is a ghost story intended for groups of teen girlies at slumber parties. It’s therefore harmless spooky stuff (rare gory moments and drug references earn it the high age rating).
It’s pretty average stuff too. Fingerprints starts well, but loses its way, its increasingly wobbly credibility finished off by a dumb coda that pushes the film right over the rails into the realms of pastiche.
Extras: An annoying on set ‘interview’ and an above average 20 minute making of, where we learn the legend is, apparently, true.