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, April 3, 2013

OH DAMN, ANOTHER MENTAL ASYLUM MOVIE



Greystone Park (2012)

<Gags> Inspired By True Events. That means there are hospitals and dollies and little girls. Aaaaand that's about it. Why oh why oh why, you might ask, would I torture myself over and over with movies about stupid young people I hope die quick breaking into abandoned psychiatric hospitals only to endure (in this case 82 minutes) of shaky hand held cameras, night vision, people screaming obscenities at each other (Gee, aren't they supposed to be friends?) and the ultimate thump thump thump as each fall off the screen until the credits roll?

Well, you have to kind of look at it the right way - don't take any of it seriously. Have some fun with it, because you don't even have to have my patent pending movie review checklist for these kinds of movies. You know they're gonna start as friends, panic every time they hear a squeak, eventually something happens (Ooh! A door closed!) and finally towards the last 10 minutes of the movie something happens that kills them all, finally. Or you can look at the historic aspect of the supposed place this 'true' movie comes from.


Oh yeah, I'd trust my life to this guy...
This actually doesn't claim to be true to the letter - just in general theory. A lot of the history was facinating. Mental health care in the beginning of the 1900's was positively barbaric. There were some good doctors who tried to press the issue of caring for the patients as humanely as possible, but that usually crumbled under too many patients, too few staff and beds, the tuberculosis epidemic that dumped thousands on their doorstep, and just the general cruelty of people who have no business being in the medical industry to begin with.


OMG! It's... a chair... in a room... by itself!!!
Greystone Park is a real place. Hell, it's a TOWN. Not officially, but the place they're basing this movie on is in New York or New Jersey - it kind of looked like they were using shots of several different buildings (remember Long Island used to be all farm land and looney bins to pardon the phrase) and because of it's massive size, there were neighborhoods to house all the doctors and staff, stores, electricity generators, dairy farms as well as agricultural - everything they basically needed to be self-sustaining. The worst (or should I say hardest) labors were usually done by the patients - it was the consensus that hard work would only help the mentally ill feel better about themselves. And hey, they didn't have to pay them.


Okay who's the joker playing Gundam Style?
And the doctor they mentioned - Dr. Thomas Story Kirkbride - he's also real. He was a pioneer, both in the design and construction of mental hospitals (they eventually used his floorplans as a kind of standard for many hospitals) and he also was a believer in compassionate care for the unfortunate. Not a perfect guy, granted, but not a monster.

I was going to post a bunch of photos and stuff about some of these places but instead, if you're interested, some great sites I was interested in and showed some of the ups (and many downs) of mental care especially around the 1930's. 

Site about Kirkbride: 

http://www.kirkbridebuildings.com/about/kirkbride.html . 

Site about the huge complex that supposedly the movie is based on: 

http://scotthaefner.com/beyond/greystone-park-psychiatric-hospital/ 

Others with some interesting (and kind of depressing) footage of treatments done there:

http://www.opacity.us/site23_pilgrim_state_hospital.htm 

Hmm? Ohhhh, the movie - screw that. It didn't even pan out the story it was hinting at about, depending on who you listened to, a woman ghost that kills or the ghost of a kid born and raised there who kills - does it really matter? Instead, here's a drinking game (again, please use soda or you'll get totally blitzed) with the phrases used for oh, about 85% of the dialogue:

A big drink (or if a friend is unfortunate enough to be watching this with you, a punch on the arm) if you hear:
  • Get me out of here!
  • Let's just go!
  • Did you see that?
  • There's nothing there, man.
  • F### you!
  • It's okay, it's okay...
  • What, did you see something?
  • We have to leave RIGHT NOW!


So... was THIS the killer?
Oh and to the idiots who made this movie - despite what you see in every other damn psycho hospital movie, shaky cameras that cut out constantly, night vision, and disjointed images supposedly coming from past experiences at the hospital does NOT make a horror movie, okay?


Or was THIS the.... ah, skip it.
Sigh. You all know as well as I do that right now there are probably a dozen new movies exactly like this one in post-production as we speak...