A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Recovery is a gory horror/thriller with tons of violence. Teens are frequently in peril, and girls are kidnapped and imprisoned to become "brides" for a creepy, shut-in young man. There's tons of fighting, bashing with blunt objects, stabbing, and slicing, with plenty of blood shown. Teens kiss, and there's plenty of sex talk and innuendo, as well as strong language ("f--k," "s--t," "ass," "bitch," "p---y," and more). The teen characters also drink, smoke pot, and snort cocaine, and other teens try to pass off pet medication as prescription drugs for recreational use. Characters are obsessed with their phones and social media; their behavior is pretty appalling/irritating overall, and they don't seem to learn anything after their ordeal.
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What's the story?
In RECOVERY, Jessie (Kirby Bliss Blanton) thinks she has a new boyfriend ... until she attends a graduation party and sees him kissing someone else. A similarly jilted girl, Kim (Rachel DiPillo), invites Jessie to ditch the party and go dancing, and Jessie agrees. She invites another boy, Logan (Samuel Larsen), along, and her brother Miles (Alex Shaffer) talks his way into coming, too. After some drinking, dancing, and drugs, Kim disappears -- with Jessie's phone. Using a "recovery" app, the other three trace her to a creepy house, where a disfigured young man (James Landry Hebert) and his father (Michael Filipowich) are in the process of stalking and imprisoning young ladies to become part of their "family." And Jessie is their latest target.
Is it any good?
This gory thriller begins with selfish, unsympathetic characters and then takes them through a clumsy, routine "trapped in a house with a sadistic maniac" scenario with all its seams showing. Recovery shows just how skilled something like the similar-but-opposite Don't Breathe really is. That movie's characters were desperate but understandable outcasts -- rather than what we get here: spoiled, dishonest teens who are focused mainly on their own pleasures, identities, and possessions.
In the suspense sequences in Recovery,, the teens wander cluelessly through the house, supposedly looking for the phone and their friend but easily distracted. The filmmakers don't develop a sense of time or place, and so characters are left wandering for awkward lengths of time, can't seem to get from one place to another, and apparently can't hear anything, either. The best thing you can say about this movie is that, at the very least, it doesn't use shaky-cam or jump-scares, and its masked villain is somewhat effective (with his collection of Universal Monster posters, he may be more interesting than the protagonists).
Talk to your kids about ...
How does the movie depict technology and social media? Do they have an upside or a downside?
Are the characters sympathetic? Why or why not? What, if anything, do they learn from their ordeal?
- In theaters: October 28, 2016
- On DVD or streaming: February 7, 2017
- Cast: Kirby Bliss Blanton, Samuel Larsen, Alex Shaffer
- Director: Darrell Wheat
- Studios: Orion Pictures, Vertical Entertainment
- Genre: Horror
- Run time: 82 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: bloody horror violence, teen drug and alcohol use, and language including some sexual references