Director: Robert Kubilos
Starring: Jenna Lewis, Steven Hill, Bob Guiney
Sometimes I feel like I must be the only person not in (or related to) this cast who owns a copy of this film. I mean, it’s been out for 11 & 1/2 years and only 298 people have rated it on IMDb. That’s worse than most porn movies, which is funny, since The Scorned is kind of a porn movie. It’s a genre of its own in a way, reality porn, showing you the boobs and lack of talent from a variety of reality TV “stars”, allowing you to showcase the worst parts of yourself as well. These people were once semi-famous, in the reality boom of early 2000s anyway, bringing Survivor, The Bachelor, Real World, and others into our living room with more youthful exuberance than actual social experimentation, but we ate it up all the same. Anyway, I was and am a reality junkie, this stuff was my jam coming out of high school, I’ve watched this movie multiple times, and so almost no one is more qualified to tell you how terrible it is than me.
In a Malibu beach house during a carefree summer, a group of friends are about to get more than they bargained for. Kirsten wants to be an actress, Oliver is her ex-boyfriend, Seth is starting a fitness/nutrition company, DQ is mooching off them all, and various boy/girlfriends flit in & out during parties and sexual encounters. But the house holds a dark secret, and the ghost who resides there is ready to haunt. The landlord, a man named Matt, once fought with his fiancee Raina over his affair with her friend Nichola, leading to a tragic accident that still fuels rumors in the area. Is Raina dead, did Matt kill her, is she the ghost who won’t go away, why is she killing off cheaters one by one, and who can stop her?
The plot is something I could make up in the next 12 seconds, the cast can’t act their way out of a damp paper towel, yet somehow I love The Scorned all the same. I’m sure it’s by affection for these real people, I watched them on TV religiously, and so I had to enjoy their collective attempt to make a movie. And then there are all the boobs, an unabashed attempt to capture the attention of everyone who watched Survivor and thought “wouldn’t it be nice to see Jenna naked.” It’s cheap, it’s stupid, it’s manipulative, it’s wrong, but I’m still glad I own the DVD. For those who grew up in the same era and watched the same shows, this movie is for you. But even I can’t actually call it good, as much as I’m entertained by it; it’s the exact opposite, and if you don’t already know who these people are, you should run right now. Jonny Fairplay, Trishelle Cannatella, Ethan Zohn, Tonya Cooley, Jenna Morasca, Trish Schneider; ring any bells? If not, go before it’s too late.
My rating: ☆ ☆