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.

Friday, July 25, 2014


Inside (2006)

Hello there my lovelies. Today were going to go down a little bit of a different track. The movie today is called Inside. If you look for this movie, you will find that in the past six years at least seven movies have been made with this exact title, including a Spanish one. Thus it was difficult to find information on the right one. In fact, as it was part of my 'Midnight Horror: Terror & Torment' movie collection, just from looking at the poster they showed on the package, I don't think they had the right movie either.

Speaking of the right movie, and getting off track, as I usually do, I just found out something that made my stomach feel quite queasy. Now I've mentioned how much I love the Evil Dead trilogy. Sam Raimi, his brothers Ivan and Ted, and of course the King, Bruce Campbell. I was very skeptical of the reboot that came out, but was pleasantly surprised that I was able to enjoy it as an Evil Dead movie, and not look at it as just another favorite horror film getting horribly mangled to make it palatable for today's teenage slasher movie fanatic.

But now, my heroes are writing an Evil Dead television series. I will spare you the words that came to my lips when I heard that one. Sam, Ivan, and Bruce have all been busy. If it's on the Fox network, don't expect it to hang around very long. If it's on AMC, then The Walking Dead has got some serious competition coming up. In either case, I'm kind of cringing thinking of what television censors will do with my favorite franchise. And that's enough whining for now. No, wait a minute - just now (7/27/14) I read an article that claimed Bruce himself will star in the series. What do I have to say about that?

I looked for info on this movie because the description of it was woefully lacking in facts or plot. The best I could find was: 'A man's interest in a couple leads to chilling and heartbreaking results.' That's not much to go on. So I checked a few reviews and opinions. They were completely polarized. Either they love the film so much that they almost burst, or they hated it so badly they wished it had never been made.

Now the really suck-up reviews were like they came from those who worked on the film. When most of the review is almost totally spent on things like "Oh, the direction was wonderful and the sets were sublime. Everything was so perfect and the acting was just terrific, and the lighting and the soundtrack blah blah blah", you've got a troll who works for the movie company. 

When you get someone who hates it so badly that they think it should never have been made, it could be because they expected the movie to be something that it was not. This movie is described as a psychological thriller horror film. It is not. A horror movie I mean. It's not really a thriller either.

This movie is a look at suffering loss and how one can convince oneself of a new reality so completely that it takes over their whole life. Especially if deep down inside they're a total über psycho bitch. But that's not really a horror movie. That is more of a movie about the human condition. So if you're expecting a slasher flick, with lots of death, blood, gore, etc., you're not going to get it. 

It doesn't help that this movie screwed itself over with its own movie poster. If you look at the movie poster, you'll be misled as to what kind of movie you're going to watch, and also you've just been given one of the big twists in the plot. 

Now this film had some really good parts, and some really dumb parts. One really dumb part was the movie poster. Other parts that were also dumb were the convenient plot devices that put the whole mess into such a pretty little package that it even had a fancy bow on top. That's ridiculous. Nothing real is that neat and tidy.

While the subject of someone completely disappearing off the face of the earth without anyone noticing may seem totally impossible to some, to others who have read up on this particular subject, it's quite plausible. Let me explain what I mean after the review.

Alex is a young man who is very lonely. He works in a library, which allows him to watch people all day. Okay, that's a little dated – there's not that many people going to libraries anymore. But he likes his job. He also has the bad habit of being a peeping Tom. He's not a pervert, what he's watching is the family interaction that he misses. He goes home to an empty house, sits at an empty table, and stares at a very worn note that basically says 'we have gone out to look for you, you better be here when we get back'. Apparently that was from his parents – but they're the ones who never came back. They got killed in an accident.

Now we have our couple. Alice and Mark Smith are very lonely and troubled. Every week they come to the library, check out the same book, and return it the next week, only to check it out again. Alex wonders why they seem so depressed all the time. He decides to follow them home. As it turns out, they lost their only son a year ago (the library book was his favorite) and still have not gone through the grieving process. So now we have our set up.

The convenient plot devices are scattered throughout the movie. They're irritating more than helpful. They'd never happen in real life. One such plot device is a kleptomaniac girl who just happens to show interest in Alex the day before he decides to go over to this couple's house to watch them. Thus, only she knows he has disappeared. She breaks into his house, basically raids the place, and steals whatever she pleases. Among the items she takes are some more future convenient plot devices. 

The Smith's son Timmy apparently had juvenile atherosclerosis. They didn't know of his condition until one day while playing sports at school, he collapsed. Apparently both his legs had broken. So that was the end of sports, school, and a normal life. He spent all his time between his bed and his wheelchair. And this is where the worm started to turn, so to speak. Apparently one night attempting to sneak out of his room, he fell and hit his head and died. Why was he trying to get out? Hmm... His parents told no one that he had died. Why not? Aha! This is where the two stories collide. And, as movie coincidence would have it, Alex is very physically similar to their lost son.

Saaaaaay it...

The Smiths want a new Timmy. Alex wants new parents. Sounds great, right? Wrong. Remember, the Smiths never reported that Timmy died. Where did Timmy go? Pfffft. Just look at the bloody movie poster and you'll know.

So we go through approximately 45 minutes to an hour of slow reveals. After Alex tries to leave, he's conveniently injured by a hit-and-run driver. It messes up his knees, so he can't walk. Do they take him to a hospital? No. They have extensive experience with dealing with injuries (they say). Alex finds that the more he tries to leave, the less he's able to for emotional as well as physical reasons. And the shy, sad woman mourning her son starts to change. 

Apparently, she is not the wilting flower she appears. She is one first class bitch. Her attitude toward Alex gets nastier and nastier as she decides that he actually is Timmy and is only acting like Alex to piss her off. The ineffective husband tries to hold her back, but after a while he just acquiesces and Alex is screwed. During one attempt to leave, he accidentally knocks over a vase that Timmy made for Mother's Day. Inside, unknown to them, was a note.

Timmy may have been sick, we'll never know if that was real or not. What we do know is that Timmy's mother apparently tortured the boy. If he did not do everything exactly right, watch out. The note basically said that he needed to get away but would return when he was no longer a problem, or something to that effect. The parents (mostly the mother) figure that means that Alex is the returning Timmy - he just doesn't 'remember' it. A weak Alex falls on the pieces of the vase, and cuts up his feet. 

So now the Smiths, all attempts at civility and kindness gone, strap him to the bed with leather restraints that we can only assume were used on Timmy. He is drugged while Mr. Smith attempts to sew up the cuts on his feet. He is kept in restraints unless he has to use the restroom or they let him loose for something.

This is not a horror film, as such. Some have mentioned the movie Misery when referring to this film. The aspect they're probably referring to is both boys' imprisonment in bed. Past that, the comparison is shallow at best. Alex asks for some time with Mr. Smith while Mrs. Smith is shopping and she allows it. However, Mrs. Smith doesn't leave – instead, she listens in another room as Alex beg Mr. Smith to let him go - thus she returns furious and punishes him further.

At this point, the massive crazy bitch, formally known as Mrs. Smith begins to torture Alex/Timmy. If he does not do things exactly as Timmy did them, he is punished. For not 'recognizing' a movie as his 'favorite', he is made to watch that movie over and over without rest or food for a week. She tells him that if he falls asleep, that adds one more day to his punishment. When they play games, if he does not use the same game pieces Timmy used, he's punished. If he does not plant flowers exactly where Timmy would have planted flowers, he's punished.

Finally Alex gets desperate. He knows if he stays, he's not going to be alive much longer. During the night, even with Mrs. Smith sleeping sitting up outside his bedroom door, he gets in his wheelchair and attempts an escape. She wakes up and yells for her husband, which makes Alex get up and try to make it to the door. But he's weak as well as wounded, and falls and (I am not kidding), hits his head on the same door corner that apparently Timmy did. Alex is now dead. GONNA NEED ANOTHER TIMMY!

The Smiths have no choice (they think) – they plant Timmy #2 in the same place Timmy #1 is – the garden. Thus, our movie poster. Since both are in coffins (and Timmy #2 isn't that far down since he's right on top of #1) they must have gotten coffins in bulk at Costco or something. They sit out there for a couple of hours, because Mrs. Smith honestly believes that Timmy will come back... again. She must be a fan of Stephen King. She hopes they won't have to wait a year for him this time. Crazy bitch. But just like Timmy #1, Timmy #2 doesn't show. So there's nothing left to do apparently for the Smiths, but go down to the pharmacy for some fun shopping - how Mr. Smith gets all the good drugs I'd like to know.

And we get our final convenient plot device. Earlier, the Smiths had their psychiatrist over, one who had worked with Timmy #1, in order to convince Timmy #2 that claiming to be Alex was mean and he was being cruel to his parents. Stupid doctor. A quick information check would have made this a different story. That pretty much shows you how much attention doctors pay to their patients. And I've got a short little speech about that after this review. The psychiatrist's daughter is – say it with me – saaay it! 

The daughter of the doctor is the kleptomaniac who made friends with Alex at the beginning of the movie. How wonderful. She sees her dad putting some files away that he no longer needs. She already has the clipping of Alex's parent's accident and deaths, and once she sees 'Timmy' in the Smith's file, she follows the movie rule that kids are always smarter than adults and goes to the Smith's house to look for the missing Alex.

She happens to be wandering in the backyard when lo and behold! She hears a voice coming from under the freshly turned soil in the garden. Timmy #2 is alive! Hallelujah! Apparently he doesn't need much air, since he's been there almost a day. She finds a shovel and digs him out. To her horror, he now believes he is Timmy. But that ends quickly when she shows him the news clipping and he remembers everything. Unfortunately, before they can get away, the Smiths come home. There is the inevitable confrontation. 

But when the Smiths are shown the newspaper clipping about Alex's parents dying, there is no more pretension. At least on the part of Mr. Smith. Mrs. Smith, being the psycho bitch she is (while Alex was imprisoned she shoved soap in his mouth, starved him, half drowned him in the bathtub, etc., probably the same shit she did to her own son) lunges at the two of them with a knife but her husband stops her and the two make a getaway in the Smith's car.

Wasn't that fun? No? I don't say this often but I thought it was a well made film (and contrary to a troll comment or two towards me, I am NOT a film maker) and did have some convincing performances. The subject was valid, even if the plot devices were obvious and stupid. And if you don't think a person can vanish off the face of the earth and have no one notice...

Lately there has been several articles (I won't go into names or places) about people who have been found in their homes, dead for YEARS. One was a very attractive young lady with 'friends' who simply was not missed when she died (I think it was a diabetic condition) in her apartment. Her body was found only when the bills stopped being paid, and the courts finally issued an eviction order. In another case, an older woman had an auto bill pay system too (different country) but when the payments stopped, they repossessed her house - and found her quite dead inside.

Fame doesn't guarantee you'll be missed either - there was a Hollywood icon who, after he died, was not claimed by anyone. By the time his relatives decided to find out what happened to him, he had been buried for several years in a potter's field.

Would I be missed? I doubt it. I don't answer the door anyway, or the phone, or emails. I can't get out most of the time unless I'm going to the doctor. The doctors care though, right? Pffft. I have had one for over ten years and thought I could count on her to help me (even though I had the distinct impression she cut every sentence I tried to get out short so she could 'process' me quick and get me out of her office) because she gave me a little speech about all kinds of things she could do to help me... and promptly forgot everything except the bill once I stepped out of her office. 

I don't exist in the legal and financial world since I haven't been able to work for years. I have a driver's license but that means nothing. If the movie reviews stopped, would that mean I was tucked in a box or bag somewhere left to rot? Who would know? Even though I've recently had a Reader's Calling Me A Dumbass Day the comments were mostly about movies I'd reviewed in 2012. So who would miss me?

I know I wouldn't.