Friday, June 24, 2011

REVIEW: Them (2006)

This should be called “Patience: The Movie.” Because you just keep waiting…and waiting…and waiting…and waiting…and waiting…and waiting…

Director: David Moreau, Xavier Palud
Starring: Olivia Bonamy, Michael Cohen

So apparently this movie was well liked internationally, according to the Wikipedia page, and has a fairly positive score on Rotten Tomatoes. And to that I say, DID ANY OF YOU IDIOTS EVEN WATCH THIS CRAP?! This is wretched, banal and vapid to extremes I haven’t seen in a while. It’s completely directionless, there’s no suspense, the characters suck and the twist is laughable. There, review over.

…no, I can’t just leave it at that; that wouldn’t be a convincing enough warning. Sigh. I guess I’ll have to just go through this whole thing and prove it. Let’s get this bad movie circus started.

Our movie begins with two annoying characters in a car. The mother asks her daughter if she’d like to speak to her father, and the daughter, being a whiny, precocious teenager, gives her a hard time about it. Oh no, she has to SPEAK TO HER FATHER? Call the frigging presses, it’s a tragedy on par with the Titanic. Seriously, nice way to make sure we don’t give a crap from the start about these two. Not to mention their acting is terrible, too. The car breaks down, the mother goes out to try and jump start the engine, and she disappears…the daughter, being a super genius, decides to step outside and start calling her mom’s name incessantly, thinking that MAYBE the fiftieth time she calls, her mom will respond. She gets back in the car and gets strangled, because of course there’s NO WAY she could have heard the car door opening!

"Help! I'm being attacked by implausibility!"

The next day we see a teacher…teaching. Yeah, uh, OK then.

"Today we will be learning about horrible acting and unrealistic plot development. Take out your books and turn to page 50."

She goes home and passes by the opening-kill car, which serves to establish what we already know – oooooh, whatever happened to them is going to happen to her! She goes home to her boyfriend, who is a writer, who says he’s always doing his job, even in his head. Well I’m glad someone is, because whoever wrote this sure isn’t…and why is this important? Open the Plot Fortune Cookie and find out!

Seriously; it has no bearing on the plot and is never brought up again. This movie fails again!

Then we get a bunch of scenes of the two of them playing around and doing couple things; la-dee-da, I’m sure NOTHING bad will happen here! Actually the scenes of him chasing her through the halls could have easily been altered to be much, much scarier than any of the actual horror scenes in this movie. They talk about random stuff, and I mostly just wonder why.

It isn't a good sign when even your actors would rather watch TV than further the plot...

And do we REALLY need to see a scene of them sitting on the couch and watching TV? I mean really, would the movie have suffered if you cut it out? Are you that bankrupt of ideas? At one point the guy even turns off the TV and says he doesn’t need to watch this crap. Ironic considering the movie he’s in…but seriously, we’re almost halfway into the movie at this point. This is only a 70 something minute movie. It shouldn't be that hard to fill up with suspense and things happening, but we're around a half hour in and NOTHING has really happened to advance the plot! That's got to be a new record for worthlessness.

So then they’re sleeping at night when the woman hears a noise outside. A NOISE! OH NO! The guy goes outside and finds that someone is in the car and has TURNED THE LIGHTS ON! Oh the humanity! The lights go out, like in every really bad horror movie, and they turn the TV on too? What fiends these guys are!

The TV is the best actor in the movie and shows the most emotional range by far.

So these two get…really overly terrified at what’s happening despite the fact that they haven’t seen anything yet and that since it’s THEIR HOUSE they should know where SOMETHING is that could help them – a flashlight? Something they could use as a weapon? ANYTHING? But nope, because these people are morons, the plot must go on. The guy gets hurt when a broken glass door slams into his leg and they both end up hiding in their bedroom like cowards. Which would be a brilliant thing to do if you wanted to entrap yourself up there and let your attackers surround you.

Then the woman goes up into the attic, and since this is a horror movie, the whole attic is covered in transparent drapes that make it look like one of Dexter’s kill rooms or something.

"Do you mind?"

The attackers are up there, too, but they wait until it’s dramatically convenient to attack, giving her time to possibly formulate a plan – I’m glad these attackers are so fair. Then one of them is just sort of standing there ominously, because THAT’S a smart thing to do! I’m sure the main character won’t ever think of just pushing him off the balcony he’s standing on…oh, wait.

Whoopsy daisy!

Then she and her husband go for a pleasant nighttime jog in the woods until they come to a fence. The guy can’t get over it because of his leg wound. He tells his wife to run by herself, and being a stupid and selfish character, she goes ahead and does it. I laugh at this scene because all I can picture is what the husband is really thinking: “No, wait! I just said that to look noble! Don’t leave me here, you whore! COME BACK!”

And then we see even more of our main heroine’s intelligence as she finds a car and gets inside, even as the attackers surround her. It’s not like she could just open the doors and make a break for it, right? That would just be silly.

Then we cut to the husband, who somehow got over his fence problem (and whose injury is only debilitating when the plot requires it to be) and pursues the attackers by listening to the nice soundtrack of his wife’s screams. He finds a secret cavernous entrance to the sewers, I guess, which looks more like a place Jigsaw from the SAW movies would love to hang out. There he finds a bunch of little kids committing the horrendous act of MAKING HIS WIFE SMELL SOMETHING IN A BAG! Really, that’s what it looks like. The picture quality is too murky to determine anything else, so…yeah.

But seriously, a bunch of little kids? That’s your big scare of the movie? “Won’t you play with us?” is the movie’s chosen scary line for them to say, and it’s even sillier that way. Oh no, they’re going to make us play hide and seek with them! In fact that’s really all this movie is. A big, stupid, incredibly boring game of hide and seek.

So anyway, one of the kids, a younger one, tells the older one to stop torturing the woman. But before any character development can happen, the husband says NO and just kills the older kid, saving his wife. But then they hear the sounds of the other kids coming in! The little kid tells them to follow him, and since they’re morons, they agree. To be fair, he was trying to get his buddy to stop torturing the woman, but still, are you telling me they couldn’t just go back toward the entrance and face the kids head on? That these two GROWN ADULTS can’t take a bunch of whiny little brats who probably should have been beaten more by their probably neglectful parents? Get real!

And then when they’re trying to escape, the kid suddenly betrays them anyway! Then why was he telling the kid to stop torturing her earlier? And for that matter, what’s the logic in acting like he’s going to help them escape when the other kids are right outside, when he could have easily just let them get captured in the first place and saved us all 5 minutes of this excruciating excrement? This movie has less logic than…a dog driving a car!

Well, that 2 minutes was far more entertaining than the movie itself, but since I still have to finish this review...

The film ends with both of them dead and the kids all getting on a bus to go and ruin more good cinema. Oh what a joyous rape of the senses…I hope that bus burns.

All aboard the bus to cliche horror ending-ville! Tickets are free except we do want your dignity and brain cells. Those are kind of in short supply where movies like this are made.

This was awful! There’s nothing entertaining or suspenseful about this at all. This had a cool set up, with the cover art and the nice, desolate setting, but man oh man did they waste all of that. The amount of sheer nothing contained in Them is enough to fill a football field. If you like movies that are actually about something, that contain any modicum of wit or style to their proceedings or that have any inch of atmosphere to them, avoid this like the plague. To sum up in short: little kids are evil and can easily overpower grown adults with nothing else but their bare hands and the cover of night. Yup, that’s about the size of it. What a joke.