The film Don’t Look Away, directed by Michael Bafaro, is disastrous! It stitches together bits and pieces of the plots from other films like It Follows, Don’t Breathe, and others, which is quite evident. The slasher/gore film revolves around a deadly mannequin who murders people for its own satisfaction. There is, however, no plot built up based on the series of events, and a killer mannequin randomly embarks on a murderous expedition. Frankie, the protagonist, gets to see the mannequin first, and then her friends, who lay their eyes on it, get killed one after another. Starring Kelly Bastard, Colm Hill, Karina Frislev, Michael Bafaro, and others, there is zero character development in the film, which, to some extent, affects their acting skills. Does any of the friends find a way out of the murder spree of the mannequin? What was its motive? Let us try to find some answers to these questions.
What Happens In The Film?
The horror begins in the very opening segment of the film, when two people transporting a mannequin get murdered. The man who sees the mannequin tries running across the road in a frenzy and gets hit by a car. It turns out that Frankie was the one driving, and she also noticed the mannequin. During police interrogation, she denies having seen anyone else on the scene, and the thoughts of the mannequin and the accident keep haunting her. She goes to a party with her friends to forget the event. While all her other friends leave early, she and Molly stay back at the club and pop some pills. While dancing, Frankie feels dizzy and goes to the washroom, only to return to a bloody mess! She sees that everyone else in the club is dead, and Molly dies shortly after when her throat is slit by the mannequin. After the incident, Jonah, another friend of Frankie, feels the presence of the mannequin around him and also sees it following him, but he does not end up getting killed. When Jonah tells Frankie about the incident, she panics and tells him that they are all going to die. She gathers all her friends at her house and shows them a video of a woman who is frantically crying for help as the mannequin is after her. Initially, they don’t believe her, but after seeing all the incidents and the mannequin in person, they wonder if there might be some truth to it all.
What is thought to be mass hysteria turns out to be true after some more events occur in the lives of the friends. Lewis is seen to be drowned, Madison is pushed off the balcony, Isabelle also loses her life, and the murderous spree of the mannequin continues. As Frankie tells her fiance, Steve, about all her fears, he dismisses her points and thinks that she is putting on an act just to stay close to Jonah. The remaining friends, Drake, Jonah, and Lucy, gather at Frankie’s house to survive the mannequin attack and to understand the reason as to why such things were happening. However, Steve, who is an extremely jealous person, makes fun of their fears and belittles Frankie in front of her friends. He is seen to be in a frenzy, as he thinks that Frankie is obsessed with the mannequin and is about to leave him. Frankie finds out that instead of conducting the research for his thesis paper, he has typed ‘Mannequin’ several times in his paper, which makes her think that Steve needs mental help. His inability to believe in the powers of the mannequin gets him killed, as he casually tries to set fire to it.
What Was The Hack To Get Rid Of The Mannequin?
The friends find out that the mannequin could not disappear if someone was looking at it. So they decided to take turns keeping an eye on it so that it could not disappear and kill others. However, during Drake’s turn, he dozes off for a second, and the mannequin disappears, causing more deaths in the house. The mannequin plays hide-and-seek with the friends in the darkness, where, for even one second, if they look away, it disappears. We are filled with anticipation as to who will get killed next, and it turns out that Drake meets the next tragic fate.
The three remaining friends await the arrival of Victor Malick, who seems to know how to get rid of the curse. Frankie had earlier left a comment on the video of the girl suffering at the hands of the mannequin and found a response from Victor, a blind man. On his arrival, he was initially friendly with them but later turned violent, killing Lucy and injuring Jonah. He also searches for Frankie, but she hides until he finds her. He tells her that she was the last one living who had seen the mannequin and that she would pass on the curse to others, so he wanted her dead. Jonah arrives on time and murders Victor, saving Frankie’s life. The mannequin is later sent away by Frankie to an unknown place in a box, but the box is shown to fall off and break, again releasing the restrained evil.
What Is the Mystery Of The Mannequin?
There are several possibilities as to why the mannequin had been following a specific group of friends. It’s possible that someone purposefully unleashed an evil spirit on the group. Since the background of the mannequin is not known to the audience, it becomes difficult to speculate on all the possibilities. There is also a possibility that there were no supernatural elements associated with the mannequin. It could have been just a murderous robot that had been implanted by someone to take revenge on the group of friends. If the theory of it being a murderous robot gets proved in any sequel of the movie, its killing spree could be compared to the killer robotic dogs in the episode ‘Metalhead’ of ‘Black Mirror.’ The robotic dogs did not stop until their mission was accomplished, and it is probable that even the mannequin would not stop until it finally succeeded in killing Frankie and Jonah. Victor could have been the main culprit behind the murders due to some personal grudge or a secret motive that he had in mind.
The loose narrative and weak dialogue delivery make the film fall under the category of a B-picture. The characters, who don’t have any clue as to what they are actually doing in the film, make it less of a horror and more of a comedy. The storyline could have been kept simple for the audience, but instead, a complicated story with no stable backdrop has been focused on. Initially, I was quite excited to have started watching a supernatural film, but with its progression, the plot started to fall apart. The very title of the film, Don’t Look Away, sounds ironic, as I was forced to look away from the screen as I was repulsed at certain points due to the extreme gore used in it. It is very disappointing that the time that I have spent watching this disaster of a movie can never be regained.