Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Serena (played by Brooklyn Sudano)... girlfriend… if you survive this movie I implore you to get rid of your boyfriend Brendan (Marques Houston) immediately because he’s probably the worst boyfriend in movie history. Yeah I know he takes care of you in the bedroom, oh Lord how I know because that seems to be all that you young adults do in this universe, and I know he tells you how much he loves you and rubs your feet and what not, but when then rubber hits the road, Brendan ain’t coming through. Now I hate to start a review of a film by going straight to a particular scene without saying anything about what the movie is about (it’s a slasher flick) but this was funny. Ten friends. Some are dead already and the rest are in little dog cages and are being assaulted by a sadistic plastic surgeon. Our incredibly rare ‘Final Guy’ is there to save them but he can’t figure out how to get them out of the cages. Suddenly the sadistic plastic surgeon returns. Our hero hides, cowering in fear. Evil Doctor grabs Serena from her cage amidst really loud dramatic music and the screaming howls of the other young adults in their cages which leads me to thinking that our hero is about to konk the evil doc over the head and Save His Girl! No, he continues to cower in fear. Evil doc drags Serena to his operating chair, leading me to think NOW hero man is going to Save His Girl! No, he continues his cowering. Evil doc bounds Serena to the chair, jams one of those S&M balls down her throat and pulls out his blade. NOW, he’s gonna Save His Girl! Please! Nope. Evil doc SLICES SERENA’S FOREHEAD! Damn Brendan. The thing is he STILL doesn’t leave from his corner and it’s not until the much braver 8-year old ghostly white girl (Brittney Oaks) intervenes and distracts the dastardly doc does he finally get his permanently scarred girlfriend from the from the torture chair and ‘rescue’ her. Some hero. I’m not liking the rest of those kids in cages chances at all if they have to rely on this clown to save their asses.

‘Somebody Help Me’ sets up as a standard slasher flick, albeit with an urban (read: Black) flair, with Brendan and his girl Serena, and his best friend Darryl (Omarion Grandberry) and his girl Kimmy (Alexis Fields), the urbanites by the way, are going up to a remote cabin outside of LaLa to celebrate Serena’s 21st birthday, which unfortunately fell on March 6th, and have lots of sex. They’ve let us know on numerous occasions that they plan to have lots of sex. The next day three more couples drive on in, All European American by the way, and all are super horny and ready for sex. Two of the couples or so horny that they go ahead and run out into the woods late at night to have sex – though we don’t get to see it. As much as they talk about screwing in this flick we get to witness nothing. Anyway, as these idiots run out into the woods we know we have a bit of a unique horror movie on our hands as white folks get to die first. One of the girls also needs an inhaler, which we can rest assured will be unavailable when she needs it most.

The next morning the kids are missing, some guy is constantly walking around the house in a plastic mask, and then the other white kids turn up missing. Kimmy suggest they hustle back to L.A., white kids be damned. Cowardly yes, but it makes sense to me. No, they look for their buddies which eventually results in everybody, except Brendan, getting stuck in a cage and placed in line to get brutalized by the wacky plastic surgeon. I have no idea who the ghostly white girl is, what her relationship with the doc is, where she came from and why she’s helping Brendan, but there she is saving the day. Repeatedly. Back to where we started, and it’s up to Brendan to save his surviving friends, and from what I’ve seen from B. to this point, you can color those kids dead.

From writer / director Chris Stokes, who worked with Houston and Grandberry on the instant classic ‘You got Served’, which I will admit I didn’t despise like the majority of the film critics on the planet… I’m not saying I LIKED it now, just that I didn’t hate it… not that I have to apologize to you for not hating that flick, but I can’t say the same for ‘Somebody Help Me’ unfortunately. The problems I saw with this movie could have been avoided if someone simply pulled director Chris Stokes away from the word processor and stuck somebody else in the chair to write the screenplay. Everything else in ‘Somebody Help Me’ is just fine, the performances of young veterans Houston and Grandberry were decent, there were plenty of cuties at our disposal, though it was disappointing that none signed the nudity waiver, and Stokes can frame and pace a scene fairly well. But his script was so derivative it was painful. Bad guys that don’t stay dead (and anal retentive enough to clean up the blood they left behind), freaky little girls, stupid cops, bad guys who like to dart in front of the camera in the middle of an orchestra hit, Saw-esque torture horror, the red herring weird neighbor guy and so on and so forth. It was also funny to watch Brendan tell whatever character... ‘trust me’, which he said about a half dozen times, only to unwittingly lead his buddies into little dog cages.

And surely a young strapping dude like Marques Houston can take out a freaking plastic surgeon. It’s not like he’s a crazy lumberjack or a super strong kid lying at the bottom of a lake. He’s just a damn plastic surgeon. He’s the ‘Final Guy’ not the ‘Final Girl’ so he should act like a Guy and try to kick somebody’s ass instead of knocking some dude over and then running into the woods screaming. Beat him on the head with the Louisville Slugger until his head and the floor become one Final Guy. On the other hand Serena is going to need a quality plastic surgeon to fix that 8 inch scar that’s on her forehead.

As far as Urban horror movies go, which this really wasn’t as it was just a horror flick in which some Black folks didn’t have to die, it wasn’t so bad, just kind of stupid. Here’s hoping when ‘Somebody Help Me: Again!’ comes out, Serena has traded up.

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