Chest (2022) Movie Review – Horror On Tubi
In 2016, a group of filmmakers disappeared in the mountains of East Tennessee. Three years later their footage was found.
Welcome to Knockout Horror. Today we will be reviewing the found footage horror movie Chest from 2022. We are taking a look at this movie as part of our Horror On Tubi series. Every movie we watch in June will be from the streaming service Tubi.
I am not sponsored by Tubi, obviously. I am simply a glutton for punishment. The rules are simple. I’m not checking reviews before watching. I am not interested in people’s opinions on the movie. I am simply reading the synopsis and jumping in feet first. Let’s go!
Low Budget Horror On Tubi
The first movie I covered as part of this series was ReSet. Naturally, I thought it would be a huge pile of shit. I mean, the terrible cover image was a fairly strong warning sign on its own. That is without mentioning it being described as a “David Sumner Film”. Despite David Sumner, seemingly, having never directed any movies before. But, to my utter shock, I actually found myself enjoying it. ReSet is a watchable, if not flawed, Happy Death Day Lite. It has its problems but I found it to be pretty fun.
But did that reset (ha!) my expectations a little when it comes to low budget horror on Tubi? Am I now a believer that there are hidden gems to be found on the free streaming service? I want to be honest here, of course it didn’t. It will take more than one above average movie to convince me that there is gold in them there hills. I am still fairly sure it will take a few months to wash the smell of Tubi turd off of me when this is done.
Now This is More Like It
I felt a sense of relief wash over me when the final credits for Chest ran. Not just because this utter bore of a horror movie was done. But, also, because I’d found exactly what I thought I would find. Poorly made and poorly acted, low budget, crap. This is what I was expecting when I decided to do this feature. Reset threw me off my game a little bit. It offered a slight sliver of hope. Chest reminded me to abandon that hope as soon as possible.
Now I’ll make it clear before I seem like I am being completely unfair. I love low budget found footage horror. Hell, I love a terrible horror movie in general. I would never drag Chest for what it lacks in production value. That’s not an issue to me. What I will drag it for is everything else it does wrong. Which, shockingly, is rather a lot.
The movie follows a group of investigators making a documentary about Appalachian folklore. A topic that is very in at the moment, for some reason. While doing so they uncover the legend of a chest hidden in a wilderness area. The group decide to go looking for it. Presumably because the documentary they were making was a bit shit. Resulting in them meeting a whole cast of cliched horror characters. Some not very interesting stuff happens. The movie ends and you breathe a sigh of relief that you made it to the end. That’s assuming you didn’t turn it off half way through, of course.
Found Footage Done Wrong
Chest is exactly what people imagine when you say Found Footage. This is the very epitome of the Found Footage Boogeyman. Chest is extremely poorly filmed. Shots are terribly set up. Lighting is horrible. The camera wobbles around manically and everything feels incredibly amateur. And when I say amateur. I don’t mean some pompous annoying friend who subjects you to their crap artsy photography and videography on Instagram. I mean amateur as in someone who has never held a camera before.
Speaking of which, nobody has actually bothered to set the cameras up. Did the makers realise you have to configure the cameras for outside shots as well as indoor? I don’t think so because indoor scenes are very dull and outdoor shots look horrendous. It’s like they filmed the movie during the middle of a nuclear blast. The sky glows ominously as if warning the viewer of their impending doom. I have never actually seen this in a horror film before. Hell, I have never seen this in a YouTube video. I had to check the movie on three devices to make sure it wasn’t my TV giving up the ghost.
A Boring Story and Poor Acting
As I mentioned earlier. Appalachian folklore is very in at the moment. It’s a pretty timely topic and there is nothing wrong with it as a theme for a horror movie.The problem is, Chest does absolutely nothing with it. Writer, director, Aaron Irons has put together a dish water dull story. Chest plays out like hundreds of similar found footage movies for much of its length.
Skirting the line between standard film and mockumentary. We see the crew interviewing people and making plans for their documentary. While occasionally getting excited about the mystery of the hidden chest. The only problem is, the viewer is never given a reason to get excited as well. They might as well be searching for a shoe box for how poorly the mystery is built up.
We are subjected to interviews with a cast of characters that are as cliched as they are inexperienced with acting. It’s rather painful stuff and extremely difficult to engage with. The main cast is, generally, extremely unlikable and almost impossible to care about. There is nothing to invest in here which is probably a good thing. The majority of my energy was spent trying to stay focused on the laboured plot.
Even More Issues and An Underwhelming Conclusion
The longer Chest goes on the more it seems to lose its way. It trudges its way through its tremendously taxing 95 minute runtime. Gradually falling deeper and deeper into cliched found footage territory. Desperately forcing in campfire discussions and group tensions to make us care about the characters. All while feeling like an even lower budget Blair Witch Project. By the 50 minute point of the movie. The actors are really starting to look checked out. It’s at this point that Chest really starts to go off in a strange direction.
Taking the viewer to, what must be, the most sanitised and boring cave ever. Irons desperately tries to bring some intrigue to the story. All far too little and far too late. I applaud Irons for trying something different with the last twenty minutes or so. Throwing in some themes that might be somewhat unexpected. But I really don’t feel like it works. The poorly constructed story doesn’t support the film’s conclusion. Side swiping the viewer and leaving you wondering what the hell just happened. That’s if you actually made it to this point. A big “if” in my opinion.
Final Thoughts and Score
Chest is exactly what I expected from this Horror On Tubi Feature. Low Budget crap that leaves you wondering what the hell happened. As well as lamenting the time you just wasted. Terribly filmed, poorly acted, boring and unremarkable. There is very little to recommend here.
Chest is what people imagine when they think of Found Footage. The type of movie that gives the genre a bad name. Some may enjoy its vanilla setup and overly familiar found footage traits. Some may appreciate the somewhat unexpected ending. For everyone else, there is much better out there. Why not check out our horror movie reviews to find something better?