thirty one days of horror part 5

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October 11: Final Girl: This film kind of felt like it was really two short, not very interesting movies jammed together. There were a lot of aspirations here, but unfortunately the movie’s intentions weren’t as interesting on the screen as they probably seemed on the screenplay. Also, a disappointing sort of “female empowerment” tale; cheap. – 2015; Netflix

October 12: Devil Dolls: Sorry, Devil Dolls, I actually watched you twice to see if you could keep my interest. Both times, I totally zoned out. – 2016; Netflix

October 13: Addam’s Family: Yeah, another classic for Friday the 13th. Nothing to complain about here, heartily recommend especially for a feel-good or lighthearted evening. – 1991; Anjelica Houston; Christina Ricci; Netflix

October 14: Boys in the Trees: Sorry, another one I snoozed through. Twice. – 2016; Netflix

October 15: The Babysitter: Now this was a pleasantly surprising, riotous fun time. Movie tagline should be, of course, “My Babysitter’s Literally Evil.” Distinctly horror comedy with cheerfully improbable gore. Go for it, 100% – 2017; Bella Thorne; Netflix (Original)

 

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I AM THE PRETTY THING THAT LIVES IN THE HOUSE

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SHOULD I? STATUS: Official Red Flag

Available on Netflix (Netflix Original) 

The good news? Only idiots and invalids are susceptible to specters in this flick.

The bad news? Now you have to watch it. 

THE QUICK & DIRTY DEETS

  • Subgenre: Haunted House; Paranormal Activity
  • What the fuck era is this in? Some ancient one
  • Low on story, low on scares, low on everything
  • See In Real Life: Bechdel pass not actual indicator of quality

THOTS

Wow, I hated this movie. I hated this movie so much I turned it off halfway in and was going to “let it rot” (a phrase the film repeats over and over) forever.. Then, after a day and half’s worth of levelheaded thought I realized I hated PYT (as the movie shall be dismissively termed henceforth in this review) so much that a) I had an obligation to the public to save them, and b) I had a lot to say about it. Very heatedly. That, in itself, merited a review. On a side note, you should see my notes for this movie. They’re hilarious, or, at least, hilariously frustrated.

I’m disappointed. With its arsenal of wildly popular original productions, Netflix should be able to churn out at least an average horror movie. Instead, someone somewhere greenlit a script which features a protagonist who, at one point, is too scared to learn more about her slightly spooky living situations to read a book that would explain them. If that weren’t enraging enough, the fact is that the only character “development” the film exhibits, in any way, is the development of a living character into a dead one. I guess not everyone was paying attention in 6th grade Reading class when we learned about dynamic characters and story progression.

This is a film that focuses on two characters who are so alone that, when they die, it is weeks before anyone thinks to check on them. If no one in the movie cares about the two main characters, why in God’s name would the audience? PYT asks us to care but gives us nothing to care about.

To get real honest, right from the start there’s no reason for us, the audience, to hear the story PYT churns out. We open with a first-person monologue told by a woman who, it’s established, is too afraid to read a book; leave her job; leave the house, even; or do anything. Why would this frightened creature talk to us? Are we in her house? What’s prompting her to speak to an audience?

And even if PYT offered some frail explanation for all of this, which it doesn’t – why would we, the audience, decide to listen? There is nothing compelling on sale.

Not only is our main character boring, she is dumb. She is reportedly uneasy living in the house but she never tries to leave it. Books are so frightening she would rather be scared and ignorant in real life than attempt to learn more about her situation. She had paranormal visions but does not acknowledge them. Things happen around her and over and over again she does nothing.

Even if this might be realistic, in that there may be a person out there like this idiot, that does not make it interesting, and in order for a movie to succeed it is more important it be interesting than believable.

For the sake of my time wasted, please – don’t waste yours.


Everything I Love That PYT Ruins (Special Closing Feature):

– Haunted house genre

– Minimalist script (2 MCs, 3 characters total, limited setting)

– Feminist horror genre

DON’T BREATHE

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SHOULD I? STATUS: Official Red Flag

Currently in theaters

THE QUICK AND DIRTY DEETS

Don’t Breathe? More like Don’t Bother

Normally I like to watch movies at least twice before I review them, but in this case, you can bet your damn ass there’s no way in hell I’m paying to see Don’t Breathe again. And the first time was a matinee.

When I saw previews for Don’t Breathe, I thought, “Oh cool! Some producer saw Hush and decided to make another movie in the same vein. OK, the main character’s a dude, and instead of being deaf, he’s blind, but what a great idea!” I really enjoyed Hush and was excited to see the “sensory handicapped but kickass defender” plotline extrapolated to the next – well, sense.

I was profoundly disappointed.

First, Don’t Breathe attempts to humanize its main characters, who are the aggressors, with a pseudo-heart-wrenching backstory to justify their choice to live in crime. You know what? If you want to do that, in a movie set in Detroit, then let me honestly ask: why are they all white? Let’s be real here. If you’re an American, you know Detroit is shit. It’s full of vacant houses and the local economy has basically collapsed due to the car industry tanking, and consequently pulling out of the city. It’s also 83% black, which means that the people who are disenfranchised in Detroit are overwhelmingly people of color. Why is the only black person in Don’t Breathe a guy buying coffee in the airport at the end of the film? Serious question here. Please, serious answers. I will give that one of the 4 actors in the movie actually is Costa Rican, but he’s as white as any other. 

Anyway, here’s my point: the ends don’t justify the means, and this attempt to make them do so rings especially hollow in a movie where the “downtrodden aggressors” clearly belong to privileged classes.

Another one of my huge issues with Don’t Breathe is that it’s hugely, overwhelmingly gratuitous. Hush does get pretty violent by the end, cringe-worthily violent, even, but as a whole, I’d say the movie justifies the violence which occurs. After all, at some point in scenarios like these (home invasions; predator and prey), there’s no real way to avoid an eventual physical confrontation. However, Don’t Breathe skips promising opportunities to build psychological terror and therefore, a story that will stick in the audiences’ mind for more than sixty seconds after leaving the theater, and instead leaps to grotesque body shots. There’s simply no mental challenge in this movie whatsoever. I might as well watch a snuff film for what I got out of Don’t Breathe. I don’t know where to find a snuff film, but that’s because I don’t want to.

In sum, I felt as if a producer sat at a table of generic Hollywood movie folx and said “Hey! I’ve got this idea! Home invasion movie, but gone wrong. And here’s a twist! Blind guy.” Then all the people around the table, from behind their sunglasses and bored yawns, said “You know what? Great idea. We love it! But…with what you’ve brought here today…that’s only like, 30 minutes of a movie. How can we twist it to make it even better?” And they pounded their hands on the table and someone stood up and said, “I have an idea!” And they twisted it, gratuitously, for time. Then someone realized that even with that twist, the movie was still only an hour long, so they fuckin twisted it again. And it was finally long enough, and it was GTA-4 levels of gratuitous. None of these decisions served the movie in any way, whatsoever. 

Do not go watch Don’t Breathe. It isn’t worth your money, and it’s certainly not worth your time.

What does it say that I wasn’t surprised at all to see Sam Raimi was one of the producers?

Excuse me now, I have to go watch MURDER PARTY again so I can review it, and get this bad taste out of my mouth.