Tamara (2005)

DVD Cover (Lions Gate)
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Overall Rating 53%
Overall Rating
Ranked #3,421
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Tamara is the shy, lonely girl who is constantly picked on. But when a group of friends plans a to trick Tamara into thinking her teacher, Mr. Natolly, has fallen for her, it results in her death. The group makes it seem that Tamara ran away. But that's far from the truth. Tamara is back and she is mad as hell! One by one, she brutally torments the group. Now the only one that stands in her way is Allison Natolly. Her teacher's wife! --IMDb
Jenna Dewan
Jenna Dewan
Katie Stuart
Katie Stuart
Chad Faust
Chad Faust
Bryan Clark
Bryan Clark
Melissa Marie Elias
Melissa Marie Elias
Review by Chad
Added: May 17, 2006
Here we have a film that has somehow managed to garner a sizable amount of praise when the actual product is nothing more than a generic teen slasher. I've heard so much about this film during the production, the festival runs, and even the brief theatrical run, so I thought that it must have something going for it. Needless to say, I gave it a rental when it finally hit DVD, and if the first sentence didn't give it away, I was highly disappointed.

The storyline centers around Tamara Riley (Jenna Dewan), a young high-school student who is an outcast amongst her classmates. Whereas she was formerly just "that loser" to everyone else, their attention towards her has gotten downright mean lately thanks to her article in the school paper on steroid use amongst high-school jocks - a paper that has gotten the star athlete benched for the rest of the season thanks to his drug usage. A small gang of Tamara's fellow students - Jesse (Chad Faust), Patrick (Gil Hacohen), Chloe (Katie Stuart), Sheila (Claudette Mink), and Kisha (Melissa Elias) - decide to get a little revenge on our heroine, and an opportunity presents itself when Kisha finds out that Tamara has a schoolgirl crush on their English teacher, a man by the name of Bill Natolly (Matthew Marsden). The group decides to impersonate Bill on the phone and tell Tamara that "he" wants to meet her at a run-down motel for a night of the ol' in-and-out. When Tamara arrives, she finds out that it was all a joke on her, and in a fit of rage, she attacks Chloe for her involvement in the scheme. One thing leads to another, and as one of the jocks attempts to pull the two ladies apart, Tamara falls to the floor and cracks her skull on a coffee table, killing her instantly. The group decides that this "loser" isn't worth ruining their lives over, so they all agree to bury her in the middle of the woods and play stupid if any questions arise. What they didn't count on, however, is the fact that Tamara is a witch... and has risen from the dead with revenge on her mind.

It's an interesting storyline, sure; it's also a bit generic (think I Know What You Did Last Summer with a touch of Wishmaster and a hearty helping of The Craft), but with all of the praise that has been heaped onto it, I thought that the magic would be in the execution. Sadly, the movie is nothing more than another teen horror in the same vein as the aforementioned Summer. Adding witchcraft to a horror film rarely works out in my view, and the added romance / obsession angle between Tamara and her teacher really did nothing for me. Sure, that angle was the main point of the film, but it seemed to be thrown in merely to give some sort of credibility to the already-thin plot. In the end, it did nothing but detract from the already ho-hum film.

Those of you who read this site halfway regularly may realize that I am a huge fan of slashers, especially those corny ones from the eighties. While I'll concede that these films have little artistic value, I just can't get enough of watching those big-breasted sorority girls running around and getting hacked to death with little rhyme or reason to hold the plot together. Watching these movies for great storylines or award-winning acting performances is laughable; watching them for strings of senseless violence and T&A is what it's all about. Tamara reminded me of one of those old slasher films, but with all of the redeeming qualities of the genre tossed aside in favor of a silly storyline that adds absolutely nothing to the enjoyment of the film. A couple of people meet their grisly end here, but there's hardly any gore and the methods of execution have been done to death in other films: butcher knives, sticks, and a long fall to concrete are the ways that people die in this film, and each is done with plagiarizing glee.

Avoid. It's not downright awful and I've seen plenty worse, but there is really nothing redeeming to be found here. Imagine taking something like Slumber Party Massacre 3, removing all of the gore and creative kills, stripping away (no pun intended) all of the T&A, and you'd wind up with a movie similar to Tamara. 3/10.
bluemeanie #1: bluemeanie - added 05/17/2006, 02:28 AM
I remember seeing this at a film festival last year and thinking it was absolutely dreadful. I could not believe it received theatrical release, even if it was limited. This film is just another lame teenage slasher film. Yuck Yuck Yuck. 1.5/10.
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