I have a really hard time writing reviews for micro-budget horror films because I've worked on a few and I realize the insane amount of time that goes into creating a finished product. I admire people who create and go out of their way to tell a story on a budget. Director Jonas Odenheimer should be applauded for creating something on his own.
The problem with Classroom 6 is that the story is nothing new. We've been there, done that and moved on years ago. In an effort to create something original they've given us more of the same.
Classroom 6 centers around a documentary crew of twentysomethings locking themselves in a haunted school. Two people disappeared inside the place so obviously an ambitious reporter wants to cover the story. There are no surprises and the foreshadowing involving hell portals and missing people takes a lot of fun out of the finished product. The slow burn is appreciated and the lack of jump scares is applauded but it never builds the requisite tension to make us care about the rushed ending.
Classroom 6 is the kind of film where a medium of sorts discovers the spirit/demon/ghost has ill intent and he tells the overly confident leader this:
The worst thing a spirit can be is unpredictable and that is what this spirit is.
When we learn the spirit is unpredictable we get more of the predictable. For instance, the reporter looking to make it big convinces the guy they will leave at the first sign of trouble (that never works well).
What makes a found footage movie good is surprise. The Blair Witch Project scared the crap out of everyone and finished with an iconic and unexpected shot. Recently, the fun but uneven As Above, So Below actually featured people surviving hell (What!?!). Classroom 6 is a paint by the numbers found footage film that should have done so much more with its location.
The one thing I respect is how the young crew members are initially loaded with confidence but quickly fall to pieces when things go bad. That aspect felt believable because who the heck wouldn't fall apart when all hell is breaking loose around them? There are no heroics or final stands and I swear they included some shots just for the trailer.
Valentina Kolaric, Maurice Meja and Mike McLaughlin do a solid job selling the found footage acting. It can be tricky pulling off the natural acting and these young actors do a fine job becoming fodder for evil portals of death. I would've loved to have seen what they could've done with a script that made them three- dimensional (think the cameraman from Cloverfield).
Classroom 6 is filmed with skill but does little to set itself apart from other found footage films. It plays like a film school version of Grave Encounters without the insane violence and soul crushing ending.
If you like low-budget found footage films I'm sure you will appreciate Classroom 6. If you are looking for something new and original watch found footage gems like Troll Hunter, As Above, So Below, Apollo 18, Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon and Chronicle.