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, October 30, 2014


The Evil Within/Mine Games (2013)

Currently streaming on Netflix, it will tell you the movie is called Mine Games but when you start to watch, the OTHER title they liked better (but didn't stick with I guess) comes up, The Evil Within. Which is also the title to a popular video game, a 1970 movie, and an episode of Blade: The Series. And they made up their own genre to keep your interest (it fails) - a 'time travel thriller'.

Not. Even. Close.
When it's really obvious drek I have to come up with a decent reason why I would want to subject myself to it. Then I look at the title of my blog (sigh). Plus the movie was shot in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest in Washington state, and some scenes were shot in the Ape Caves, and since I used to live near there and have actually been in the caves, it was enough.

Hmm, who appears in this movie... uh oh. I recognize a name. My fibro brain can't remember to take pills on time, when my doctor appointments are, or what I ate the day before, but I can remember names clear back to when I was <mumbles>. In this case, it's Briana Evigan.

Teen Beat had a strict no-shirt policy...
Nah, she wasn't from way back when, but her dad was. Anybody ever hear of Tiger Beat? Way back when it was the magazine that told us young'uns which guys we should be screaming over (it was pointed to girls - don't know what the boys were looking at, except maybe their dad's Playboys). It is still in print, as well as having a digital version. Woof. That's... dumb.

But I guess magazines that tell us what to think and who's good and who's not are still around, even for adults. When Spin (a music magazine) decided to stop printing in 2012, the smarties at the subscription service figured what I'd most like instead ('cause I wasn't getting my money back) was Esquire. Do you know what Esquire is? Clothes I cannot ever afford and cologne I would never allow in my house. That magazine reeks so badly I can tell when the hubby picks up a new issue in the mail. I'd like to stop those freaking things but... sigh. Oh, and it tells me what is sexy, like I don't know. Short answer: Everything and everyone except me. There. Whoops, one more thing. It's pretty much for men.

Oh yeah, Tiger Beat. Way back when I was <mumbles> I did have my crushes. One was for the actor of the stupidest program on television (and this was in competition with Dukes Of Hazzard and Hee Haw) called BJ And The Bear, with Greg Evigan. If you're a bit younger, you might recognize him from My Two Dads, a show in an age where having two dads married to each other was unacceptable but it was perfectly all right to co-parent a kid whose (dead) mom slept with both guys close enough together (I mean days together, not in the same bed - sheesh) that she doesn't know which one was the kid's dad. And there was no CSI or Maury Povich to cut that series short with a DNA test.

Uh, where was I? Ah. Briana Evigan. When BJ And The Bear started on TV, Greg Evigan was 25. Briana is now 27. Where's my shawl and cane? And why am I stalling with this movie? Because it was absolutely, totally, completely awful. I would recommend watching the first ten minutes or so 'cause they're driving through to the north side of the Gifford Pinchot forest and you'll see some wonderful scenery and Mt. Rainier as they go by. As soon as they hit the gas station, stop. You've seen enough.

I want to meet the sicko who thought this up...
Sigh, but that's not what I do. Seven people who aren't even remotely likable are vacationing in the kind of place that no one can afford ever. It is gorgeous. For 'texture' sort of like having corn in your poo-poo (the Playdoh kind) they decided to mix Australian and American actors for I-really-don't-give-a-damn reasons. And conveniently, within a short walking distance, is an abandoned mine (they don't call it a cave, that's too boring). Nobody's there although a friend was supposed to be there to meet them.

In the first shot we get a few scenes inside the cave. Uh, no. Have you ever been in a cave, I mean a REAL cave? For a freak-out, the guide there at the Ape Caves had us all turn off our flashlights. The darkness is so total you could swear you were seeing things move - and you weren't. 

Here we see dimly lit parts of this non-mine with a voice that repeats two sentences you're going to come to hate - 'This Is The First Time' and 'I Can Break The Cycle'. Oh and an irritating sound sort of like a rattlesnake but not. If you want to skip this movie, go into a dark room, say that about a hundred times, have a loved one come in and grab you aaaaand you're done.

As the kids make a pit stop for gas and munchies we find out that Lyla (Briana Evigan) has a boyfriend Michael WHO'S ON ANTI-PSYCHOTIC MEDICATION OH MY GOD EVERYBODY RUN!!!! Thanks a lot Hollywood for making mental illness even more of a stigma than regular people already do. Besides, if he can have a treated illness and graduate college, I think he can survive a weekend in the country, right? At least in real life. Here... meh.

We see a sign for today's newspaper blaring that PEOPLE WERE FOUND MURDERED IN AN RV!!! All I could think was it must be a real bitch having to paint a sign every day for the newspaper headline that no one reads 'cause everybody just reads their freaking iPads anyway. Oh and just for the final piss off - that's not what it says according to the wiki, so how many versions of a bad movie CAN you make anyway?

Or they would read their iPads if they weren't in the 1% of the nation where there is no cell reception much less wifi. This is actually legit - I know someone who lives in the Gifford Pinchot and no, there's no cell phone reception in many spots. Maybe that's why these college graduates have absolutely no incentive as to call someone when a person tries to flag them down and the swerving makes their van quit working (I guess) so they have to walk the rest of the way to their billion dollar all-hardwood cabin/resort. Do I sound a little resentful to you? Oh well.

OH MY GOD MICHAEL LEFT HIS MEDS IN THE CAR AND WON'T GET THEM UNTIL MORNING - THEY MIGHT AS WELL SLIT THEIR WRISTS NOW!!! Sigh. I really hate that they have a movie about a guy who managed to get through years of college without killing anybody but can't go on vacation without having a babysitter every second.

Oh, and if it seems I've giving you more scenic shots than shots of the 'action' that's 'cause there wasn't much 'action' and believe me, you'll thank me for not having to look at them freaking out about... stuff.

Walking along the street they see the Northern Lights (the movie kind of implies that this plus Michael being a psycho killer in sheep's clothing being the cause of what is coming) and one of them says the Northern Lights shouldn't be seen that far south. Ahem.

Crown Point (aka Vista House) in the beautiful Columbia 
River Gorge in Oregon (Gary Randall Photography)
The Northern Lights are called that because they're in the Northern hemisphere, not on top of the world idiot. We've seen them here in Oregon, and other states have as well. <rolls eyes> How long did you guys go to college again?

Umm, yeah...
After Michael is left outside to feed gas into the generator (no electricity), he comes in with a very strange expression that everyone ignores. He has blood on his face but says he tripped over a gas can. Yeah, gas cans bleed, didn't you know? Anywho, he goes to bed early (because us mentally ill people do NOT like to party) and we have the obligatory get-blitzed-on-every-kind-of-alcohol-we-can-find-without-puking-all-over-the-cabin scene. Michael has nightmares. Yaaaaawn...

Hmm? I haven't even started the movie yet? Okay here we go:

The next morning - they go in the mine they 'just' discovered. It has old dynamite in it. Umm, no. It also is dusky but easy to see everything with small lamps. Umm, no. Rose (who conveniently is a medium) feels someone grab her leg. It causes a wound only she can see. Forever after during the movie she sees her friends as dead and rotting. What a fun girl.

In the cave they find a picture of The Ouroboros, an ancient symbol depicting a serpent or dragon eating its own tail. It often symbolizes something constantly re-creating itself, the eternal return, and other things such as the phoenix which operate in cycles that begin anew as soon as they end. It can also mean the thin premise of a never-ending movie to eat up time and money and suck the hard earned cash out of your pockets. <rim shot>

Two guys find three guys dead, two of them are themselves. Confused? Too bad, it doesn't get better. That's why I was babbling about other stuff. All through the movie we hear this strange rattling like snakes but don't know what it is.

The friends who invited them never show up - they are the couple found dead in the RV according to the convenient sign at the gas station. Problem with that - they weren't dead yet, they were killed later... you know what? Skip it.

Michael is trapped by his 'friends' for fun and sees on the wall 'This is the first time'. Repeat that about a hundred times.

Let's break it down, shall we? For unknown reasons ('cause it's cheaper that way) there's repeating sequences of the same dumb college graduates coming every day and starting this movie. Each group is oblivious of the other. So somehow the cycle has to be broken. Pleaaaaase.

The bodies are piling up, mainly because it's the same people and Michael is the instigator but we don't get to know why all we know is HE HAS SCHIZOPHRENIA AND SO MUST DIE!!! That's what people think about mental illness, right? You got somebody with one among you, you back away.

So they are circling around themselves trying to figure out how not to die and failing. Over and over. The only one to see past, present and future seems to be Rose, so she's poisoned by... someone (most likely Michael). And dies.

How did it start? Don't ask. The first Michael tells the next Michael to take his meds in the blister pack and throw it on a campfire. That's what the hissing/rattling noise through the whole movie. How? Don't ask. Why did the others hear the rattling when they were nowhere near the fire? Don't ask. Where did the FIRST Michael come from? Don't ask. 

A wounded Lyla limps all night long down the road. How? Don't ask. She manages to get to the gas station JUST as another Lyla is waking up and talking to Michael. The wounded Lyla slams on the van window. Is there going to be a sequel? DON'T ASK.