Monday, February 13, 2017

The Top 13 Movies of 2016

Well, you knew this list was coming, especially since I did the worst of list a few days ago. And who am I to be overly negative on this blog? Here are the best movies I saw in 2016. I'm sure I missed a couple, and there may be choices you don't agree with, but hey, them's the breaks, right? This is a better list than the Oscars. Yeah, I fucking went there. Read 'em and weep!

In all seriousness, this was a super great year for movies. I had a hard time narrowing this list down. I hope you enjoy it.

13. A Monster Calls


A unique and atmospheric film about grief through the eyes of a child. This would have been an almost claustrophobically sad movie if not for the vivid, imaginative and colorful scenes from the monster voiced by Liam Neeson telling the kid a series of parable-like stories relating to his real life. This is a layered and somber film that explores human emotions in a nuanced manner – that's what I liked about this and why it's on this list.

12. Jackie


Striking, unflinching period piece on Jackie Kennedy in the aftermath of JFK's assassination. Natalie Portman acts her ass off, and the story about power at that level and how humans emotionally deal with it is dizzying, especially in this polarizing time. Great soundtrack and visuals add a huge atmosphere and weight to everything that happens here. This was a hypnotic, entrancing and gripping piece.

11. Captain Fantastic


Kick ass family drama/comedy about an unorthodox family led by Viggo Mortensen living out in nature and then they have to come back to civilization for a personal tragedy. This had a lot of fun scenes, some great drama and a lot to say about parenting, nature versus nurture and the ways family affects children. Lots of good acting in this and an overall fun, propulsive pace that made it a joy to behold.

10. Imperium


Really important film in our current political climate, for how it talks about white supremacy and terror groups and how one is radicalized. Daniel Radcliffe does a great job in this, but the real meat of it is the complex morals of the film – the way it portrays some of these young neo-Nazis as lost, disenfranchised, angry kids in need of a group to join is a lot more insight than most films approaching these subjects ever get. I found this exciting and provocative and timely.

9. Don't Think Twice


This is a really fun, enjoyable film, with great character dialogues that are funny and heartwarming. But it's also a thoughtful work about art and ambition, and what pursuing those things can do to friendships. This movie asks some hard questions about things and isn't afraid to tackle a story that so easily could've been cliché with levity and realism. Director Mike Birbiglia did a great job here and it lends credence to the idea that comedians are the modern philosophers.

8. The Witch


This is how you do a fucking horror movie. This has to be one of the most evil movies I've ever seen, with its story of a complete perversion of the Puritanical religious values. But it's also an empowering feminist tale of a young girl finding her way in that wretched, oppressive time. This has a lot of great visuals, tension thick enough to cut with a knife and building suspense. One of the best horror films of recent years.

7. Arrival


Denis Villenueve is my favorite modern director, and this movie is just more of why – his feel for gripping, epic, slow-burning stories of a multitude of genres is unmatched. This one is a great alien flick with twists abound and a good sense for epic cinematography and scenery. A visual pleasure and also a striking, individual story.

6. The Killing Joke


I've loved Batman since I was a kid, especially the old 90s Animated Series, so this was a treat – pairing Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill with the old creators of that series for an adaptation of one of the most audacious Batman comics ever made. This is a bizarre, provocative and polarizing story, but it's told with a visual artistry that makes it endlessly captivating. I liked the stuff they added that wasn't in the comics, too, adding shading and depth to these characters.

5. Moonlight


A lyrical, poetic film about a young gay black guy growing up in Florida. It's got a lot to say about masculinity and homosexuality, and how our culture views those things – especially through the lens of a black guy. This was just a feast on all senses. The scenery and cinematography were gorgeous and the story was raw and simple but layered at the same time. It's snappy, smart and powerful filmmaking – addictive and entrancing stuff.

4. Hell Or High Water


I haven't had this much fun at the cinema in ages. This is a neo-Western crime flick that just seems to go down the list of what makes a good film and check them all off with ease. Great characters, fun dialogue, a fast pace, great action and a lot of cool, gritty violence. It's a pure joy. I can't get enough.

3. Nocturnal Animals


I didn't see anything else this weird, unique or opaque all year. This is a strikingly individual film unique not in what it says but what it doesn't say, playing with your expectations of action in film by having most everything that happens be a fantasy, a flashback or something else. Yet, through that, it creates a layered, complex and dark story of lost love and missed chances. I was totally enthralled by this movie.

2. Swiss Army Man


This is maybe one of the weirdest movies I've ever seen, but it's also one of the best of the year. A deeply funny and strange film that becomes touching through really clever writing. This is full of a lot of juvenile (but funny) fart and dick jokes, and Daniel Radcliffe hams it up as a talking corpse leading Paul Dano through the woods. But through those things, it tells a wonderful sort of coming-of-age tale. It's a bizarre way to go about that, but you can't argue with results, right?

1. The Family Fang


I thought long and hard about this one, but frankly, nothing else I saw this year captivated me like The Family Fang did. This is a soulful and personal movie that weaves a tale of what havoc parents can wreak on their children and also asks some open-ended, thought provoking questions about art and its purity and what it can be used for. Layered performances from director-star Jason Bateman and Nicole Kidman and a funny, down-to-Earth script make this an accessible film with a lot more under the surface. It's a great flick and I hope people see it. The best I saw this year.

Runners-Up

Here are some other movies I really liked but thought it would be a bit too long to put in the main list. So I am putting them here.

Manchester By the Sea
A tragic drama, but with enough humor and levity that it doesn't become grotesque. Casey Affleck really delivers here.

Edge of Seventeen
A fun, funny and insightful teenage dramedy with a great performance by lead girl Hailee Steinfield. Pretty much all of this was compulsively watchable and entertaining.

Green Room
Savage, punk-rock horror/action from up-and-comer director Jeremy Saulnier. This is a nonstop blitzkrieg ride of violence and fuck-you's to Naziism. Great music, too.

Doctor Strange
Marvel Studios' best film in a couple of years now. Visually fun and action packed with a surprisingly emotive performance from Benedict Cumberbatch.

The Nice Guys
A fun detective comedy with great performances from Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling – and the '70s aesthetic does a lot to give this its own flavor. Very enjoyable.

Images copyright their original owners, we own none of them.

Friday, February 10, 2017

The Most Disappointing and Worst Movies of 2016

Here we are yet again, on the internet talking about movies. 2016, I thought, was a great year for film – though, honestly, every year has some great stuff. But every year also has some seriously fucked up, weird, terrible stuff, and that's where this post comes in.

Here's the Most Disappointing and Worst of 2016 in movies, at least according to one guy on a blog. I know I said this was a great year for movies, and we'll get to that. First we have to slog through these, though!

MOST DISAPPOINTING

These are the ones which I was looking forward to seeing, but they let me down when I actually watched them. They aren't horrible films, but I just didn't like them as much as I had hoped.

10 Cloverfield Lane


We didn't really need another Cloverfield movie so long after the first one – was there anyone really waiting anymore? I think even the biggest fans of the first one have long sinced moved on. This had some good thriller parts, but ultimately just felt tonally confused and silly, and never seemed to know where it was going, with a really bizarre about-face ending twist. Even performances by John Goodman and Mary Elizabeth Winstead couldn't save this one.

Don't Breathe


I was looking forward to this from the trailer, and it wasn't bad, with some cool twists and turns and some exciting chase scenes. But it was too long and bogged down with generic main characters, some filler in the first act and an overly dragged-out climax. This is pretty bog standard for the horror/thriller genre, but I think we've reached a point where we can expect more than just 'eh, it's okay.'

La La Land


This year's Oscar darling just didn't resonate much with me as it did with some audiences. It was pleasant eye and ear candy, and Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone deliver good performances. But I didn't gel with the musical aspects much, and the whole thing just came off as substanceless fluff. That's fine – it is what it is. But it didn't strike a chord with me much at all beyond 'that's nice.'

THE WORST MOVIES OF 2016

How much of an explanation could you possibly want for this?

5. Batman v Superman – Dawn Of Justice


What a mess this was. In DC's quest to outdo Marvel they've really just stumbled over both feet and tripped and fell. Ben Affleck and some of the others like Michael Ironside give good performances in this, and there are certain visual sights that are quite haunting and beautiful – both of which give this movie a leg up from most other Zack Snyder movies. But the story is incoherent and made it hard for anything to stick with the viewer after the credits rolled. The characters were indistinguished and for a movie about two iconic heroes fighting over different values, that's pretty lame. The action, which is the main draw, could be nice, but man am I tired of bad CGI being used to create these over the top supervillains for the climaxes – it just looks more silly than cool at this point.

4. Suicide Squad


Another DC movie, this one the victim of a severely schizophrenic editing job that basically renders it unwatchable. The fact that actors like Margot Robbie give good performances is a miracle considering how jumbled the story is and how ridiculous the plot – you'd be hard pressed to really make sense of what is going on at any point of this, or explain the logic behind these character's decisions to unleash this team of supervillains to solve their problems. It's cool to try for an offbeat, anti-hero team of characters, but why did this one have to come off like a bad high school fanfiction?

3. Hardcore Henry


There was no real story, plot or character to this – it was nothing but action, fighting and explosions the whole time. Which, I get it, sounds lame to complain about. Until you watch this movie and see how tired, boring and dead-horse-beating that can be if you stretch it out for an hour and a half with no nuance to it save for a POV camera gimmick that actually makes it even more one-dimensional. Just excruciating to sit through.

2. Passengers


A ridiculous film that I was astounded turned out as bad as it was. This had no tonal consistency at all, jumping around from a lost-in-space sci fi thriller to a romance and finally to an over the top explosion-fest action story and doing none of them very well. The central twist is that Bradley Cooper's lead character actually manipulated Jennifer Lawrence's character by waking her up from her cryo-sleep 50 years too early before they arrived on the far-away world they're traveling to, effectively ruining her life and imprisoning her on the ship with him, and lying to her about that. It should be played as a horror movie, but when she forgives him and they get back together, it would be offensively bad, were it not so plainly ludicrous and incompetent.

1. The Purge: Election Year


The thing with the Purge is that it is the most hackneyed, dull, lazy kind of social satire – it's an overblown dystopian world where in the future, we decided as a country to make all crime legal once a year due to manipulation from scheming politicians. But where it fails is that it doesn't have a realistic portrayal of human beings at its core, which I find unforgivable. This series basically says we're all just dumb sheep who have no desire or organization to fight back against corruption, which is fundamentally false in any era of real-world history. It's not a believable fiction, and at worst it's actively gross and offensive.

If this was just supposed to be a fun, campy action ride, I'd forgive that, but the condescending tone and 'look how smart we are for saying this' vibe just don't gel with me. Not to mention the action, characters, writing, directing and everything else are subpar, too. This movie sucks and it's the worst I saw all year.

Images copyright of their original owners, we own none of them.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Chopping Mall (1986)

With the decline of malls on the horizon, it makes sense to go back and check out either the greatest monument to malls or the reason for their decline – Chopping Mall.

Director: Jim Wynorski
Starring: Allison Parks, Tony O'Dell

Co-written with Tony.

This was a 1986 movie, which means it was likely made after the director took a huge hit of cocaine, brushed back his mullet and then let a ripping guitar solo play on the electric guitar he keeps in his office at all times. That, I believe, is pretty much how all 80s movies were made. And if you think it's exaggerated or stereotypical to say that, well, just watch this actual fucking movie.

The whole premise of this is that this mall has upgraded its security system to an army of robots that can shoot lasers and electrifying cords out of them as an attempt to stop burglars. Who is trying to rob this mall? James Bond villains? The X-Men? I think if you're getting to the point that you need killer robots to stop a couple of delinquent kids from taking a few things from RadioShack and JCPenney, you need to re-evaluate just how bad your actual human security is.

You know there's probably real people you could hire who could just grab them by the arm and throw them out of the mall – you don't need to electrocute them with fucking robots, you psychopath.

Oh, is it over already? Wow. Shortest horror flick ever...

Being an 80s movie, this is of course full of a bunch of teenagers who want to have sex – that's the entire cast of main characters. Do you need to know their names? I could just refer to them as 'amorphous blob of hormonally crazed 80s teens' and you'd get the gist well enough. Of course they all have names, but even so, is anyone going to remember them? I think not.

"My eyes are up here!" 

There's also the cliché guy and girl who are shy virgins and who need the guidance of these de facto Cupids to guide them to the sweet, sweet fields of bliss – for how could they ever do so on their own, as two-left-foot bumbling no-social-skills freaks as they are? They NEEDED the help of these generous philanthropists of love to steer them in the right direction. What modern day Saints these other kids are! Truly, they're the most generous people ever to walk the Earth.

Eh, actually it's probably a nice thing to do.

Meanwhile, the scientist guy charged with sitting alone in a lab all night by himself for God knows what reason looks at porn! And I guess that was the last straw for these killer robots, who I guess got imbued with Jason Voorhees DNA and now want to kill anyone that indulges in sexuality. What a cool trick. Anyway, they kill the scientist guy, which I'm sure was part of their protocol – once you're completed, kill your master. The cover-up is complete. No one will ever know! Bwahahaha!

If this guy was smart, he would have invented the internet to look at porn, instead of inventing killer robots that killed him while he looked at porn. What a doofus.

They also kill a second scientist who comes in and also gets killed immediately, and I'm honestly not sure why this was put in the movie. Was killing the one guy just not enough? Would the audience not GET IT if the robot didn't kill two scientists instead of just the one?

Then the robots are unleashed on the mall, where the teenagers have forgone having sex and are instead having meaningful philosophical conversations about the state of the world. Just kidding, they're actually having sex. Man, really had you going there for a second, huh?

Honestly, it goes about how you'd expect – right down to the nerdy guy and girl just sitting there watching old 50s monster movies while everyone else has sex. What a couple of fucking dorks.

Does this hit too close to home for me? Shut up.

The trouble starts when a sassy janitor is cleaning the floors, by dipping his mop in the dirty water he's already used – real good strategy there, bucko. But then a robot knocks over the chemicals all over the tile floor, making a huge mess. When the janitor gets mad, the robot responds by doing what I am sure it was programmed to do when those lowly janitors step out of line – it electrocutes the guy to death.

Yeaaaaahhhhh! Put that fucking janitor back in HIS PLACE!

Then it goes after a girl who just had sex and is walking around the mall alone – clearly, the prime target these robots were made for. It chases her through the dark mall a bit and then, right when her friends are watching from the window, it blows up her head in what I'm sure it thought was a beautiful, dazzling fireworks display, and was subsequently sad when the kids just screamed in horror and didn't appreciate it.

B+.

That's probably why the robots keep chasing them for the rest of the movie. They have feelings too, ya know.

Then the movie subsequently turns into a Rambo-style action movie with the kids grabbing a bunch of guns and fighting robots. They sell guns in the fucking mall? Now I am starting to see why they needed killer robots in there.


Also, I love how the guys tell the girls to just escape while they fight the robots, as if fighting robots is something drawn down by gender lines. Pfft! Women can do anything men can do! That's why the girls double back and join the guys fighting the robots and---


Oh. Well, never mind. I take it back – there IS a reason only the men were fighting.

Also, gotta love how no one stepped in to try and help that girl as she was burning alive. Couldn't have at least thrown a blanket on her and put the fire out, huh? Were they just thinking beauty was the only thing she was good for and now that her body would be covered in burn scars, she might as well just die? That's pretty cold.

And the robots didn't kill anyone else while she was burning or do anything except sit there and watch – how fucking considerate of them. That COULD HAVE been a great opportunity for the others to get the drop on them, but oh well, you live and learn.

The robots continue to chase the surviving kids through the mall, killing them one by one, and somehow they don't use the lasers they have at all when that could easily kill off all the kids in a few seconds. Instead they just sort of chase them and prolong things for no reason. I really expected better writing and logic from a movie called Chopping Mall, so this is hugely disappointing.

They have a bit of downtime in this restaurant portion of the mall, where one of the kids – the boyfriend of that girl who got set on fire – is now super cynical and says he wants to die. The robots grant him that wish. See, they aren't that bad after all.

"Heh heh heh... I want to die."

In a truly epic battle, the nerdy guy faces off against one robot and shoots at it several times with a gun. When that doesn't work, he tries throwing the gun at the robot, I suppose thinking that throwing a gun would just be the thing's weakness and somehow cripple it. Or maybe that's just fucking dumb. The robot thinks so, too, and so it throws a trash can at him which hits him in the gut, knocking him off his feet. It's one of the funniest parts of the movie.

"I really wish I had the gun back now, even if only for the illusion of safety!"

I was really, honestly hoping he died from this – that would make it even funnier to my fucked up mind. But nope, he's back later and actually OK in the end. Damn it.

Meanwhile, though, the final surviving girl is chased into a pet store where snakes and spiders crawl all over her. She ends up killing the final robot by pouring paint on the floor so the robot gets stuck, and then throwing a road flare at it and exploding it in a blaze of fire. You know, the usual plan for killing robots.


I am almost positive the robot was trying to communicate with her the whole time that it was just trying to be her friend and that it meant no harm. Maybe its lasers were malfunctioning and it thought they were tools used to shake hands and hug. Maybe the robots were sentient and loving creatures trying to be our friends, and we ruined that opportunity forever.

But eh, probably not! Woohoo, we won! The humans have conquered that which is inhuman! The mall is safe again!

I assume after the movie ends, the final girl is arrested for destruction of property and breaking and entering into the mall after hours, and the guys who green-lit the robots are thrown into jail for the rest of their lives for making a bunch of killing machines. Then every year on the anniversary of the massacre, the country has a day of silence and mourns the victims by lighting candles and sending them down the river, bemoaning those young teens lost in the prime of their lives who were actually 27-year-olds miscast in an 80s movie.

But even so. They will live on in our memory.

Yeah, I think that's about accurate. This was Chopping Mall! See you next time.

Images copyright of their original owners; we own none of them.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Bye Bye Man (2017)

The Bye Bye Man is a movie that I feel ashamed and embarrassed to even talk about the name of, which is actually a new low for this blog. It sounds like something a two-year-old would come up with on the spot when asked for a good supervillain name and then later go 'nah, that's actually kind of dumb, forget it' – so I guess that makes it good enough for the low standards of mainstream horror movies!

Director: Stacy Title
Starring: Douglas Smith, Lucien Laviscount

Co-written with Michelle and Tony.

This is basically an incomprehensible mess of a movie that's hard to describe properly if you don't already know about it. It's based on a short nonfiction ghost story, which is weird because I am positive the target demographic for this movie can't read.

It starts off with a guy in 1969 killing all his friends and family with a shotgun in broad daylight, while shouting “Don't think about it, don't say it.” You know, when they said anybody could buy a gun in America, I didn't think it meant literally ANYBODY... I highly doubt even the most pro-2A asshats in the south would look at this guy and go 'okay, give him a gun right now.'

Then there's a bunch of young college kids in the present day, a couple, Elliot and Sasha, and the guy's best friend John, moving into a really big old house. Things are pretty good for a while, which as you know, is never a deceptive thing in a horror movie; they always stay the same and everything's cool.


They have a party at the house where John is grinding up on Sasha at a dance, which will play an important role in the plot just as much as the actual supernatural killings – yes, seriously. Elliot is, I guess, afraid that Sasha and John are having sex behind his back, but it's not a well done plotline at all. That's what you get for expecting good nuanced drama from a movie called the fucking Bye Bye Man...

But Elliot isn't too bummed out, because he finds a weird old desk in their room with some cliché crazy-guy scrawled writing in it that says “Don't think it, don't say it” spiraled around in circles over and over, and he really admires the craftsmanship it took to write that way for whatever reason – seriously, it can't be easy! Then he peels off that layer to get to the other layer in the desk (what an elaborately put together desk drawer for no reason!) and sees THE BYE BYE MAN carved super deep in it...


Which is weird, as the main plot point is that if you don't think about or talk about him, he won't show up. Yet the word is very clearly scrawled on the desk by the same guy who wrote “don't think about it, don't talk about it.” Nice job at screwing up your own warning there, douchebag! I guess, as the crazy scrawled writing indicates, he's just KUH-RAZY and that excuses everything. Lol, mental illness, am I right?

Being mentally ill gives you the special superpower to write like this for no reason.

But as we'll see throughout the film, the warning to not think or say the name to avoid being possessed by him is constantly preceded with characters – almost all of them every time – doing exactly that. What a bunch of idiots. Don't you know that saying not to think about something will make people think EXACTLY of that thing? It isn't exactly a new psychological phenomenon. If I say 'hey, don't think about a dog wearing a sailor's suit smoking a joint,' that's what you'll fucking think about. See? You're thinking about that right now.

Eh, it's close enough anyway.

The plot stumbles along as they recruit a psychic girl and spent an inordinately long amount of time trying to make her prove she's actually psychic. It's utterly pointless and dumb. She eventually does this séance thing with them where she gets attacked somehow by the Bye Bye Man – so, I guess we're supposed to be scared? Not really... I've seen this scene in a bunch of other movies.

"I've got this great idea... how about we film a scene in this ghost story horror movie where they have a seance? Isn't that such an innovative idea?" "No, Janet, you're drunk." "Too late, already filmed it!"

If this all seems confusing and stupid, don't worry, we just have the entire rest of the fucking movie. The characters start to see all kinds of hallucinations, like weird images in glass or mirrors or in the dark – what novel ideas, never seen that in a horror movie. My favorite dumb thing is when Elliot keeps waking up in the middle of the night and seeing a cloaked figure in the dark, but then it turns out to just be the creepy child molester-looking cloak he always hangs up in that spot, and he's seeing things. Whoops! Guess hanging THAT there was a bad idea!

"I could just move that cloak, but eh, I like shitting my pants out of fear at 3 a.m."

Also, Sasha gets mysteriously sick for some reason... it's never really explained exactly why, just that it's got to do with the Bye Bye Man. This lasts most of the whole movie, and no one seems to give one single shit about taking her to a doctor. She doesn't even go there herself – are doctors a foreign concept? Is she some kind of flower child who doesn't believe in that? I dunno, and the movie doesn't. I do like how Elliot seems to care more about whether she's fucking his best friend than how sick she is. What a tepid douchenozzle!

The rest of the movie is a soggy oatmeal-like slog through the same old crap – a bunch of scenes of Elliot researching the Bye Bye Man, which is inexplicably in the school library in a file that turns out to be nothing but that name scrawled in that crazy-people font swirled around and around like it's being flushed down the toilet. Why is that in the school library? Just so fucking weird.

There's also a black lady librarian who acts like the most cliché stereotypical black woman ever, who relays the story to Elliot in the most casual way possible and makes it sound as dumb as it actually is – apparently, some journalist named Larry covered the story of a kid who killed his family and said the Bye Bye Man did it, and then it infected Larry too, and he was the guy who killed his family in the beginning of the movie!

Except, wait, if Larry wrote about the Bye Bye Man in a story, how did no one else get infected but him? Nobody at his news office heard the name ever, not even his editor? If that librarian lady knew about it, why was she OK until now? There are so many plotholes in this movie it'd be harder to just find a part that actually made sense.

The entire plot pretty much just revolves around these characters seeing these hallucinations and being scared of them. But at the same time, they also know what the Bye Bye Man is and that none of it is real – they talk many times about how they're probably going crazy. So how the hell do they keep falling for the hallucinations? Do they have the memory span of goldfish? It sure would've been more interesting if they could have helped each other not fall for the hallucinations and had, uh, character development, but I guess I'M crazy to expect that.

"Yup...pretty sure THIS is really happening..." - every fucking character in this movie

Like, the crazy psychic goth girl is in the car with Elliot and sees an illusion of a bloodied-up family on the side of the road that has been in a car crash. He can't see it, but she's convinced it's real despite all the conversations about how they're seeing things, and gets out of the car to go help, running in front of a moving train, which kills her instantly. What an idiot. I'm glad she's dead.

"I was going to run ACROSS the tracks to help that family, but I just thought the front of this train was so pretty that I had to stop and take a look! I really like the Final Destination movies, too, which was the real inspiration for this stunt."

The rest of the movie after this is mostly just Elliot looking extremely pale and shivering all the time, because why bother writing a good character when you can just do these things to make him seem nervous? It's so over the top it's like he got left in a freezer overnight and they let him out in the morning – somebody look into the human rights violations this director may have committed!

Anyway, he goes to visit the aging wife of Larry the journalist, who tells him an extremely pointless flashback about how she came home to find Larry going crazy and writing shit on the walls about the Bye Bye Man. It's really just completely pointless... there's nothing in this flashback we haven't already seen, and it feels weird to have it placed at this point in the film when we should be at the climax. Except that apparently people who snap and lose their minds only happen because of the Bye Bye Man! Mental illness is just hilarious, right?

I guess there is one positive to this scene, though – it does give us a hilarious moment in Elliot realizing not being scared of the monster is the only way to beat it, so he stands there in the dark shouting at nothing like a crazy person. You have to admire the lengths he's gone to for this method acting; a complete forsaking of dignity and class altogether.

The climax is a dragging mess full of a lot more dumb hallucination scares from characters who should know what they're seeing is fake by now. Both Sasha and John end up dead as a result of it. The Bye Bye Man himself shows up more often and he just looks like a homeless zombie wearing a bad coat. He looks like Freddy Krueger after a bad string of days on meth.

"Hey bro, can you spare a buck or two? Need to catch a bus back to nightmare-world."

Then Elliot's brother and niece show up, inexplicably, right as he kills himself, and the niece sees the writing of the name in that desk from earlier so she's infected now, I guess. Oh no! But as she doesn't even know how to read, it has no effect. So like the entire movie, this sequence was pointless.

So this was, uh, not good. But aside from the horrible characters, plot, special effects, writing, directing and most other things about it, maybe you can find something to like.

Seriously – it's horrible. The plot is muddled and makes no sense, and the attempt at making a new “arch horror villain” like Freddy Krueger or Jason just falls flat because of that. There's a lot of nonsense about magical gold coins and how seeing or hearing his name infects you, but none of it is explained well or tied together. The characters are non-entities and the writing is so bad that even the attempt at very meager development – the whole 'is my girlfriend cheating on me' thing – just comes off as a distraction rather than something humane or interesting.

Honestly, the whole thing just feels so incoherent and incomprehensible that it's gibberish. It's like listening to a drunk at a bar telling you a story at 3 am after they've had eight shots of tequila – you just get more confused the longer it goes.

On the plus side, I won't have to think about the Bye Bye Man anymore, as I've written the name so much that I'm sure to go so insane that I won't remember this movie. So there's that!

Images copyright of their original owners; we own none of them.