A comedy is supposed to be funny, right? Not necessarily, if we are to judge it by the relatively high 5.8 rating this mediocrity got. Not one scene or gag made me laugh, not even close. It's a low-budget, quirky cult-wannabe, one of many such failures.
In order not to be so unfunny it would have needed a much better cast, far better dialog, and it would have to be grounded in reality, at least in a small way. MP is too silly for its own good, tries too hard to please hipsters searching for a hip excuse to watch a dumb slasher. The movie is "ironically" bad is what I'm saying, so I understand the appeal it has to these rather confused demographics.
The first hour is a lot of gab, very little action. The last third is all action. But the action serves no purpose: by that point no sensible person takes the movie seriously enough to care what happens, and the action isn't funny.
A moron is randomly lured to a Halloween party that is in actual fact a gathering of modern-art losers planning to kill a man for an art project. While the premise may seem somewhat original, it's unique in a dumb way. Sure, it's a comedy... Well, at least theoretically. Does a comedy with no laughs qualify as a comedy? Another philosophical dilemma.
The cast is like gathering a bunch of your acting school amateur buddies together for a cheesy movie. A drab, boring cast. Many of them don't even look their parts. Especially "Alexander"/Tim is laughably miscast as a threatening psycho character: this pudgy actor looks as menacing as a fluffy toy.
At least it's consistent: the ending is just as awful as the beginning.
What a pitiful little shtick this sequel uses. If you're going to play the "it was all really really really true" card, then at least make it a little believable. Instead, we get grade Z acting from the "producer" of the first movie, who very stupidly/naively reveals the "big secret" to a guy with a hidden camera. Duh.
Not that the rest of the cast is any better. The dialog is pedestrian and the actors dull and unconvincing.
The premise that Alex is the only one who figures out that the entire cast of GE is dead or missing is preposterous. Even if the first movie had been seen by just 30 people, word would get out about the missing persons. The police would have investigated.
Alex, who is a huge fan of GE and supposedly a big horror-movie fan, had never heard of a Ouija board. The actress he hired for a movie knows - yet he doesn't. Makes a lot of sense.
Meanwhile, they'd moved into the "abandoned asylum" to investigate the disappearances - and yet they come in without any weapons or any kind of a defense plan. Surely, if Alex believes that the entire team was slaughtered in GE by demons then, logically, he should FEAR the place. Right? But he doesn't. Why he'd simply assume or hope that the whole plot from GE won't repeat to his own team, this we never find out, it isn't explained. Obviously, he is a moron, but is he an even bigger moron than the creators of GE2?
Once the sheet hits the predictable fan, the girls scream on cue, but there is no real terror or major shock on their faces or in their reactions. Lame acting.
The film crew leave the asylum, drive to their hotel - then predictably exit the elevator to find themselves back in the asylum. No explanation given how and why, possibly because there is none. Just another desperate, random plot-device by a hack writer. It was nevertheless predictable, despite being illogical, because there were still 30 minutes left.
It's "little" things like this that accumulate rather quickly, making it tough to take any of this remotely seriously. As a result, GE2 gets boring and stays that way throughout.
Especially unconvincing is the resident "caveman", the sole survivor of the former film-crew. A fairly idiotic twist, this guy surviving on nothing but rats for 9 years. Laughably dumb. The over-acting by this guy is atrocious too, easily surpassing Nick Cage at his very worst, hence GE2 very often risks becoming a mere spoof of GE. By this point even the most patient, forgiving viewers must have given up. The only people still interested, dare I say mesmerized, by the story must have been 12 year-old horror-film newbies.
And of course, as usual, they all keep filming, even at the most dangerous and absurd times. Hell, even the ghost picks up the camera at one point and starts filming. GE2 is that dumb.
GE is 100% unscary, mostly very boring, shoddily conceived, horribly acted, and badly directed. A failure on all fronts.
Hollywood's racism is on the rise, just another example.
Contemporary American cinema could really do with less racism. And less liberal propaganda, patronizingly served to brainwashed audiences.
The writer/director's first full-length feature, and he seems to know exactly how to extend his unpromising, pitiful career: by demonizing whites. Smart move, bot. Your Hollywood masters will be pleased.
Typical moronic, commercial "evil app" bundle of crap, very similar to other recent teen-horror garbage such as "Truth Or Dare" and "Bedeviled" (which is coincidentally also riddled with Cultural Marxist propaganda.).
One of the many idiotic plot-devices is the blonde being a victim of sexual harassment at work. She's got a day to live, yet they throw in THIS sub-plot? It's as though someone meshed two completely different scripts after overdosing on mushrooms. They turn this guy (white guy, of course) into a raping psycho just so Blondie can have someone to kill later on, to break the curse with. Who better to kill than a Caucasian? In the entire movie, white people are intentionally portrayed as evil, nasty, laughable, or stupid. It's Cultural Marxism gone feral.
Like that ridiculous, random Flat-Earth-Society Holocaust-denying drunk guy at the pub. He is the other white guy that's expendable. To be sacrificed to the boogeyman by a white woman teaming up with a black guy. Symbolic. Typical. Liberal. Hateful. Racist.
The movie has more random nonsense, coming in form of some good old-fashioned reverse-racist white-guilt malarkey, when the black guy arrives as a Loon on a White Horse to "save" the blonde princess from an angry little white guy. The white guy had every reason to be furious at the blonde, because she a) almost ran into him with her car, then afterwards b) ran into his car causing damage. And yet, we - the "hopefully" Frankfurt-school-brainwashed dummie viewers - are actually expected to side with the black guy for threatening the little fella with a beating! "I might get all crazy as in destroy a white guy" is what he more-or-less says. Because, hey, the other guy is just an "angry" little white man, whereas the big tall black guy wants to find out about the app from Blondie - and is clearly a future love-interest. (Even 90s Benetton commercials aren't this dumb or cheesy.)
This scene is retahrded beyond words, and displays in a mere minute everything that is wrong with modern white-guilt witch-hunt/racism-hunt America. Whoever wrote this script understood that brown-nosing his Hollywood masters can never harm a film career. Major Hollywood studios - all of them - have had a dangerous political/social agenda for decades, and they reward all those who are politically compliant, while punishing/blacklisting those who dare have opposing views. The word "compliant" would be understatement for this film-maker.
As Blondie and the black guy - predictably - get more intimate, things just get dumber and dumber. Cultural Marxism is all over this script, if not in very obvious ways to the average clueless clod. Nevertheless, and surprisingly, there are several reviewers that also complain about the movie's blatantly PC and completely unnecessary anti-white theme. Except of course that it ISN'T unnecessary: it will help this director's career. That's why he did it. Most white film-makers don't actually hate themselves for being white, they just pretend they do to please their studio-boss overlords.
The "dark secrets" from the pasts of Blondie and the black guy are just very dumb. All that stuff about stealing a toy from a dying brother... Laughable.
There are 2-3 good gags related to the tech guy, but that's pretty much the only positive thing to mention. On the other hand, there's the utterly absurd chubby nerdy priest who is added here as some kind of bizarre comic relief. A comic relief priest in a movie about cursed young people getting brutally killed: makes a lot of sense.
The priest is white, BUT he is goofy, fat and a nerd, hence his whiteness is forgiven. This is the devious morality/logic of modern-day liberalism. They have reduced all of history and society to one big fat Race Issue. To them, every white is a racist and every cultural or social problem is race-related in some way. Racist-hunting as the new witch-hunting? You bet.
The rest is predictable nonsense, and you can't get more predictable than a demonic app that not only tells you it will kill you, but tells you exactly when. Perhaps moron horror fans (i.e. 90% of horror fans) enjoy knowing the plot in advance, but I don't.
The dialog is pedestrian, stupid, boring. The direction is bland, uninspired. Cliches galore. And of course plenty of idiotic little twists in the conclusion. In the end they very absurdly defeat the demon - which made zero sense. If the demon is all-powerful yet actually lost to two very dumb blondes, then this entity must be moronic?
Well, he doesn't lose, of course. The very last scene is about as predictable as the roundness of the Earth. Guess what: the app is back. Wow. What a unique twist that was. Even millennials were face-palming.
The premise is very iffy, but the execution is good.
70% "Terminator", 20% "Predator" and 10% "Aliens", in what is a fairly straight-forward military action film that plays out like a computer game to some extent - like so many movies these days.
Several smaller inconsistencies and flaws.
For example, Robinson taking cover behind a wall riddled with huge fresh bullet holes. How the hell that wall can offer him protection, I don't know. Or why he would fail to realize this.
I also don't quite understand why the "rebel" leader - SAR robot - has to torture a human before killing him: the scene where he holds one up like a toy, ready to cut him, is too illogical, too theatrical rather than practical. Armies are primarily interested in efficiently and quickly exterminating enemy soldiers, not slowly torturing them, wasting time on needless sadism. Why would the military build machines to dangle enemy soldiers before cutting them up? (Besides, does this "future dystopia" not acknowledge the Geneva Convention anymore?) If anything, torture is a waste of time during combat hence non-constructive.
The biggest logic flaw is of course the basic premise: that the military would build a self-improving machine that is so "autonomous" that it can make a decision to kill soldiers who aren't even the real enemy! This is preposterous. Any team of techno-geniuses that could invent such an ultra-advanced "quantum" robot would be smart enough to set it limits, or at least apply fail-safe plans B, C and D in case things go South. After all, they are killers, not androids built to help kitchen staff cooker better soups.
Perhaps yet another predictable left-wing paranoid "the government uses its own soldiers to experiment on" explanation would have made more sense. It wouldn't have been original (to say the least), and it would have been annoying, but certainly more logical than an independent military killing machine.
The dialog is very solid for a "combat unit" action film. Mostly not idiotic, even good on occasion. That is very likely the result of this not being a Hollywood movie, but British. Not saying British films can't be dumb, but when Americans write this kind of stuff it's nearly always full of retahrded dialog and idiotic characters, neither of which we have here. It's a good thing JJ Abrams or Ridley Scott had nothing to do with this, otherwise it would have been a piece of garbage.
I'm talking about the recent Scott, the lobotomized version of him, not the innovative 70s/80s director who made several great films. They are not the same person at all.
Cults don't function this way. Laughably bad thriller.
If this movie set in L.A. were about how Hollywood elites force and brainwash newbies to become liberals, then I could at least give it a point for that. But it's not.
These descriptors are truly useless sometimes. "Drama, horror." What about "thriller" then? That's the primary genre here. If I had known this was just another torture porn flick or idiots I wouldn't have wasted my time with it.
The movie starts off as a mystery, in the "Tenant" or "4th Floor" vein, but quickly morphs into cheesy thriller nonsense.
One of the most idiotic movies in recent years, which is quite a feat because the competition is really strong. There must be 100s of movies like this out there, probably just as dumb, but I very rarely watch torture-porn or serial-killer thrillers so every time I watch one of these stinkers by accident I declare it "one of the worst movies in recent years". I can't help it. Every time I am overwhelmed by the shameless stupidity.
A useful movie though, in the sense that you can use it to measure people's IQs fairly reliably: whoever rates this higher than 5 must a bit on the thick side, somewhere on the evolutionary level of an Oprah fan.
Guess where that leaves me? As if you didn't already know. We non-cretins dish out zeroes to garbage. Mistaking garbage for "high art" or "ground-breaking innovation" is not what we smart people do.
People who consider this to be "original" don't seem to understand that originality doesn't automatically equate to brilliance or intelligence. "Pink Flamingos" is also original. "Guernica" is original. Many of the worst movies ever made brim with originality - because they dare do things so stupid/absurd that nobody else with any sense would ever want to. Originality accompanied with zero logic and a lack of style is useless: it's trash. If I made a movie about aliens living in my anoos and filmed the entire movie upside-down, would that be original? Yes. Would it be garbage? Most probably.
The notion that a totally idiotic cult based on absolutely nothing could possibly have more than 2-3 members let alone hundreds (or thousands? millions? the ending can be interpreted that way) is unfathomably dumb. This cult has nothing that is enticing, it has nothing to draw anyone, except extreme masochists. People who compare this to Scientology are clueless. Scientology offers the moon and the stars, it lies to its potential victims like any other cult does with blatant false advertising, but this cult offers nothing except pain, suffering, isolation and misery. Not exactly big selling points.
Here's the explanation why the premise has zero basis in reality hence why the movie completely fails on every level.
Any cult, as dumb/nutty as it is, can exist, even if with just 20-30 members. But those silly little cults exist on a voluntary basis - at least initially. You can only have idiots join idiotic cults on a VOLUNTARY basis. Later on they may regret it; they may get threatened, blackmailed or even killed. But that's AFTER they'd joined it of their own free will. However, forcing normal/unwilling people to accept being in a loony cult by impaling them, electrocuting them and by burning their cats in ovens - that's as dumb a plot-device and plot-twist as any in "Butterfly Effect", one of the most idiotic films of all time. But dumb as it is, at least that's fantasy horse-manure. At least it has that small excuse. This crap has none; it wants to be a philosophical drama as well as dumb sadistic thriller.
Forced recruitment? About as plausible as Sean Penn getting a degree in Nuclear Physics.
It is asinine to "entice" a person to join a cult by roasting their cat. Real cults are much smarter than that, they pander to their potential victims, their whims and fantasies. That was an amazingly idiotic twist, one only a daft writer could employ.
What Sarah does to the leader - i.e. kills him - would/should have happened ages ago within this impossible, ludicrous cult. Already the first person this ridiculous, super-far-fetched "conversion" method was used with should have used his first chance to kill and escape. At the latest by the time they tried converting the 5th person there'd be some major havoc, carnage, chaos. After all, they don't pick pushovers but choose people randomly. The fact that they chose the black woman proves this without any doubt; she was literally the least likely personality type to comply with anything, much less to agree being enslaved by a bunch of deranged clowns. Speaking of which, the ease with which every member becomes a psycho doesn't ring true at all. Brainwashing is one thing, but reprogramming people this easily is hogwash. At least in this environment, under these circumstances. These cult members are literally just meters away from freedom, all they need is to step outside and call the police. Gulags in the middle of nowhere? Medieval Dungeons? Those are entirely different situations. Though even then...
Whoever wrote this tripe either has zero understanding of human nature and society, or is just happy to deliver a very idiotic thriller, cynically expecting it to gain a cult (pun) following, as many asinine thrillers/horrors do these days. There is a certain hardcore moron/lunatic fringe out there who seek out the dumbest thrillers to worship: the dumber the better, literally. I suppose, ironically, we are talking about cult-like behaviour here.
When Sarah stabs the leader in the neck, he very absurdly gets up, like a typical impervious-to-injury cliche movie psycho. (Which proves that this movie is NOT an intelligent drama with a valid message about society, or whatever, but just another mindless thriller for zombies immune to illogic.) Then Sarah, as if suddenly discovering her inner Ninja, swiftly hurls a knife (or whatever) at him, hitting dead center, as if she'd been a circus-act knife-thrower for years. This kind of stuff doesn't happen in intelligent movies: this is strictly "dumb thriller" territory.
Then, as if things couldn't possibly get any dumber, the most psychotic cult member inexplicably saves Sarah - then shoots himself! Just like that.
But wait for it... Even that wasn't enough. The writer wanted to go full retahrd, which he accomplishes by suggesting that the entire city had become dominated by numerous small pockets of this awful, boring cult!
At least they set this movie in L.A., which doubtlessly has the most idiotic population in the entire U.S. of A. If there is any ideal place to start an absurdly far-fetched, moronic cult, it's there.
If you consider the movie good, you are... Well, you know what you are.
An explanation why horror fans hate the movie. AD is not for people with ADD.
I absolutely understand why this movie has a pitiful 4.0 average with barely more than 1,000 votes: it's because it has such a pessimistic premise. The notion that everybody goes to hell, that heaven is just a completely empty place annoys/scares/angers/offends most people. Kind of similar to why "YellowBrickRoad" has a low score.
Besides, thought-provoking, original horror films aren't popular among horror fans - that's common knowledge, or should be. Because this is an obscure movie, mostly horror fans get to see it and rate it, not general movie-goers otherwise it would have been rated higher probably. The majority of horror fans are round-headed clods who thrive on torture porn, home invasion, cannibal sadists, blood-thirsty hicks and other kinds of generically moronic empty-headed slasher "thrills". In short: films with zero imagination, simplistic stories, and plenty of senseless violence. AD is none of that. (There is violence but there isn't much of it and it isn't senseless or over-the-top.) There is more dialog than action, another thing that confuses and bores the average ADD horror fan.
All things considering, I am surprised this doesn't have a 3.3 average or even lower, which is nearly always reserved for the truly bad movies. (Though many awful movies are more likely to get 6.5 and higher, here at least where awfulness and idiocy are generously rewarded.)
AD does have its flaws. Some of the characters do and say odd or somewhat silly things, and there are certain unexplained things and illogicalities that creep in now and again. Why are there images of fetuses every time the lighthouse shines on its victims? Why a lighthouse? What is the purpose of the regular light flashes? Why does the blonde initially see the apparition and the others don't? How come the guy can get erections if their bodies have no blood? (One character does ask this question but we get no answer.) Why does Onie keep disappearing and coming back? Why is she special? How did the blonde die? Surely not in the club accident? Do all dead people go through this brief "lighthouse purgatory"? Had none of the billions of dead people previously figured out what the whole deal is? How the hell can the blonde actually capture a hugely powerful multi-dimensional demon in a wooden box?
But, believe it or nuts, these inconsistencies and flaws aren't significant enough to hurt the movie. The story is gripping from the first minutes and the premise is unusual - i.e. my kind of horror film. There is also no time wasted with a stereotypical boring small-talk intro. The story kicks off immediately.
The female cast is attractive. Miranda Raison is very pretty though not a great actress, Elarica Johnson is even better-looking (amazing mouth) and the most competent actress here. Lorna Brown is very cute too - a typically ditsy British girlie. (The kind that gets drunk at nightclubs and falls over in parking lots while saying "oy" a lot. Years later she marries a square-headed pleb and wonders why her marriage isn't working.)
So how does the film end? Apparently, the plan is to send a lesbian into heaven as a "terrorist bomb" in order to destroy all afterlife. The plan seems to have worked. The notion that a lesbian saves the after-world was not intentionally PC, methinks. But who knows.
Katherine Isabelle looks exactly like the young Cassandra Peterson.
What are Goth chicks, basically? They are disillusioned former Bieliebers (i.e. boy-band teenie-boppers) who - after having realized that their favourite boy-band is phony, that half of them are gay, and that the straight ones will never date them - turn to "the dark" for comfort, i.e. they go to the opposite direction: from frenzied optimistic hysteria to suicidal teenie depression. Women and their mood swings...
The average boy-band phase for a mindless teenie is about 2-3 years, the average Goth phase is a year. (The Goth phase isn't shorter because of suicide, but because mindless teens rush through fads at a quicker and quicker rate as they age toward adulthood, which is when their IQ improves but only slightly.)
Starts off well, atypically in an original way with the opening credits actually contributing to the plot, accompanied by a good main theme.
The high school cliches aren't drastic. (At least there are no nerds.) In fact GS plays around with some of these cliches rather than wallow in them, instead of using them in the usual predictable ways, the way Craven or any other mediocre/formula director for example would.
Nevertheless, there is nonsense such as romantization of drug-pushers who hang around high schools, or the way Perkins and the drug-pusher have extensive knowledge about everything. In reality, dope-pushers are semi-literate dopes, and 15 year-old girls are even thicker than they are.
The humour is all-present, but indie-like i.e. more subtle; this may have partially to do with this being a Canadian film. Americans tend to go full retahrd with high school cliches, dividing up EVERYBODY into dumb, simplistic categories; perhaps Canadians aren't obsessed with that nonsense as much. The interactions between characters are hence interesting rather than tiresome. When teen cliches do kick in it's almost as if they're being spoofed rather than abused. The whole menstruation sub-plot is for example fun.
However, all that falls by the wayside in the disappointing resolution. The last half hour is by-the-book horror, nothing original or too interesting there.
There are some plot-holes here and there, loose ends also, though nothing that impedes the early quality, nothing too drastic. Side-characters tend to become forgotten or ignored, for example.
Katherine Isabelle is a dead ringer for the young Cassandra Peterson. She is one of the few nepotists with a pretty face and sex appeal. However it's Perkins that impresses more acting-wise. Interestingly, Perkins "the younger sister" is actually 4 years Isabelle's senior, and Perkins was 23 at the time of the shoot, playing a 15 year-old. The film-makers get away with it because she is so petite and thin.
"How does it feel to be a bargain-basement Stephen King?" asks sheriff Dern, in the movie's most idiotic but also most prophetic line.
Five things about this:
1. There is no such thing as being the bargain-basement version of a bargain-basement. That's like saying "the bottom has an even lower bottom".
2. If Coppola is impressed with Stephen King's "talent" then no wonder he's been such a failure for almost half a century. It never bodes well for a horror film to give respect to the Master of Garbage. That'd be like an album opening with a tribute to Kanye. Like a politician starting off his speech by applauding Stalin.
3. This line foretold that this movie would have a bargain-basement script.
4. Why would sheriff Dern insult Kilmer this way, if he intended to propose a collaboration with him? It makes no sense. He says this literally the first minute they meet. If he'd said it later in the movie it would have been reasonable.
5. Couldn't the writer come up with a more timely, suitable way to express his fondness for the Master of Garbage?
Already the movie title hinted there was something seriously wrong with senile Coppola. What a dumb name. Most people don't even know what "twixt" means, and even if they did, what a silly name. For any movie let alone a horror film.
The plot is muddled, underdeveloped, random, full of cliches, confusingly told, unresolved, absurd, and the direction is devoid of eeriness, totally flat. The direction is often clumsy even, the acting barely average. Edgar Allan Poe looks ridiculous. The movie is a bit of a mess, being saved only by the fact that it isn't entirely boring.
There is some humour here, but it's very indie-like, subtle. I can't quite tell if Coppola is spoofing horror or taking this ridiculous story seriously. There is evidence for both which means Coppola is confused.
Coppola's career has been just one bomb after another, since the 70s. He's done nothing good at all, and already failed at horror once with that average Dracula movie that he cast mostly with zeroes. (Whoever puts Wynona in a
horror film really has no clue what they're doing.) The film totally falls apart in the last third, which seems to have been written rushedly, with no sense of purpose. Coppola has been too smug and lazy for so many years, so nobody should be too surprised. He probably doesn't even feel like making movies. I've heard that he is enamored with the "adult entertainment" industry, which kinda says it all. He goes to their award ceremonies. And who knows what he gets up to there... Hardly a beacon of intellectualism.
The Goth bunch look pathetic, and what an embarrassing, pointless, cheesy plot-device they are. Coppola is so out of touch with pop culture, still clinging on to cliches he'd vaguely semi-understood back in the 80s.
The epilogue says that the book "sold 30,000 copies which is OK business." So Kilmer's character totally outdid Coppola? Makes sense. Even a bargain-basement version of a bargain-basement writer should be capable of writing a better horror story than Coppola.
But yeah, thanks, Coppola, for the 150 nepotists your clan so generously gave to America's increasingly useless movie industry. What would modern garbage dramas be without Sofia and what would unfunny hipster comedies be without Jason Schwartzman. What a useless bunch of zero-talent elitists...
An interesting premise but ruined with the much-too-slow pace and an underdeveloped script.
A rather original premise, but the movie has three problems:
1. The direction isn't stylish enough. In the hands of a more creative director this could have worked.
2. The pace is too slow, the first half isn't very interesting. A lot of is haunted house cliches, nonsensical scenes.
3. The story is too muddled. So many questions.
Why does the American not meet any of the other abductees? She only meets the first one, the girl, yet there were at least 20 envelopes i.e. that many disappeared people.
What does the old hag have to gain? Is it just the money? If the priest is so guilt-ridden why did he not rebel years earlier? Why now? If he felt guilty already about the first girl - which unintentionally disappeared - then why would he actually CONTINUE doing this? How did this man even get entangled in such a satanic plot? Nobody seems to be forcing him to. There seems to be a major discrepancy between his personality and what he's doing. A remorseful "serial-disappearer"? Sure, why not.
Why did they invite a female artist all the way from America? The little missing girl from 1986 was NOT an artist, so why the hell do the priest and the old hag need an artist? Do they always lull just artists? Can't they just put out an add searching for an artist's model? Can't they just pick up hitch-hikers like other serial-killers do? Are we actually supposed to believe that ALL the disappeared people left home without telling anyone where they'd gone to? NONE of them mentioned the mansion to anyone prior to leaving? Very convenient - for the writer I mean.
Who the hell answers a phone call without a listed number then believes everything the mystery person says? The American seems way too naive, stupid even. She travels all the way from America without even telling anyone she'd gone to Ireland! Some aspects of this conspiracy are very far-fetched, and seem reliant on luck more than cunning.
The "other world" seems rather unspectacular, it's just Ireland minus the houses and buildings. Underwhelming, but that's mainly the director's fault who actually thought he could get away with such a mundane netherworld. The American just strolls through this world and we're supposed to be mesmerized? The direction isn't stylish enough to fascinate. The female lead is bland and uninteresting.
But at least it's not mono-colour. Not ugly as most modern horror films are.
Reviewers need to finally let go of the fear to admit that a movie confused them.
Good soundtrack and visually very solid, but confusing. Especially the last third leaves a lot of questions unanswered. Instead of answers, or at least hints, there is vague imagery, "clues" of what happened in the past - as weak substitutes for an actual story. Certainly the characters didn't tell us much, only vague things here and there, i.e. mutually distant dots that we're somehow supposed to connect into a comprehensive story. We, however, are neither witches nor magicians.
All I understood is that the girl Nanna is the one that was supposedly killed by Hakon, and that she went back to her place of origin. What she knew, how much she "felt" she knew", whose side she was on, whether she became a ghost or had been one, what she has to do with the zombies, who the zombies are - none of these things are answerable. Whoever claims that they are needs to let go of their glue supplies.
Some of the action in that last section is unclear; who is doing where and what to whom. So the direction is a bit sloppy in that sense too. The "conclusion" is basically just a bunch of scenes strung together, not much better than randomly.
I suppose 99% of the audiences won't understand what the hell went on exactly, and I'm one of them. (The other 1% buy glue regularly.) Perhaps it's one of those "you need to be acquainted with the folklore" things, but there's no way in hell this, or any other, movie will get me to study Wikipedia pages on Scandinavian witches or whatever. Anyway, even a vast knowledge in Swedish folklore can't possibly explain some of the plot holes. But if the movie really was made solely for the 150 Swedes who know this stuff, then the movie needs to suffer the consequences of such misjudgment.
In fact, the pre-supernatural part of the movie was better, which is kind of unusual. It is not a great movie by any stretch of the imagination, but it was refreshing with its different setting and approach. As much as I'm not a big fan of "historical" films. The female lead is very average-looking and fairly boring.
Incompetent writers trying to surprise their audience through lies.
Rather lame "suspense" film that is made on the laughably optimistic assumption that the film-makers can flat-out lie to you for an hour, and I mean completely lie about everything, but then pull out the goofy Oh You Had It All Wrong card, and actually get away with it.
What I mean is that the first hour is basically all horse manure. None if it happened as shown. We find out instead that:
1. Burke never existed.
2. Kelly is actually Burke and it's Kelly who killed his family. (When? We have no clue, considering that even the "one year later" caption may have been a lie. That's what happens with liars: once caught, nobody ever believes them.)
3. Perkins isn't a killer. Hell, Perkins isn't even a rude yuppie! Even his absurdly confrontational attitude was imagined by Kelly! It appears that Perkins had been speaking normally all along. In other words, the writers and the director gave us ZIP truth in the first hour.
4. I guess this means Gould is fictional too. The scene at the shrink's office? BS too.
5. Everything in the first hour is just a vague, false, blurry, fictionalized version of what really transpired. But hey, "we had the decency to tell you that after an hour, so we're in the clear. Right, audience?"
"You've been lied to, audience. Nice one, huh? How ingenious we film-makers are. We don't even have to set up a REAL mystery anymore. We can now build a mystery based on deceit, misinformation and lies. We tell you lies - and then at the end we admit we were lying and be generous enough to tell you the real plot. Clever, huh?"
Not really. Using this dumb shtick I guess you could play a sci-fi movie with monsters to your audience for an hour - but then suddenly switch to a costume drama, saying that it was all a dream by some 18th-century child. Clever, huh? Not so much clever as just plain dumb. Not to mention easy to write.
A movie can withhold information, yes. It can try to confuse you a bit, yes. It can challenge your perception of what's going on, yes. But what it can't do is mislead you about every single thing/aspect, for an HOUR, then expect the audience to be awed by this "amazing" twist. Any moron can set up a "story" like that. Deceit is easy. A proper twist exists within what the viewer knows, not within a movie that is never shown.
I wasn't awed, I found it laughable. If you lie to me about everything, then what chance do I have? If I can't trust the first hour why would I trust the last 30 minutes either?
To exacerbate things, the plot moves far too slowly. We even have extended, pointless scenes of Kelly sweeping floors while entire songs play in the background. Like MTV throwing clips into a movie.
Hipster indie rock, which makes it far worse. Horrible crap that doesn't even suit the tone of the movie.
Oz Perkins, one of the writers, had already shown that he doesn't have a penchant for writing with his "I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives In the House". That movie is stylish but its content is one big drawn-out cop-out with no resolution. This time the resolution is based on laughable, previous lies. Oz is of course a nepotist, son of that awful over-actor, the nerd from "Psycho", and in fact Oz is not even one of the really bad nepotists. His exaggerated portrayal of a narcissistic yuppie here is ludicrous but at least he looks the part. And since Kelly imagined everything, he had an excuse to be over-the-top. A flimsy excuse, but still an excuse. He just needs to stay away from writing - because a good writer isn't created simply by being born into a powerful Hollywood clan.
Characters discuss relationship problems, just minutes after they discover they are in mortal danger.
A sort of beach version of "Tremors". It starts off interestingly - and gets down to business fairly quickly: no dragging out. However, after the first 10 or so minutes the plot slows down drastically. Horror movies usually start slow, then speed up. We have the opposite here.
Then the nonsense starts too.
Easily the most idiotic moment is the surfboards scene; midway toward escape and freedom Jonah actually stops. To do what? To discuss relationship stuff with his ex and her new fling. Distracted by his own sudden amnesia (because he somehow forgot they were surrounded by a subterranean monster and that half his friends are dead), he makes an inexplicable ultra-klutzy move which has him falling down and getting infected. Duh. If the movie wanted to tell us it wants to be stupid, it succeeded.
Unfortunately, this absurd relationship drama occurs several more times. These clown amateur horror writers need to finally understand that while in survival mode nobody gives a sheet about relationships nor does anybody want to discuss anything that isn't directly related to survival: food, water, shelter, weapons and defense. Sex, petty jealousies and relationship drivel are relegated to the status of utter irrelevance. Bloody obvious.
The surfboard strategy should EASILY have evacuated all the "teens" from the danger zone. But hey: the writer needed to pad this out, so no go. They're still stuck.
Couldn't they just start running? An efficient sprint would have done the trick. The tentacles weren't instant, there was a brief delay which would have given even a jogger enough time to scamper away.
Then a cop comes - and suddenly it's a comedy. OK, not that suddenly: the fat black guy is sort of the resident comic relief character from the start. Nevertheless, the first half is not a comedy. The cop predictably gets killed, but not before performing a comedy routine. The "shoes are protecting him" shtick is far-fetched, considering that the tentacles are powerful enough to bring down a car. This is absurd.
I mean I know these are just Spring Break morons, but even this inferior species could have figured out that once in the cop car they could simply call HQ over the radio.
Speaking of which, why are there no cops searching for the missing dead cop? The vehicle is in plain sight, surely it should have been spotted. Dumb writing.
Even dumber is Blondie punching the black girl "for screwing with Jonah". Another slapstick moment at the most inopportune moment. Not funny, just dumb.
Aside from all the idiocy, essentially TS drags too much, that's the major flaw hampering it, completely killing the tension. TS is too static, too repetitive, hence gets rather tedious in the 2nd half. The other problem is the shoddy script with its lame dialogue and a schizophrenic genre mix-up that can't quite define itself: comedy or not? It should have been either an all-out goofy comedy or completely devoid of buffoonery. This "middle ground" approach is strictly amateur-hour level.
As it is, TS is a typical dilettante mess. A low budget is all well and fine (as an excuse) but you don't need money to write a decent or at least usable script.
One of those movies in which "things aren't as they seem". The movie lies and cheats the viewer by making us think that people are possessed by demons - when in fact they're possessed by God.
Say what? God? Since when does THAT happen? Now, I appreciate being deceived by a film, but within reason i.e. the deception has to make sense. This movie breaks a very basic rule of religious horror and that's: only Satan possesses bodies, making them behave in weird demonic ways.
It's a pity, because there is very nice quasi-apocalyptic scenery, and a solid mood. That ending also could have been a lot better if there were more to it than just the major twist - which at first appears fun but on closer scrutiny turns out to be dumb or at least flawed, for the reason I mentioned previously.
Pretty good - for a Spanish film though. Usually they suck. Spanish cinema rarely delivers a good product. This had potential, but it's ruined by a dumb way of cheating the viewer. If the film had devised a cleverer way of portraying Satanists as the good guys, the film would have worked.
The VHS tape scenes are very cheesy.
Perhaps there was a low budget so it couldn't afford to even slightly show us the Armageddon.
This found-in-sewage film is set in the woods, directed by Woods.
A loser called Ethan killed himself because a girl wouldn't accept an invitation for a dance, so his ghost haunts a forest known for suicides. Or is it something else?
Well, duh, obviously it's something else. All five teen morons end up lying at the bottom of a mountain, so clearly it's the forest demons that arrange all murders to look like suicides. Why they do this, who the hell knows. It's not as if demons - and especially ghosts - ever acted particularly rationally in any movie. Kind of like writers of found-in-sewage horror films.
You can skip the first 15 minutes without hesitation. Except for the train scene there is nothing there, unless you actually enjoy watching found-footage actors improvise their acting-school bla-bla BS and just generally clown around and goof off while pompously practicing their damn bloody "method". The teens are immensely annoying, especially the male actors, which makes rooting for them impossible.
The film has no plot to speak of, unless you consider five kids getting mysteriously bumped off an actual story. But there's a difference between an event and a story. A story is a string of events, an event is just an event.
Almost the entire movie is set in the woods, which is appropriate considering the director's name is Woods. But he really overdoes it a bit with the scene transitions, and hand-held nonsense. Things get chaotic, both visually and plot-wise, with zero explanations or hints given. Still, it's not a terrible movie.
"I've always wanted to be pretty and popular" says the very cute lead. Eff off. Why couldn't they cast a f-ugly to play this kind of role, because nobody is buying that she's homely, or even average. In fact, she looks better than the other girls in the cast, especially that big-mouthed one.
Sasquatch knows all about generators... Don't ask me how.
All you zoologists and biologists out there, hear me out. You think you know everything about Bigfoot? You think he doesn't exist? Well, you're wrong! Not only does he exist, but the movie clearly states in the opening captions that he is violent only if provoked.
And he can turn off generators! Yes, yes, I know, you have a point: how the hell does a primitive creature that speaks less coherently than a baboon know how to switch off a house generator when taking vengeance on some puny teen humans? Well, efff off with that line of skeptical questioning, you clueless, pompous "men and women of science"! Perhaps he is house-trained! Does the typical YouTube house cat not know how to switch off the lights by jumping up and down?
OK, fine, a monkey-like forest chimp that makes nests, it's a little silly. But why does he have to be related to the ape family trees? Why can't he be a relative of chickens? Or crocodiles.
I won't allow any criticism of Sasquatch being merciful to the last teen because the teen - inexplicably - laid down his weapon, refusing to shoot the chimp which so brutally murdered four of his dumb teen friends. Can a bird-like ape-creature not show human qualities?
We should applaud, I say, applaud the film-makers for the bravery shown in allowing Bigfeet (plural for Bigfoot?) to have the ability to block mobile-phone signals. As we all know, the mobile lines in the U.S. are absolutely useless the moment you're out of city limits, so it's not as if Bigfeet had to try hard to block them - so that the teens couldn't get help on time.
Not a far-fetched plot-device at all. More like brilliance shared by the writers and the forest chimps.
This found-footage mediocrity has unbearable wobbly scenes, and a plethora of nonsense that should never have been recorded. The persistence with which these teens record EVERYTHING, even in moments of extreme danger and suffering, is a bit much even for the stupid found-in-sewage genre. Besides, how is this "found-footage" if one teen survived. He gathered the footage so it's actually more like "gathered-footage".
Next time you guys make a film about Bigfoot/Bigfeet/Bigfoots, make sure he doesn't look like a boring caveman. Or just try to picking a more interesting monster to weave a predictable, dumb story around.
A laughably overrated hipster darling. Even the title has VV instead of W.
So why is this failure of a movie so laughably overrated? Because now hipsters are showing interest in the horror genre too, not just music. As a scholar of hipsterism, I am expected to know the hows and whys of all manner of hipsteric logic, but I am not quite sure I have all the answers.
1. Are hipsters getting boners that Christ completely ignores the plight of his endangered flock in this film? Hipsters are notoriously hateful of Christianity (because they had fallen under the spell of the Cultural Marxist Establishment propaganda they'd grown up with) and will reward any kind of anti-Christian subtext.
2. The ugly look of the film. This was shot in grey-and-white, with the occasional, very rare hints of green and red. Just as hipsters adore ugly music played badly, might they "enjoy" i.e. pretend to enjoy ugly movies?
3. Hints of incest. Most hipster "classics" within the European cult-movie scene invariably contain incest, masturbation, or cannibalism in them. Sometimes all three. Hipsters are nihilists, you see, so they really enjoy movies that delve into depraved, bizarre or taboo behaviour. Because hipsters are very silly attention-seeking, misanthropic creatures.
4. Hipsters hate the first American settlers, smugly dismissing them as dumb Puritans and blaming them for killing of Native Indians. So does this movie offer them a sort of sadistic relish?
5. Because the movie was supposedly based on "historic accounts", as the epilogue claims? That caption must have caused many boners in many a hipster underwear. Hipsters like to fancy themselves as an educated lot (which they are mostly not, at least not in the sense of what real education entails) hence they might have mistaken the film for a scholarly approach to making a horror film, a genre they generally ignore and are completely clueless about.
The movie isn't just visually unappealing, it is downright ugly. I could have shot a better-looking film with my Samsung mobile-phone camera. "But that was the point" hipsters might argue. They worship badness/ugliness while hating on intelligence and style: nothing new there.
Hipsters don't even know that mono-colour horror films have been all the rage in the last 15 years or so, hence this visual blandness is hardly something new. Having never seen more than 5 horror films altogether, hipsters flocked to hype this dreary nonsense, thinking it was incredibly original and clever. Not the first time hipsters pretend to be experts on something they're clueless about.
The child cast is very good. It is rare to have a good young cast, but that's about it as far as the positives are concerned. The plot isn't that boring but it's minimalist at best: a witch kills off a family one by one. That's it. That's the whole plot. There are slasher films with a more complex plot. There is simply no point to this thing.
For some stupid reason, once the older boy is abducted nobody - and I mean nobody - from the family goes into the woods to inspect the situation. Is there a witch-hunt? Nope. The family members get paranoid and start blaming each other, babbling quotes from the Bible incessantly, despite the fact that they lost two kids through woods-related incidents. Look, Mr. Director, you may be a blithering idiot, but I'm not.
Sophie Thompson as a mother of three small kids?! Right.
An annoying cast chosen to portray annoying characters isn't exactly a recipe for success. A double negative doesn't make a positive; it's more like a double disaster. At least half of the characters are utter ey-holes (although not necessarily intended as such), and most of the cast are average over-actors; some are third-rate comics. This includes Emma Thompson's sister, a useless nepotist just like her famous, inept, airhead sister.
In fact, the bad casting doesn't end there. Even demographically/logically the actors are badly chosen. Emma's homely sister and the fatso playing her husband are far too old to be playing parents of three small children. Did the writer/director Abigail really consider Sophie Thompson young enough to have three kids all younger than seven? She was 57 at the time of the filming!
Dustin Burns is cast as a "hunk" who's "irresistible to women". Abigail is a woman (at least her name would suggest it, though you never know these days), so I gather she must have very low criteria. Or perhaps Burns is her good friend and she wanted to do something for his self-esteem by casting him as a "playboy".
So yeah, the casting is not good. These actors aren't very funny either, though admittedly Abigail's somewhat muddled script has a lot to do with it too.
The plot is all over the place. There is an actual story here, but it's also a quasi anthology - to a smaller extent. The first three "stories" (more like 5-minute vignettes) serve just as an excuse for the final story which acts as the big plot-twist.
Trouble is, I'd already figured out that Burns and Fraser had had an affair. (The exaggerated hostility toward his new girlfriend was a giveaway.) And I knew that the cakes were poisoned, this was obvious too. What I couldn't possibly know in advance is the idiotic sex-change twist. Kelly Wenham is far too good-looking to pass off as a former man. It's so ridiculous that it is neither credible nor remotely funny - as intended. Maybe if they'd cast Rosie O'Donnell I could believe in the sex-change, but then the problem would be: why would Burns want to date such a... thing?
An absurd sex-change is a joke that can be used in a mindless farce, or in an absurdist ZAZ comedy: these types of movies can get away with almost anything. However, TFTL isn't so far gone in absurdity that we can accept almost any kind of nonsense as a suitable plot-device. Not even close. For one thing, the characters are grieving over their friend, and Crook has heart problems. So it's not a farce - at all. It's a horror film with some humour in it. As a result, there are limits to the nonsense Abigail can throw at us.
As if the sex-change weren't bad enough, the movie then completely disintegrates at the very end when Kelly gets up several times despite having a knife sticking out of her. Suddenly, Abigail is telling us: "hey, this is just goofy absurdist nonsense, laugh please!" Well, no, Abigail, you should have set the tone EARLIER. You don't set the tone for a movie in its last 5 minutes, that's not how film-making works. You set the tone at the beginning, and then you stick to that tone. If you can't stick to the same tone then you go back to film school to learn how to.
There are some amusing moments, so it's not as though the entire movie is useless. Plus, it isn't boring. But the cast and characters - and to a lesser extent the dumb twist - bring the quality down noticeably.
57 year-old Sophie Thompson as a mother of three small kids... Ts ts ts... This really annoyed me for some reason. If anything, she appears to be even older than she is, could easily play a 65 year-old i.e. Burns's or Martha's mother rather than their long-time friend. Abigail must be cut off from reality, it seems. Movie types usually are. Still, she ought to know that Sophie is too wretched-looking to pass off as a 40something (which would still be pushing it, kid-wise) and she ought to know that there are probably ZERO 57 year-old women in the world with three small children of their own.
The movie is Peltz-free for way too long. It can't afford to be though.
More of a low-key horror film i.e. not a bang-kaboom-blast gung-ho commercial type. Takes way too long to get going though, a whole half-hour in fact.
And that title... "Our House". If you want to attract horror fans you name your film something that's more in keeping with the "horror movie lingo". Madness wrote a hit song with this title. Nuff said.
There is some BS, of course, as per usual, most of it having to do with the writer using a lack of communication as a regular plot-device:
1. Instead of getting angry that his girlfriend Peltz doesn't believe in his ghost story, why doesn't he just invite her over to see for herself what the machine does?
2. The girl doesn't report the drowning attempt to her brothers. This makes zero sense. A little girl being attacked by a ghost would tell everyone about it, especially her brothers who anyway know about the ghosts' existence. This plot-device is used just so the girl could very predictably be endangered again, later on.
3. The neighbour turns into a psycho, and steals the machine. Silly, but OK: somewhat believable. But when Mann tries to retrieve it, he attacks him instead of simply telling him "hey, my sister is about to get murdered! can't I just turn it off briefly so I can save her - and then you can have your wife again?". He does this later, AFTER the brawl. Pretty stupid.
But there are no major annoyances, at least logic-wise. What irritated me was how the writer literally ignored Peltz for a half-hour. How come she is out of the picture for so long? It doesn't ring true. Worse yet, because Nicola Peltz is a stunning beauty I was a bit peeved the movie was Peltz-free for so long. Nor was it quite credible that a beauty like her would be with a guy like Mann. They didn't appear like a real couple. But that's a minor point.
The fact that the ghosts turned out to not be the parents was predictable, we've seen that shtick/plot-twist in many ghost flicks. The question begs itself: why? It makes no sense for ghosts from 50-year dead people to show up, but no fresh ghosts. Nor is it clear who the ghost was that held up Peltz while Henry the ghost was approaching the little girl and her brother.
Much better than its rating. Horror fans are clueless.
The modest rating average might make you believe this to be a boring exorcism flick, but it isn't. While admittedly visually cheap-looking (with that unmistakable B-movie look), it's nonetheless entertaining, with some loony spurts of mayhem, and an unpredictable conclusion.
Some nonsense here and there, but overall more intelligent than most alien-creature films.
Much better than most of the recent Russian productions I'd come across in the previous decade, whether I watched them in their entirety or chose not to waste my time with them at all.
A fairly original approach to the alien body-snatcher cliche. This time instead of just having random carnage like in a computer game (hint: "Alien" or "Doom"), there is an actual symbiotic relationship between the creature and his host, and this is explored (quasi) scientifically, and from several dramatic angles as well: something we're not used to from American movies which are nearly always very straight-forward and dumb with this theme.
Sure, there are the usual military-wants-to-use-alien-as-weapon cliches, but at least for once it isn't the U.S. military but the Russian military - or to be more precise the Soviet one. This is set in 1983.
Considering that Putin's tyrannical, mentally ill regime has a rather schizophrenic attitude toward the USSR, it was interesting to see how the USSR would be portrayed. It is portrayed as corrupt and inhuman, here at least. Perhaps the next Russian movie set in the USSR will be pro-Soviet? That would be in line with the afore-mentioned schizophrenia. This is assuming that Putin's censorship team is in full control of all scripts (i.e. scripts depend on their approval), which is a logical assumption in such a control-freakish 100% dictatorship such as the one in current Russia.
I do have an issue about Oksana's common sense though. She is against feeding the creature with live prisoners. Considering that these prisoners are all child-killers (or similar scum), then not only is the decision justifiable but ingenious. What a great punishment to have such deviants fed to a head-crushing monster! Furthermore, Oksana wants to risk bringing the cosmo-nut into the civilian population, completely disregarding the havoc the monster could wreck there. She seems to believe that the life of one person is more worth than that of many. The hell?...
Besides, the real Soviet Union wouldn't feed deviants to the monster, it would feed political prisoners to it. They'd actually recruit the deviants into the KGB. (The more intelligent deviants would become spies, the dumb ones would sweep the floors.) Could this be how Putin got recruited into the KGB? Did he slaughter children in a kindergarten? Just speculating...
The writer wanted so badly for Oksana and the astronaut to escape the base but... well... escape from a top-secret Soviet military base would have been pretty much impossible, which is why the writer resorted to some rather flimsy, unconvincing plot-devices:
1. Allowing the cosmo-nut to have more freedom made little sense. The creature was extremely dangerous and it may have been becoming more independent, or at least stronger, with time. Giving him new quarters was illogical.
2. Allowing the cosmo-nut to mingle with Oksana outside - pretty much unsupervised as far as conversations go - made very little sense too.
3. Oksana convincing the "Nobel Prize hopeful" doctor to help her - hence pretty much to seal his own fate - also seemed far-fetched.
4. Oksana and the cosmo-nut being shot at by Soviet's elite forces at close range, yet missing her, was far-fetched.
5. The jeep leaving the base: also not realistic.
Still, despite the movies screenplay flaws the story is developed interestingly and fairly competently. The dialog isn't the kind of Mickey Mouse crap we get in American monster movies (whether 50s B-movies or recent big-budget: not much difference there). That Oksana falls for the astro-nut is a bit too convenient for the writer, but I guess he needed certain things to play out the way he'd intended.
A slick movie, but with a better written, more logical first half. But then, isn't that nearly always the case in such movies? The resolution (in thrillers/horrors/mysteries) is usually where most of the nonsense occurs, when the logic falls apart i.e. is sacrificed to the needs of the story, but at least I wasn't bored with it. And none of the nonsense was too annoying or hugely stupid.
The movie offers a unique situation, whereby the host of a body snatcher - in a way - takes part in cannibal behaviour (though not intentionally). This presents a fun philosophical dilemma: did the cosmo-nut become a cannibal or not?
TC opens with a quote from... Shakespeare? Schopenhauer? Twain? No. From Anthony LeVay, the laughable 60s Satanist from California. So not a good start, at all. LeVay is about as menacing as a fluffy toy.
You might recognize the music that opens the first scene. The same that opened "The Shining", just three years later. Did Kubrick know? I wonder... Because he was infamous for his pedantic, fanatical approach to detail, very OCD.
The film opens with a desert vista. The scenery in TC is very nice, and filmed with REAL film, REAL cameras, with REAL 70s colour, not the sheeet they use today.
Logic-wise no major problems, mainly because it's a simple, linear story.
By the time the car kills half of the town's police force - including the sheriff - one would think the FBI would start getting involved. For some reason the movie commits a typical horror movie error which I refer to as the "isolation flaw", whereby an isolated town or village has to contend with a huge menace without federal or at least state help, even when they have the means to communicate this danger to others i.e. they can call for help.
There is a scene in which the car crashes into two police vehicles, spins in the air... then next thing we know it's driving in a straight line. What happened in-between?
Clearly inspired by Spielberg's debut "Duel", which is a better movie partly because it doesn't waste time with the characters. After the exciting intro, the movie goes into brief but utter tedium as we are introduced to Brolin's boring family situation. This doesn't last more than a few minutes, but as we all know minutes can be like hours...
It's not that the dialog scenes are stupid, they aren't. They are generally not interesting enough. TC comes alive mostly during the action scenes.
Stevie King, The Master of Garbage, later stole ideas from both these films to write that hunk-a-junk of a novelette called "Christine" which was later turned into a mediocre movie starring boring nepotist Keith Gordon.
From the writer/director of "Open 24 Hours", possibly the dumbest thriller ever written.
Some lizards simply lack the ambition to rule the world.
Right off the bat, the film commits an error. I can't stand first-scene spoilers. Many modern-day horror films rely on this shtick, yet what they hope to achieve with this garbage strategy is beyond me. Especially found-footage films tend to start off that way. Admittedly, there isn't much to spoil in found-in-sewage movies: audiences know that everyone dies in them.
But this isn't yet another mindless, boring found-in-sewage horror, it's another mindless monsters-go-bump-in-the-dark flick. In the movie's defense, the "main plot" catches up with the spoiler before the half-way mark as opposed to at or just before the end, as is often the case. But it still annoyed me that for a fair while I knew what was going to happen. It took me out of the movie.
Logically and predictably, the nonsense soon starts piling up. Lizard people. Yes, the bad guys are "lizard people who went into hiding eons (of your years) ago due to man, but are now back, evolved". That's some evolution: these lizard thingies had basically mastered every magic trick in the book hence should have been ruling the world by now, forcing the humans into hiding not the other way round. With the powers they possess they should be crushing man-made civilization, all across the globe, and with ease. Even alien invaders aren't this brilliant with stealth attacks and all the sneaking around, appearing/disappearing at will. Instead, these lizards seem to be unaware of their huge potential hence they mess around some irrelevant farm, around an irrelevant woman and her irrelevant daughter. Are they a bit thick? No, they seek "energy". An explanation will be provided, keep reading...
The movie provides no info on this, but I have to assume that these lizards hypnotize kids with ease. How else do we explain the daughter being on their side from day 1?
Even less logical is the woman's bizarre escape. A (stuffed?) cow just happens to block the cop truck transporting her to prison, and she just happens to be the only survivor out of 5 people, actually leaving the wreck uninjured. Very absurd, highly illogical, total far-fetched rubbish of a plot-device. The writer: "where do we go from here? How do we allow this woman to save her daughter? Oh, I know! A stray cow will miraculously block the prison car during a storm - in front of a bridge - and she'll just waltz off unharmed back to her house, and then visit the lizard expert for help, because - somehow - he happens to live nearby..." He didn't even have the sense to pick a deer, or a bear instead. A stray cow in the middle of the night?
How convenient that the lizard expert lives so close by to her, that she reaches him with ease - as a fugitive and without a car. After all, America only has 50 states, and they are scattered over a tiny area, barely larger than Holland...
It gets sillier from here... We find out from the lizard whisperer that lizards "get their energy from children, because children are the purest form of energy." Say what? Children, energy, purest form... Huh? Gobbledygook much?
"2,000 children disappear every day." Gee, and here we thought all along that it was kiddie-fiddlers, child-traders and mass-murderers who abduct all those kids! Nope. It's the lizards, because hey, they be needin' them kids: they be havin' plenty of PURE ENERGY in them. Pure science stuff, as I am sure Tyson deGrasse would agree; after all, he supports even the most extremist, laughable Global Warming theory. Why shouldn't he give his thumbs up for this lizard-children energy-kidnap thingy as well.
How about childish dwarfs then? Do they qualify as sources of "pure energy" too? Old senile people who act like children? No?... Kittens? They are after all children of cats, and you can't get any purer than that... Young raccoons? Baby fish? No? Not pure enough?
Hang on. If children are what the creatures need, why was their HQ located at the woman's farm? There was nobody there for years, certainly no children.
But wait... It gets even sillier. The lizard hunter imprisons the woman, as precaution because she might kill the lizard hence spoil his chance to catch one alive! No joke, that's his rationale, I am not making any of this stuff up. He somehow knows all this stuff about the lizards - yet he never saw one? Never caught one. Sillier yet, he somehow happens to have a "prison room" ready, as if he were some serial-killer or something, which he clearly is not. How convenient, huh? Nothing is too convenient i.e. too far-fetched for Reynolds who wrote this mess.
Just to sidetrack a bit, there is a serious contradiction between what the lizard conspirator says and what actually happens. He insisted that "they listen to everything", yet the lizards never went out of their way to kill him earlier. If they know everything why would they tolerate his existence, his YouTube clips about them? Don't they have the internet? Oh yeah, silly me... there is no internet connection in most underground tunnels...
This lizard-obsessed dolt heads to her house, with no real plan, except with the very slim hope that a lizard is kind enough to offer itself to be captured without resistance, sort of like going tiger-hunting in the hopes that the tiger will simply hop into your cage voluntarily. So he predictably gets attacked, and killed. Though not immediately. The lizard is so incompetent that it needs three attacks to finish off this clumsy, clueless clod. The cops discover the body, then, somehow, the woman reaches her home before the cops do, despite them having a police car and her having...? No, we the much-ignored, much-hated audience never find out how she moves around. By car? Helicopter? One of those new hipster city rollers? Does she fly?
Then, just as you think "surely there's nothing that stupid coming up again", the woman's ex-husband shows up at the house. Wasn't he shot in the groin area not that long ago? What a miraculous and speedy recovery... Doubtlessly Reynolds performed the surgery, what we medical cinemaphiles refer to as "quick-fix script surgery". I must confess: at this point I was expecting his ex-wife to accidentally shoot him - again. I was secretly hoping she would because I knew how loud I'd be laughing if she did. It would have been B-movie comedy gold. Unfortunately, she doesn't, i.e. the writer isn't that lost: he has his limits.
Or not. When the woman finds her ex-hubby covered in blood, inside the secret underground tunnel, she asks him stupidly: "What happened? Are you OK?" Verbatim. What does she mean what happened?! He got attacked by the lizards, you silly cow! Is he OK?! Sure, he must feel great after a violent monster just smashed his head in! And why wasn't he killed? Perhaps lizards left him alive hoping he'd re-unite with his ex-wife. It would make sense, because if they kissed and made up they might make more kids. And kids equal "pure energy". Logical, right?
If her ex-husband had completely healed, then a lot of time would have to have passed. And yet, if this were true, then their abducted daughter would have to have starved by the time they find her. Or did the lizards feed her? With what? Bird eggs?
But just so you don't get the idea that inconsistencies and absurdities are this movie's "only" vices, there are also horror clichés galore: jump-scare dream sequences, doors slamming shut, lizards hiding in the backseats of cars, lizards shrieking stupidly as all boring monsters do, the sheriff predictably getting killed as "punishment" for not being a believer... The whole shebang.
Predictably, the film never tells us where lizards store this precious "kiddie energy"? In water bottles or air-tight containers? Do they sniff this energy, and if so are their noses located in their rear end? There certainly doesn't seem to be much space for a nose on those heads...
Admittedly, there is a scene in which they seem to be using their heads to absorb the energy, rather than their derrieres. But I can't be sure, because their rear ends and their heads are so hard to distinguish. Same with the writer, actually...
Nor do we ever find out why the woman and her daughter get nose-bleeds. Because lizards smell that bad?
One more thing: why does the daughter start cooperating with her mother at the end? Until then she seemed very much on Team Lizard, she appeared to be hypnotized. What broke the spell? Yet more inept script surgery... Script surgery breaks not just hypnotic spells but any kind of logic it needs to. For the greater good of Badmovieland.
The direction is OK, but the script is typical of Reynolds: contradictory, illogical trash.
There are several key flaws that suck the blood out of this so-so "comedy".
First of all, it's not funny, only slightly clever here and there. But there's very little that hasn't been done before in countless "different" vampire films.
Secondly, the reasons for the film-crew staying for so long after everything they'd witnessed is very far-fetched. Already after the "weird one" sneaked into their room they should have bolted.
Not to mention the absurd invitation to witness the sacrifice ritual. It made zero sense that the vampires would invite them to it, nor that the crew would opt to stay on filming after it.
Even after the killing of the stoners - they still stayed. Wut?
Even after they'd overheard the leaders conspiring to kill them, they still stayed.
Makes zero sense.
Thirdly, and this is the biggest logic flaw, just how stupid are the vampires to invite a major documentary crew, only to have them slaughtered. Duh. Obviously, their disappearance would be headline news which is precisely the opposite of what these "modern new vampire" campaigners wanted. The entire movie rests on this idiotic premise.
I found the early conversations with the vampires dumb, because they seemed to get so easily offended, like a bunch of over-sensitive SJWs. These vampires lived for centuries hence being offended should not be in their nature. Quite to the contrary. Just as it makes no sense for a 400-year vampire to be so dumb as to kill a major documentary film crew and not expect hefty consequences. A 400 year-old vampire should be far more savvy than the average modern human, not less.
How did the blonde get infected? When? No proper explanation given.
The film-crew actually bickering while trying to escape: totally unrealistic hence unfunny.
Lucian is laughably miscast, and the movie is too blue, but otherwise fun.
The script in the first hour is fairly water-tight, but Lucian's re-capture not only brings too much deja-vu but makes no sense. There is no reason why he couldn't turn into a beast, take Sonia into his arms, and jump from the window all the way down and then scamper off into the woods to safety.
Furthermore, when he fights the soldiers during this segment he yet again fails to turn into a beast. To make things even dumber, when he does finally turn he doesn't kill Viktor when he has the chance. He was livid with anger and revenge, so this is pretty damn stupid.
In other words, the writers needed the plot to move in a certain direction (read: have Sonia killed) so they FORCED the plot rather than guide it naturally. They were incapable of pulling this off in a logical, credible way so they broke logic in order to achieve this. Unfortunately, mediocre and/or lazy writers do this all the time.
Nor do I understand how Viktor managed to escape to the ship considering that his head was pretty much thoroughly pierced by Lucian. Admittedly, I am not an "Underworld" scholar like some people so maybe there is a rationalization there. Though I doubt it, because surely Lucian would know what it takes to kill a vampire. If Lucian felt he did enough to kill him then it should have been enough. But it wasn't, meaning that... Lucian is a clueless moron?
The casting is far from perfect. I would have cast the movie very differently, for example I'd have gotten rid off that effeminate nerd playing Lucian, but at least we don't have robots in this one i.e. Kate Beckinsale. I would have re-cast pretty much most of the leads. Bill Nighy is a poor choice; he is a decent actor but doesn't look the part - at all. Rhona Mitra isn't good-looking enough. Several other roles could have been much better filled.
Still, the movie is overall interesting and slick, if a bit too blue for my taste. On rare occasions when colours OTHER than blue appear, the movie looks so much better. But hey, the 00s were the birth of "blue cinema", and this is one of the movies that went full retard with it.
I presume this is a very popular film in Turkey. No?
Read the plethora of one-star reviews posted by Turkish users. Fun guaranteed.
Stick around for the fun action scenes, have a toilet break during the tedious dialog - which mostly consists of your standard Hollywood heroic speeches full of inspirational one-liners and "wise sayings". In short: dreary. Perhaps the LOTR trilogy has forever made me tired of such theatrical pathos, so I no longer can stand it.
Some nonsense too.
1. I don't understand how Turks managed to sneak into the second castle, nor how Vlad Drac couldn't have considered it a possibility hence taken precautions. So this was a pretty stupid, thoroughly unconvincing plot-device used to get rid of his wife.
2. The Romanian soldiers seem too useless, as if Turks were superior combatants: they were not, the Turks merely had strength in numbers, hence when Dracula wasn't present the Romanians should have been of SOME use at least.
3. Even dumber is the silver-coin-based scene, the duel with Mehmet. That was high camp, exacerbated by an awfully exaggerated, almost gay performance by Cooper who is so laughably miscast that had his role been bigger he could have sunk the entire movie, similarly to how Joaquin Phoenix helps sink "Gladiator" with his awful and unconvincing imitation of a Roman emperor. Cooper can't even say his Rs, which almost made him a Monty Python character.
4. Completely incomprehensible are the time-lines. Drac has only 3 days, yet events seem to be moving along at lightning speed. Whoever wrote the screenplay is either totally historically-challenged or thinks we're all morons. In the 15th century there were no mobile phones and no mechanical vehicles, otherwise wars would have started weeks or months earlier than they did. How the hell Mehmet sends the second attack so soon after the first one is beyond me. Dracula should have been given three weeks to resist drinking blood. That would have been far more convincing, at least in terms of time-lines.
5. I find it a bit much how quickly the vampires turn against Dracula, insisting on killing the boy when they've just had 100,000 liters of Turkish blood minutes earlier. Come on now... Vampires aren't seeking blood around the clock, they can't be that greedy, surely. The writers must have mixed them up with cats and pigs. Dracula was able to resist for three days yet these fools weren't able to do the same for three measly minutes - right after a Turkish massacre gave them buckets of blood?
6. The treachery of the monk, who is actually more afraid of what the Impaler might have turned into - than of approaching Turkish armies coming to butcher every single one of them. Absurd.
7. Too many "Nooooo!" moments. The MST3K/Rifftrax team would have a field day with this.
I checked Cooper's bio, and sure enough - yet another addition to my vast Nepotism List. No wonder he is such a bad actor.
But the movie is slick enough to entertain, overall.