Look (2007 film)
Look is a 2007 American found footage film directed by Adam Rifkin. The film is composed entirely of material shot from the perspective of surveillance cameras; though shot using CineAlta movie cameras, all were placed in locations where actual surveillance cameras were mounted. The scenes are staged, though, with actors playing a given script. The film's score was provided by electronic music producer BT.
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Adam Rifkin|
|Produced by||Barry Schuler|
|Written by||Adam Rifkin|
|Edited by||Martin Apelbaum|
|Distributed by||Captured Films|
The film follows several intertwining narratives as the security cameras watch over the characters in several different areas: a gas station, a high school, a mall and an office building. The storylines progress over the course of one week and many of the characters end up interacting with each other in the course of their lives.
Tony, a manager at a housewares store at a local shopping mall, openly flirts and touches several of his female co-workers. He is seen having sex with one woman, Lydia, in the warehouse space of the store. A day later, Lydia eventually hears from Naomi that Tony has had sex with her as well. When confronted, Tony tries to twist the conversation around, citing Lydia's husband and three kids, and eventually reconciles with her through more sex. Other security camera footage shows Tony having sex with multiple female employees. A few days later, Tony attempts to seduce Courtney, a new employee who flatly refuses his advances and notifies him of a previous sexual harassment lawsuit that she had to settle with her previous employer. Courtney eventually tells Lydia, who had forewarned her about Tony, but Lydia pretends that she never had sex with Tony and claims that only idiots sleep with Tony.
Office worker Marty is a socially awkward geek who seems to be born of bad luck: an ATM eats his card, he is awkward with social interaction and he ends up being the target of several pranks at his credit card firm, ranging from spiked soft drinks and drawers filled with sour cream, to the wheels from his car removed. Over the course of the film, Marty becomes increasingly upset by the wide range of pranks pulled on him by his mean and ungrateful co-workers and eventually explodes his frustration onto the person who pranks him, but the co-worker remains unfazed.
Meanwhile, Ben is a lawyer and his wife Louise is a banker who install cameras into their house to look after their baby while they are at work. Their eight-year-old daughter Megan ends up being the target of a pedophile over the course of two days, when she and Louise shop for clothes, housewares and toys at the mall. The pedophile wears a blue-colored boonie hat to hide his face from all the security cameras around the mall. On the first day, Ben is present and ends up running into George, a fellow lawyer who works in the same courthouse and shares the same gym. Unbeknownst to his wife, Ben is involved in a romantic affair with George. The two later go to a restaurant, where George tells Ben that while he is still in love with Ben, he cannot share him and happily leaves him with his wife and family. On the second day, the pedophile in the blue boonie hat makes his move and approaches Megan in the mall food court while she is waiting for her mother to return with their meals, and claims that he is a friend of her mother's. He takes Megan away and out of the mall. Louise, unable to gain assistance from the surrounding diners in locating where her child went, contacts security. The pedophile is revealed at this point to be Marty, the nerdish office worker.
Two sociopaths are pulled over by a cop on the highway, but end up overpowering the officer, shooting him and driving his vehicle into the ditch. They later rob a woman using an ATM at gunpoint, lock her in the trunk and leave it in the mall parking lot. The pair then make their way to a convenience store, in which clerk Willie and his friend Carl hang out during the late night hours. The first time the pair visit passes without incidence which happens when Willie is away to talk with his girlfriend while Carl minds the store. But the second time, Willie has recognized the pair as the "Candid Camera Killers", as the cop's footage has hence been circulated on television networks. The pair make a swift getaway as the clerks watch on a news camera, before colliding head-on with another vehicle. One of the robbers is killed and the other one is injured. The police make their arrests on the murderous fugitives.
A high school student named Sherri admits to her friend Holly that she has a secret crush. She eventually reveals that her crush is on Berry Krebbs, one of her teachers. Sherri attempts to flirt with Berry several times but he refuses, citing his wife and the child that they are expecting. However, he finally relents when she corners him at his car late one night on school grounds. The two have sex in the driver's seat before Berry drives off. Sherri calls Holly shortly thereafter to confirm that she and Berry had a sexual encounter. The next day, police arrest Berry on sexual assault and rape charges. At the police station, Sherri's character is revealed to be a manipulative vixen who cries rape on guys that she seduces after they reject her. Sherri gives a passionate testimony to the police, claiming that Berry forced her into the vehicle and had unprotected sex with her, but she instantly clams up when the police mention that her school is equipped with surveillance cameras and that they have a copy of the tape. Sherri's parents sit down to watch the tape, horrified of their daughter's actions. While Sherri decides to drop the rape charges, Berry's life falls apart as his wife Joan decides to leave him and move back to Philadelphia; and Berry himself, due to the videotape evidence, is charged for statutory rape and is forced to register as a sex offender. His lawyer, who happens to be Ben, advises him to plead no contest at his trial to have his sentence reduced to ten years.
A minor storyline occurs when a darker-skinned man accidentally leaves his knapsack on a bus. The bus is eventually evacuated and the bomb squad is called in, revealing that the knapsack contains nothing more than college textbooks.
In a montage during the epilogue, Joan Krebbs gives birth while Berry is incarcerated; the convenience store clerks, Willie and Carl, are awarded $50,000 at a public ceremony while the surviving killer is found guilty of murder; Sherri is expelled from her high school; Megan's parents, Ben and Louise, return home to their housekeeper without their daughter, along with the police who promise to keep looking for their daughter and the unknown man wearing the blue boonie hat who abducted her; George is seen at a gym looking for potential new guys to flirt with; Tony is shown in a drive-through with his wife and children unaware of his double life as a sex addict; the darker-skinned man is seen graduating from college; and the woman inside the trunk of the stolen car in the mall parking lot has stopped producing noise after several days, while cars and people continue to pass by. In the final scene, the sociopath pedophile Marty arrives at the office for work as usual in the free and clear, with Megan nowhere in sight. A little later, Marty is approached by a police officer at his cubicle. Fearing that he is about to be arrested for the abduction of the little girl, Marty is instead horrified to learn that this is yet another cruel practical joke against him: the officer ends up being a male stripper hired by his mean co-workers to further humiliate him. The office workers laugh and hurl homophobic insults at the humiliated Marty and the rest of the office staff all join in on the laughing and homophobic insulting unaware of Marty's true nature. The shot zooms out from Marty to show hundreds of digital screens of CCTV images as the end credits begin to roll.
As of December 14, 2007, the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that 60% of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 35 reviews — a percentage considered "fresh" by the site. On Metacritic, the film had an average score of 43 out of 100, based on 4 reviews — indicating mixed or average views.
Showtime confirmed in January 2010 that a television series based on the movie would be released sometime the same year. On September 1, 2010, a teaser trailer was released and the show premiered on October 10, 2010, and the series aired Sunday nights on Showtime through December 19, 2010.
During the first week of April 2009, the United States Postal Service announced that they were unwilling to deliver promotional postcards made for Look. The postcard advertisements depict a man with his boxers around his ankles in the midst of sexual intercourse with a woman in a generic mail room setting, as captured on a hidden camera. The nudity in the image is not blatant but the postal service has characterized the content as obscene. The postcard image is headlined by the caption: "It is LEGAL for your company to get permission to install HIDDEN CAMERAS IN THE WORKPLACE!"
- Coyle, Jake (11 December 2007). "Film shot entirely from surveillance camera POV". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 28 November 2009.
- Hart, Hugh (13 December 2007). "Sneaky Sex, Spooky Scenes: Look Flick Eyes Voyeuristic Surveillance". Wired. Retrieved 22 August 2011.
- "Look – Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2007-12-14.
- "Look (2007): Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2007-12-14.
- Tribbey, Chris (April 7, 2009). "U.S. Postal Services Refuses to Mail Anchor Bay's 'Look' Postcards". Home Media Magazine. Retrieved April 18, 2009. Cite journal requires