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.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Movies That Are Hopeless To Understand In Under 90 Minutes

The Bleeding House (2011)

Let's see, this week I've had two haunted houses, one in 3D the other the 'pay us and we'll scare you' kind, a zombie flick, a horrible torture flick, and a classic. Time for something a little different. At least I was hoping. This is yet another Indie movie so I wasn't terribly hopeful, but it 
did sound different. The official synopsis once again does not give an accurate description of the movie (What the hell are these people actually watching?): The Smith family with a secret past is visited by a sweet-talking southern gentleman who is looking for small town humanity. But they'll soon find out kindness towards strangers is not always rewarded and the secretive stranger will find redemption does not always come easy. Uh, close but nope. Now if you've come from a dysfunctional family (no I don't mean the kind where you were made to do your homework, couldn't stay out late or had chores, toughen up people) like I have, this movie makes much more sense than it would to say, the typical viewer. But still, even with my, umm, experiences, there was still so much about what went on in this movie that remained unexplained, it was obvious that the overall tale could not possibly be told in a movie lasting 86 minutes - maybe a season worth of shows perhaps, where character development and the different little idiosyncrasies could be explained, otherwise, one gets totally lost and when a movie does that, it loses interest and an audience. But what you see is this:

A family in Texas is 'starting over' in a new house - but not a new town (massive duh). Whether that is from lack of money or brains I don't know - but the oldest boy, 18 wants out badly, the girl (16?) is kept locked in her room, doesn't go to school, and is only let out for meals. The father is an attorney trying to get back to work and not having much success. The mother is an artist so, you know, no money there. There are implied conversations, something about deaths, fire, a small town that has no sympathy and a very long memory. We get the idea, however faint, that this family did something major to make them such a stink that they have to live in the far outskirts of town.

One fine evening a gentleman in an ice cream suit and hat (no not an ice cream hat, it's just white, sheesh) shows up, asking for shelter as his car has died and no one is coming for it until morning. They instantly refuse, but after consideration decide to let him in. He says he is a physician, travelling to a new town for a new start himself - his family had recently been brutally murdered while he had been at the hospital. They instantly buy every word he says, and feed him dinner. He notices his food has all been cut up for him. They explain that all the knives are kept locked. Why? I know but apparently they don't want the audience to figure this out for a while.

The girl? She's a major piece of work and we instantly get a bad feeling about her. Locked in her room, not allowed near sharp objects, not allowed to go to school, and not allowed to having 'living' things in the house, although she collects and pins different insects on her wall. When caught with a live bird in her room her mother exclaims that she's not to have that and the girl dispassionately breaks its neck. Nice.

The mother, for whatever reason, decides to show the soft speaking Nick (the stranger) her 'studio' she set up in the attic. She is almost like a kid showing off her 'art' and continues to babble - until she's knocked out by a hard object in the back of the head. Okay, now we're rolling. The stranger next is downstairs with the father (who heard nothing) and they start to watch sports. The stranger goes to the kitchen to help himself to coffee - he asks the father where the sugar is. When the father goes to show him - bam. You get the idea now. The son had already left the house to meet with his girlfriend so the girl is all who's left. However she has, as she's done probably since the very beginning, escaped her room and is in the woods in the dark. She knows what's happening (hell, the stranger is telling her) and is not coming back inside. He tells her it's actually her he's come for. Why? Here's why it needed a series and not 84 minutes.

This Nick who may or may not have been a real doctor and definitely never had a family, much less one who was murdered, thinks he is saving people from themselves or something. He spouts so much pseudo-religious gibberish that it's impossible to figure out exactly what he believes he's trying to do. So basically and without knowing the entire reason for it, he travels from town to town, listening to the gossip until he finds the kind of family that needs 'saving'. These people are it tonight. The father and mother wake to find themselves bound in chairs, needles and tubes in both arms, a blood pump (Where did they get that relic?) he relishes turning on and off, and increasing the pressure when it strikes him. Again, why exactly? Exposition and backstory can be tedious in a movie but here, without it, you can get lost and with that lose any interest in the movie. As a kind of, uh, last rite or something he uses their own blood to draw a little cross on their foreheads. He then spouts more rhetoric that you can't help but start to tune out because without explanation, it's just not worth listening to. Getting blood on his shirt, he takes it off - he is covered in massive scars - again no explanation. No real one anyway. The father dies first, mother next. Daughter is still outside, too far away to get help (no one is going to help her anyway) and somehow drawn to the ultra-violence happening in her house. See, she's not just troubled, she's certifiably whacked.

The reason the family is ostracized by the town? The mother had an affair with a guy who dumped her. They fought, and she 'accidentally' started a fire in their house that killed the whole family. The father, being a lawyer, somehow got any charges against her dropped. But people don't forget or forgive, especially in small towns. But this smiling white-suited psycho knows it goes deeper than that. The girl had told him she was there and had seen the burned bodies. So the truth was - yes the mother had an affair and the guy dumped her. In revenge, the DAUGHTER stabbed the whole family with great gusto, and, I guess since its implied not shown, the mother set the fire to cover it up, the father getting the whole family off.

The brother comes home with his girlfriend. He barely gets in the door when he's killed. The girlfriend escapes, finds the daughter and they run through the dark woods. The stranger says there's a 'surprise' waiting for her. They find a car and the girlfriend runs to it, the daughter telling her to wait. When they get there, a woman asks what's going on. The daughter takes a huge stone she'd hidden in her sweater and proceeds to bash the woman's head into paste, having to be pulled off of her by the girlfriend. She shows that the woman had a knife and was going to kill them. The trunk is full of Mason jars of blood. Why? <shrugs> No keys are anywhere so they keep running, right into a police car. Since the police know this family well, they immediately go to take the girl home, despite their protests. At the house they see blood in the doorway and go in. Massive duh. They're quickly dispatched by our smiling savior.

He takes the girlfriend, ties her down and lets the daughter know his true purpose - I guess. Again it's more pseudo religious gobbledygook about finding someone to go with him to accomplish his 'purpose'. He knows she's a killer. She then says the only straightforward statement made in this whole movie: "You kill to save their souls. I kill because I LIKE IT!" Taking the knife he'd foolishly given her she stabs him, finishing him off, but not before he says she'll be seeing him 'in every mirror, in every town', and more stuff that makes no sense because hey, why start now? She lets the girlfriend go, tells her to let the town know not to look for her, and starts down the dark road to ???. In America, only 8 percent of its serial killers are women, although American women make up 76% of the total female serial killers worldwide. And you just met one.