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.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Movies You Watch Because Of Who's In Them

House (2008)

First before I start I wanted to mention that I'm using a new format that hopefully will be easier to read, making it a bit wider on the page and not looking like I wrote a book on each movie 
I see. Thank you for your patience, because I've noticed that it has made some of my older posts look a little cattywampus so sorry about that part. For me to try to realign the whole thing would be a huge project I can't even begin to face.

Second, I think this category might have to go. I have said before there's a list of actors whose movies I'll watch just because they're in them, because I used to believe that guaranteed that the movie at least would be interesting, but in this idea-bankrupt version of Hollywood and movies, this is no longer a criteria that can be trusted. This movie starred Michael Madsen, a favorite of mine. In The Killing Jar he was understated, cool and scary as hell, just like he was in Kill Bill (Vol. 1 & 2). Here he's supposed to be evil personified, but I honestly felt he was just there to pick up a check and that's just sad. And depressing. So this movie actually fits in the Movies So Bad They Make You Say "What In The Blazes Did I Just Watch?" category. Because it was bad, bad, bad with a 101 minute splash of WHAT THE HELL?

Wait, wasn't it raining a second ago?
The first sign the movie was going to be a bust? They start with a scripture. I don't claim to be the ultimate authority on the Bible, but I do know that every time they do that, the scripture is either misapplied, misunderstood, or just plain wrong for whatever situation they're trying to make it fit for. This time too. See this movie, to give you a heads up, tries to use devil worship to say 'We don't have to explain the plot - see? Devil worship. So there.' So don't expect anything to make sense because they feel this is the bucket to catch all the 'what the hell' moments that are riddled through this boring and confusing movie.

It starts with a scared woman hiding in a house. A guy with a rifle is pursuing her. She says you can't kill me I love you. You're my husband. BLAM. Guess she was wrong. Cut away to a couple you instantly can't stand. They're obviously unhappy, hate whatever they're doing (and probably each other) and of course get lost. A state trooper sees them and since the husband's driving too fast, pretty soon he's behind them. Instead of pulling over, the idiot keeps going. The cop pulls alongside, hits his horn and passes. WTH? Get the bucket. Continuing to argue, even more now that they know they're lost and she's pissed about the cop, they almost slam into an accident scene. The trooper is there, helping some folks in an ancient truck try to capture chickens in overturned crates. After some tense dialogue the trooper gives them directions to the highway. You instantly say 'don't listen idiots' but I've discovered that yelling at movies just pisses off my husband and makes my throat sore so I just shake my head and write in my notes 'two people are total dumbasses'. Oh and WTH. Lots and lots of WTH. Because of course, the directions he gives them only sends them further off the beaten path until they run over some garbage on the dirt road (this guy can't drive for sh-- I mean he's a movie-stupid driver). After spinning around a bit, they stop. Just ahead, they see another car that has done basically the same (nobody can drive in movies). They get out and instantly it starts pouring rain so they run hoping to find a phone (Does ANYBODY ever find a phone in movies?). They come upon the Wayside Inn (Rest For The Weary Soul) and run inside. It's empty except for another couple that are instantly also unlikable. They are the occupants of the other car. They couldn't find anyone either. But the dinner table is already set for them. Get the bucket. WTH?

Oh and they also find a wall full of news clippings, but for some reason they only focus on one - the one stating that a young state trooper and his wife have been reported missing - and were last seen at the very place they are. Dum dum dum... Or just dumb.

Isn't that the chick from the old Folgers commercials?
Sneaking up on them and scaring them to death (of course, even if they hadn't they'd still scare you) is Betty, Pete and Stewart - your typical backwoods inbreds. Dinner is served and it is clear that all hate each other pretty well even though they just got there. And they're stuck because, say it with me, the phone doesn't work and their cell phones have no service. You know, about 95% of the US has cell phone coverage. They keep the other 5% for horror movies. Soon a terrifying figure (they say, I yawned) shows up outside and Betty demands which one of them caused him to show up. Who? The Tin Man of course. Get the bucket. The Tin Man only goes after the guilty. Guilty what? Oh yeah, bucket. After bolting the place down, they kind of huddle - until a tin can is thrown down the chimney (Tin Man can climb pretty damn good). It has his three rules written on it:

1. God came into my house and I killed him. (Just get the bucket, ok?)
2. I will kill anyone who comes into my house like I killed God (What, with a lightsaber? Oh yeah, bucket.).
3. Give me one dead body before sunrise and I'll let Rule 2 slide (And we know he's totally reliable).

Now all are looking at each other sizing up who should die. They don't say that of course, but, duh. And since the movie would be way too short if they just decided and got it all over with, we start this labyrinth of ridiculous and disjointed garbage that fills up the time. It turns out that all four of the unwelcome guests have hidden secrets. They are all guilty of something (duh, is anybody really innocent?). Our original couple were on their way to a marriage counselor because they've kind of hated each other since their daughter died in an ice skating accident. The other two? Apparently the guy had an abusive father but was dumb enough to teach him to hunt (if you're going to beat your wife or kid, never teach them to use a gun stupid). Sure enough blam, bye bye daddy. The woman? Her uncle was a naughty, naughty man and since she couldn't fight back she killed him. Wait, what? Couldn't keep him out of her room, could end his life? Bucket please. 

After running through the house for - ah hell I don't know - they discover a red velvet room down in the basement and here we get all the devil worship garbage. The symbols looked like they got some elementary Demon Worship For Dummies book and copied them exactly. Duh. So they conclude that the people running the place and the Tin Man are devil worshipers (Really? You figured that all by yourselves? I mean - oh just get me the bucket). Whenever they fight and injure the three that live in the house they bleed black smoke (don't even - just get the bucket).

No, I'm good, honest - now hand me that cleaver please...
But this wasn't nearly confusing enough - so Jack, the husband of the original couple finds a little girl hiding in the basement who says her name is Susan. She looks like the little girl from The Ring if she were dry and had her hair done. Oh, but she's a good girl here... if she's even a girl. She tells Jack his daughter is safe and happy. Their dead daughter. Bucket please...

So all four are dancing around the house dealing with their personal demons (already explained but endlessly expounded on) and turn on each other. While all are in the 'Devil' room, Jack is split into two separate people, each thinking the other is the fake. Bucket please - oh it's full? There's a big one over there - in fact there's several, better get 'em all. Both wound themselves to 'prove' they're real and both bleed black smoke. Right. Shoot both and go home? Oh no, we've got more movie to wade through...

I'm evil! Evil, evil evil! Why won't anyone believe me?
The four decide to band together and hurray - here's the state trooper, named Lawdale (Michael Madsen) come to save the day. They try to get out through the garage and there's the 'Tin Man' - he and the trooper exchange bullets, but only the Tin Man gets hit - or at least only he feels the bullets. They think they've been saved - until they realize the guy is chained up. Taking off his 'tin' mask they find that he's the state trooper who was reported missing along with his wife (our opening sequence and news article, and pass the bucket).

Good looks pretty damn scary.
Susan, a great well of information, tells the four that Lawdale is the Tin Man and breaks his own rules all the time. See, the state trooper did do what the Tin Man wanted - he killed his wife providing the body - but she didn't die until a couple of minutes after sunrise so... get a bucket. She then spouts stuff about darkness and light and how only light will destroy the darkness but this just pisses Lawdale off. By this time, it's obvious that the second couple are much more treacherous than our married couple (Jack and Stephanie) and they actually turn on each other, killing each other to get free. But, like Susan said, that doesn't set Jack and Stephanie free. The Tin Man doesn't live by his rules - why should he? This is when we get the phoned in don't believe it for a second speech that he is evil - 100%. No, in The Killing Jar you were evil 100% sir. Here you rate about maybe a 45%. Anywho, he shoots Susan and light pours from her body. Don't ask, just get the bucket. Get two, because at this point Jack and Stephanie somehow use the light from Susan to turn Lawdale into a burnt marshmallow, just a shadow on a wall. Uh huh. The house collapses around them as they escape.

What the hell? We were dead? We better be getting paid big time...
They run back to their car, where they discover that gee, they and the other couple didn't run over street junk, they had a full-blown massive accident. The other couple? They burned alive in their car. Nice. The police on the scene (none of which can see Jack or Stephanie of course) talk about how there are two more bodies from the other car. The two run to their bodies and - get a couple of buckets - they somehow sink back into their bodies 'cause see, they never really were anywhere, they had an out-of-body experience. Okay forget the bucket, get a couple of bathtubs, because we see Susan watching them from the trees, smiling when she sees that they both miraculously 'wake up' and an ambulance whisks them away.

Keep those bathtubs handy. On their way to the hospital, they pass State Trooper Lawdale laughing his butt off in front of a perfectly intact Wayside Inn, the three inbreds looking out from a window. You may finish your what the hells now but be careful - the tubs are almost full. Yes we have another 'end of the movie is again the beginning' type of scenario and I HATE those with a passion.... WHAT THE HELL?