Hello to all those faithfully reading and hopefully enjoying this effort to make even the worst horror movie more watcha... aw, screw that - I'm not that good. If a movie makes you cringe because yet another batch of unlikable teens that are pushing 30 are inching toward their deaths, having a party no one does anywhere ever, a paranormal movie is boring you to tears with unending pans of empty rooms, or thanks to CGI technology when people finally bite it, their blood squirts everywhere except on the victim, the ground, the people next to them... you're in good company and this is the right place for you.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Movies So Bad They Make You Say "What In The Blazes Did I Just Watch?"

Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark (2011)

I almost put this movie under 'Movies You Watch Because Of Who Made Them' because the reviews said this movie sucked out loud and even viewer ratings were poor to horrid. But Guillermo 
del Toro made this movie, and since he did the Hellboy series, Blade II, Cowboys and Aliens, and a spate of kiddie films, I thought it couldn't be too bad. I was wrong. Dead bang wrong. This is one of those movies about a little kid that kids can't see (rated R). I hate those to start with. And why was it rated R exactly? There was absolutely no language, violence was there but no real gore, and the scares would only work on a ten year old, if they were really gullible. Talk about being bored to tears - I almost applauded when the credits showed up.

Sometime in the 1800's I'd guess, there's a mansion called Blackwood Manor, where famous wildlife painter Emerson Blackwood kills his housekeeper in order to get her teeth. He has already knocked out his own. He puts them all on a plate, setting into an ash pit in the basement, pleading for mysterious things in the dark to give him back his son. But since they are not children's teeth, they're rejected and the things take him down the hole instead.

The latest equipment in fairy busting technology.
Skip ahead to present day. A troubled kid named Sally, already on Adderall (a drug used to treat ADHD and narcolepsy) is shipped from her mom's house in LA to her dad and his girlfriend restoring a mansion in Rhode Island. The Blackwood Mansion. Both parents are portrayed as selfish bastards in this movie, the mom not wanting to deal with her, the dad reluctant to take her because of his work and his new girlfriend. Nice. To a kid that would be the real nightmare, not the dreck that follows.

From the first night, Sally hears voices. Of course, adults don't believe her (probably thinks it's the drugs) and she is left on her own from the start. Nice. Sally wanders the grounds and finds the hidden basement's skylight (and a fairy ring - a round of large mushrooms with nothing but grass in the middle although leaves cover everything else). One of the workman restoring the house, Mr. Harris, warns her, Alex and Kim not to venture into the basement so of course being movie-stupid that is what they immediately do. Sally finds the sealed fireplace (or ash pit, whatever) and hears that the voices are coming from there - she's hearing them in the ducts I guess.

The only caring adult isn't even related to her.
Sally opens the fireplace to meet the creatures and finds one of the old housekeeper's teeth. She hides it under her pillow and (duh) the creatures leave her a 19th-century silver coin. They soon show their nasty side though, stealing items and destroying things, and of course Sally gets the blame for everything. Sally sneaks to the basement (being movie-stupid the father doesn't think to re-lock the door to the basement) to talk with the creatures, but Harris sends her away and tries to seal the fireplace. The creatures emerge and brutally wound him (with very little gore) and he is hospitalized. Not blaming her outright (but probably thinking it) this duh of a dad sends her to therapy. Who wants her on more drugs. Oh this modern world we live in... kid giving you trouble? Dope 'em up 'til they can't talk anymore...

Finally a little adult smarts but the wrong person. Instead of daddy, the girlfriend visits Harris in the hospital, who sends her to the library. The librarian shows her unpublished artwork which is very similar to what Sally has been drawing. Blackwood had drawn them just before he vanished, along with his son. Now we get that this is a twisted take on the tooth fairy lore. Coming home she finds a hidden mural that depicts his son being taken by the 'fairies'. She wants the kid out of there but the massive duh of a dad can only think of his investment in the house and the big dinner he's having for his boss.

Inattentive, greedy and just plain stupid daddy.
For 'protection' since the fairies can't stand light, Kim gives her an Polaroid instant picture camera with a bar flash (What is this, the 70's?) and of course this is one of those magic cameras that never runs out of film or flash. Her first successful attempt to take a picture of these very ugly and badly CGI'd fairies results in them taking it from her and destroying it. So she keeps trying, pissing off inattentive daddy who's desperately trying to impress the boss. However, he finally realizes what is happening when Sally is trapped in the library by the creatures, but she fends them off by using her camera flash to distract them.

CGI overkill of very ugly tooth fairies.
Alex and Kim decide to flee the house with Sally, but both are ambushed by the creatures so they can drag Sally to the basement. Kim awakens and confronts them, cutting Sally free only to get caught in the ropes and her leg broken as she struggles. The creatures drag Kim into the fireplace, as a distraught Sally crushes a nearby creature to death with a flashlight. Alex arrives just as Kim disappears, and father and daughter finally beat cleats out of the damn house. Some time later, both return to the abandoned mansion to leave a drawing of Kim there for God knows what reason, and oh so conveniently it blows it's way through the mansion (where the hell is the wind coming from - it's all locked up) and down the open (AGAIN?) basement door, landing on the grate to the ash pit, where the things inside grab it. Kim's voice is heard convincing the creatures to stay where they are and just go deeper into the basement for they will forget in time, and others will come, claiming they have "all the time in the world". So I guess we're supposed to know (since they're not explaining a damn thing) that somehow Kim is now a fairy. How nice. And how incredibly stupid.