DVD Review: Hello Herman
Good intentions. Bad execution.
Herman (Garrett Backstrom) is a bullied teen that has finally had enough. He locks his fellow students in the school gym during a pep rally, and kills 42 people. Right before he does this, he emails a video of the massacre to a blogger named Lax Morales. (Norman Reedus) (and seriously, that is his name. It's not a joke either.) He wants to tell his story on Lax's show.
Hello Herman has the misfortune of being released after other films like We Need To Talk About Kevin, Zero Day, and Beautiful Boy, who all handle this same type of situation better. Writer John Buffalo Mailer originally wrote this as a play in 2001, and he adapts the screenplay here. However it never stops feeling like a high school play. The dialogue is laughably bad and clichéd. Of course Lax has a dark secret and an ex girlfriend that happens to be reporting in the town where the shooting happened. Of course she's mad at him for leaving her, but she still has feelings for him. (We know they had a good relationship because they cut to the same shot of the two characters making out several different times.) There's a Fox News type network that says the word "liberal" with so much disgust that I had to laugh. The acting isn't much better. You can tell Backstrom and Reedus were at least trying, but they are not strong enough to rise above the material they were given. Especially Backstrom who's character says some of the most ridiculous things I've ever heard.
Another thing I found completely ridiculous is part of the plot. They want to execute a 16 year old kid live on TV. I get what the film makers were trying to say, that we could eventually get to this point. I have to disagree. I doubt there would ever be a time where an execution of a minor of all people is nationally televised. Then there's also the fact that they let a convicted murder hang out with a reporter with little supervision. Or the fact that the entire arrest/trial felt like it took only a few days.
At it's best, Hello Herman is a movie that raises awareness on the important issue of bulling. At it's worst, it's poorly acted, poorly written film that hits every Lifetime movie cliché in the book, has one of the worst uses of stock screams I've ever seen in a film, and offers nothing original.
Memorable Quote: "Because I'm a human being like every one of them." - Herman (Garrett Backstrom)