Sunday, April 28, 2013

Live Blog: Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings

I haven't done alive blog in FOREVAR and I'm not sure why. You guys seemed to like them, I like doing them because they get written while I watch the movie without all that pesky thinking. I think I've held off because live blogging lends itself to a special kind of movie. Something awful enough that I can type nonsense and it still kind of works, like this, this or this.

Then Wrong Turn sequels kept popping up in my Netflix recommendations. I'd heard about them, but never seen one, even though I've been told the first is quite good. But why watch a good movie when I can watch a pre-sequel? (a sequel that is also a prequel) Isn't THAT the real way to start watching a franchise? Let's find out...

7:39pm: According to my Netflix account I've watched 5 minutes of this before... Probably while drunk. Based on the lighting alone in the first scene I'm betting the decision to turn it off was my best move of the night.

7:40pm: We're in a groddy looking mental institution for inbreds or something. Mainly I'm drawn to the saucy looking lady in the polyester.

7:42pm We're meeting the something brothers. The actor mumbled his line and I can't be bothered to rewind.

7:43pm: Apparently these brothers are the most evil. Because they're cannibals. And they can't feel pain due to inbreeding.

7:44pm: Do you call it rewinding when you're on your computer?

7:45pm: Saucy polyster lady wants to work with the brothers but the man-doctor isn't so sure about this. As soon as the doctors are gone one of the other patients uses a bobby pin from Polyester Lady to unlock the cell. And this is where the tax payer's money goes. For shame. 

7:46pm: The brothers grunt at the other inmate to give the bobby pin to them. The other patient agrees because yes.

7:50pm: They're out! And they appear to have very similar hair to all these teeny bopper kids running around today.

7:51pm: They attack and partially eat a guard and let all the other patients out.

7:53pm: And now everyone's running around being dicks.

7:54pm: They've got the man-doctor tied up and now they're going to torture him. We're just over ten minutes into this film and it already feels like they're padding it out.

7:56pm: And NOW the credits come. Because this film is classy.

7:56pm: Oh, wait. Scratch that last thing I said because now it's 2003 and there are some young people doing it. But in the straight-to-video way. The way where the two people are moaning in unison.

7:59pm: But they're holding hands and she's faking her orgasm (you can tell) so you know she cares.

8:00pm: Now there's a whole other lady couple having sex. The chick just keeps saying "Yes. ... Yes. ... Yes."

8:01pm: The two couples are having sex in same room. And Organized Person walks into the room telling them they need to leave to go on the trip. The couples try to get the Organized Person the join them in the sex. The Organized Person makes this face:

8:03pm: The Organized Person tell them they have three minutes to get downstairs. And calls them bunnies.

8:04pm: Someone complains that they aren't going to Aspen this year. This is why I survived university. Because I never hung out with asshats like these.

8:05pm: There are like 37 people on this trip.

8:06pm: Someone worries about a big storm moving in. Everyone makes fun of him. He looks like he's going to cut himself.


8:08pm: They got lost. How do get lost snowmobiling? There are literal tracks for you to follow.

8:09pm: Everyone complains that they're cold.

8:10pm: Oh now they want to use my track idea! But now it's too snowy.

8:11pm: They find shelter in the hospital from the beginning of the film because of course. Every other line is about how they are freezing.

8:12pm: OMG you guys! This place is wicked cool. LOL! The girls sit around and talk about their boyfriends and laugh at everything.

8:13pm: The guys have the WORST hair in this. Observe:

8:17pm: They're also horrible people as they play doctor on their female friends and ask them offensive questions, but the girls are all like LOL!! Because sure.

8:20pm: One of the 14 couples announces they're off to sex. And so it begins.

8:23pm: Everyone bickers.



8:28pm: The montages stop when they start watching film reels of the brothers being "treated".  They say things like, "this is freaky", "I feel kind of bad for them."

8:30pm: They all go to bed. One guy gets up because he can't sleep and wants to explore. As you do.

8:31pm: More soft-core lesbian sex.

8:32pm: Guy that can't sleep gets an ice pick through the nose, making for many delightful picking your nose puns.

8:33pm: It's morning. "We're almost out of weed."

8:34pm: Nose pick guy's girlfriend is worried. Everyone else could care less.

8:36pm: They agree to split into groups to find him. Now no one cares that all their stuff is gone.

8:41pm: One of them falls into a hillbilly trap. There is much rejoicing.

8:42pm: They all run out into the snow storm hoping their snow mobiles will start. I'll wait here while you guess what happens.

8:43pm: One girl goes off on her own because "she's the strongest skier." The rest of them go inside to fight and defend themselves.

8:47pm: The hillbillies are running around laughing and taunting them. They sound oddly similar to Muppets.

8:50pm: "Okay, we've got to figure out what to do." is a line that's said in this movie.

8:53pm: The group's big plan is to run at them screaming. This actually works and the group chases the hillbillies into their original cell.

8:55pm: The group decides to roast the hillbillies alive. The quasi-Final Girl is trying to get them not to do it.  She miraculously succeeds and they agree to leave in the morning. The group splits up again to find jumper cables or something. I kind of missed that part because I was making tea.

8:58pm: The guy tasked with watching the hillbillies falls asleep and the hillbillies escape.

9:00pm: REVELATION YOU GUYS!!! I knew I recognized one of the lesbians from somewhere and it's Tanika from Canada's Next Top Model.

9:02pm: The group discovers the hillbillies and their buddy are gone.

9:03pm: The girls decide to kill someone with a bag over their head... I wonder who it is....

9:04pm: The girls figure it out. Aw.

9:07pm: They get snowsuits and make a run for it.

9:09pm: Now the hillbillies are circling them with snowmobiles.

9:10pm: Now they're being chased by the hillbillies on snow mobiles. This movie... I can't even.

9:13pm: The girls hit one of the hillbillies with a stick and agree to get out of there. While snowmobiling out of there the two survivors get decapitated.

9:14pm: Credits.

Moral of the story - no good can come from  snowmobiling. 

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Ghosts in the Machine: The Evolution of Found Footage Horror at The Black Museum

I figure if I can't shamelessly plug myself here, where can I? This Thursday April 18th I'll be giving a lecture as part of The Black Museum's Spring semester. I'll be presenting on the topic of Found Footage Horror and its evolution by analyzing Cannibal Holocaust (1980), The Blair Witch Project (1999), The Ring (2002), REC (2007), Paranormal Activity (2007) and The Last Exorcism (2010). The lecture will be taking place at Big Picture Cinema at Gerrard and Jones in the east end of Toronto. The lecture starts at 8pm.advanced tickets can be bought on the event page for $12 or at the door for $15.

I hope some of you can make it. If all else fails, they also serve beer at the theatre.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

From My Cold Dead Hand - Room 237 (2012)

For any regular readers of this blog, you know I love The Shining. It's my favourite all around horror movie and one of my favourite movies period. So when I caught wind of the documentary Room 237, I was in like sin. Two things I love together at last: over-analyzing things and The Shining. So when Room 237 was released on March 29th on iTunes, I cleared my schedule and rented it like I'd never rented anything before... with my Visa.

And then it started. And then it kept going. And my attention waned. I couldn't look at another food can or poster in the background of a scene and believe that the whole movie centered around it. It's oddly disorienting because the film talks to 4 or 5 different people about their opinions of The Shining but you never see them. Their disembodied voices float over stills and clips. I couldn't really keep track of who was who and what they were getting at. At all. It was like a really shitty version of The Shining. Like the one with Steven Webber.

What director Rodney Ascher seems to forget is the most basic of story telling and argument building: build your argument with concrete facts explaining how they related the object as a whole then bring us to a conclusion. But nope. It was a lot of pointing at things in the background or subtle nuances that go unnoticed for a few viewings (i.e. typewriters changing colors, objects appearing and disappearing within the same scene) and then just pointing them out.

LOOK! That poster about skiing represents a Minotaur (if you squint and aren't wearing your glasses)!!

LOOK! Stanley Kubrick's face is in the clouds in the opening shot!!!

LOOK! Kubrick faked the moon landing because of that dot in the sky in the footage of the Apollo landing!!

LOOK! A figurative erection!

Um... that's really great you guys, but (as Jack Skellington might say) what does it mean?! Build your argument about how The Shining exposes the film landing and build it into the overall meaning of The Shining. Tell me about what impact these traits of masculinity have on the story and how it influences the meaning of the overall movie. Don't just point out things. Four year olds do that, but they are waaaaaay cuter than you.

The one interesting part of Room 237 was when Juli Kerns (I believe) was discussing the layout of The Overlook Hotel and how none of it adds up or makes any sense. I would have loved a more detailed discussion on how the architecture changes as the movie progress and what cause and effect that has on the story.

Room 237 is a pretty colossal failure in terms of both content and execution which is almost impressive when you consider the source material. If you put any of these experts in The Overlook Hotel they'd be stuck there for decades as the most boring ghosts ever: "Look at this thing Danny! And this!... Forever ... and ever... and ever..."