Friday, November 13, 2015

Exeter (2015)

The month of October is over, and we're all hungover from horror films. So what to do now? I mean, I don't even want to see a horror movie right now. I need a fucking break. My head is spinning from all the gore and suspense and terror. Luckily, this movie, Exeter, has absolutely nothing scary or cool in it, so this shouldn't be too hard to sit through.

Oh who am I kidding, of course it will be.

Director: Marcus Nispel
Starring: Kelly Blatz, Brittany Curran

Co-written with Michelle.

This movie starts out with something nice and considerate – a depiction of exactly the state you need to be in to enjoy the movie:

That's right, you have to be a member of the cast of Requiem for a Dream.

How nice of it; a sort of tutorial. What a thoughtful movie.

Then we get a black and white exposition dump told in the way of an old documentary. Apparently there was a mental hospital years ago that burned kids alive, or something like that. Snooooooooore.

Then we get our main characters, a bunch of douchey high school morons who want to have a party at the place years later. Our main character is Patrick, or I think that's his name; a wimp who sucks at everything. I say that because he is working with a church to refurbish the place and on the first day of doing that, he decided to invite every kid in a hundred miles to come destroy the place for a party. I mostly find it highly dubious that he managed to get that many fucking people to come. I very, very highly doubt he's that popular or likable, movie.

He's friends with a couple of douchenozzles who talk about nothing but having sex with random chicks. They see one of them from behind and talk about how hot she is and how Patrick should go talk to her. I just find it depressing that they introduced the main girl in the movie by showing her ass first, without even showing us her face yet, and the main characters ogling her. What a piece of shit this is.

Unless she's going to talk with her ass Ace Ventura style, I don't think this is a viable way of introducing a character.

So the party drags on all night and well into the morning, and I guess none of these bungholes has anything else to do. Patrick and the girl go outside and have a ridiculously poor talk about their personal lives, where we learn they have broken families and yadda yadda. Who gives a fuck? This movie trying to emote is like a crack whore trying to relate to you.

"Blahblahblahblabla."
"Hurr durr derr."
-Pretty accurate for this scene...

If you think that last bit is harsh, well, I'm sorry if I can't get into the “touching” scenes when the next scene you see is them performing fake exorcisms just for shits and giggles. Something tells me these characters are the types of people who stick their tongues into electrical sockets to see what happens.

Anyway, yeah, so the little brother character, Rory, somehow ends up possessed from their fake exorcism game thing. Which the main characters are surprisingly cool with and don't need to think about at all before realizing that. Patrick just instantly knows, and doesn't question it even a little, and the girl says they don't need a hospital, they need a priest! Somebody put these detectives on the case. Nothing gets past them!

"This really reaffirms my suspicions that demonic possession is real!"

The group spends a lot of time just wandering around arguing about what to do. One guy says over and over that there's no such thing as possession, but then immediately reverts that position when he sees Rory. What a pussy. I love the scenes where he's raving about how Christianity is fake and possession is a lie, but then like, ten minutes later he's hugging a big cross like a baby. Fuck that guy.

They all try to figure out how to beat the demon, and the best they can come up with is watching a Youtube video about how to perform an exorcism. I would make fun of this, but honestly, the brain mash required to come up with this sequence is so bizarrely specific and odd that I think the movie's writers should be studied as lab experiment guinea pigs.

Well, they SAY it's Youtube, but really it's just a shitty looking website from 2002 because they didn't have money to use Youtube's likeness. Or maybe they did, but Youtube didn't want to be associated with this movie. In fact, I'm betting it's the latter.

It was around this point that both Michelle and myself began to think this was actually intended as a comedy, but I think that's just because the writers had no idea what they were doing. It comes off like one writer wanted to do a “serious” possession horror movie, but the other wanted to write a jokey horror comedy, so they instead combined into a two-headed, disagreeing chimera, a horrific abomination, and thus the movie was spawned.

At any rate, Michelle did think some of this was funny – so you might, too, ya never know. Your mileage may vary. There's a scene where they use a Ouija board and find out that the demon's name is Devon – that sounds like the name of a member of One Direction or something. This demon really got the short end of the stick when it came to badass demon names.

Oh, and somewhere in the middle of all this, a priest named Father Conway arrives to help them with the exorcism, and then the jock kid of the group, like a moron, hits him with the car and nearly kills him. They go back inside the building, and somehow get locked inside, because even though they're all corporeal humans and should be able to figure out doors, a ghost gets the better of them on locking a fucking door. Yeah, they're real brain trusts. Keep endearing us to them, movie!

This movie sure likes to abuse priests, which I think indicates a deep seated psychological trouble that the movie needs to see a therapist for.

Next we get a long, mushy trudge through soggy horror clich̩. Every character basically acts the way you expect Рthere's a stoner guy in the movie who walks around the entire time in his underwear with two Cheetoes stuck to his back and the phrase 'I Love Fat Cock' drawn on his back in marker. That's so bad that I can't imagine who would write it and think it was funny.

Please stop showing this, movie. Please.

Oh, and you know what this was missing the whole time? Exposition. Looooooots more exposition! So the movie does right by itself, and adds in an over-long scene of the two leads finding convenient videotapes explaining that there was a patient named Devon (like the demon's name earlier! A-ha!) there at the hospital who got mistreated and that's why all of this is happening now, or some shit like that. I do have to say this answered some questions – but not the main one I had, which was: How are they using the Internet and watching things on TV? Who is paying the fucking electric bill in this place? Wasn't it deserted for like 20 years?

Maybe the GHOST paid the electric bills! OooooOOOOooohhh!

Then there's the random guy who comes in and threatens to call the cops on them for being there. The next second, he's sticking a gun in their faces and propositioning (what's supposed to be) a teenage girl for sex. I'm pretty sure the cops wouldn't like that. Isn't that like calling the cops on a guy for breaking into your house, only to immediately order the assassination of the burglar's entire family before the cops get there? Bit of a mixed message.

Anyway, he gets the typical death characters in these movies often have – the demon breaks his neck, then he walks outside with his head twisted 180 degrees backwards, and accidentally shoots himself in the face.


Ho hum. Booooooorrrrrriiiiiiinnnnnnggggg.

Oh and there's a really random scene where the demon pretends to be the normal kid, Rory, again, only to fake them out and then immediately try to attack them again. It makes no sense because we never see the demon try to do this again. But hey, fuck logic! We have super cool possession effects to show!

As the movie slogs on, like a drunk rhino, most of the scenes take place in the middle of the day. Which is the worst idea, because now we can more clearly see how shitty and run down the building they're in looks. They somehow get the demon out of the kid again, for real this time, and then the hot blonde chick of the group who is near 30 but playing a high schooler gets it next. She's the obvious choice because the movie had her take off her bra in an earlier scene and now she's able to run around so her boobs jiggle a lot, and if anyone ever watched this, that would be an obvious pandering reason to do so. Oh, and I guess she kills a lot of people or something.

The next 40 minutes of the movie is basically just disposable – endless scenes of these morons wandering around in the dark with flashlights. The possessed girl kills the stoner guy and stabs the fat kid of the group in the gut, but he doesn't die yet. They all end up splitting up. Patrick and the lead girl find the possessed demon chick in an upstairs freezer room, but they kill her by stabbing her eyes out.

So this is basically the equivalent of a wet T-shirt mud fight between these girls. Glad the movie's not pandering!

You know what, this isn't even funny anymore. The least you could have done was add cartoon sound effects!

It turns out Father Conway is still alive, and actually killing some of the kids himself for no real reason. He even manages to kill the lead girl by sticking a lead pipe through her torso, which was training I never knew they gave priests in the sacristy. Eh, you learn new things every day.


Then Patrick shows up, cries over the fact that this girl he's known for six hours died, and burns Father Conway alive with a lighter. I do think every horror movie should end this way, so I guess that's a point in the movie's favor:

If there weren't already a bunch of heavy metal songs written about this, it might be more shocking.

After Father Conway kills the lead girl, it's revealed that the girl's name was Devon and she was the one sent to the asylum! And also the drug addict woman who shot herself in the opening scene was her mother! Shock and awe! What a twist! So Patrick goes from mourning over her to mutilating her with a fan blade, cutting her arms off and then shoving her into an incinerator in like, ten minutes. His mind is like Silly Putty; he never sticks to just one idea for long!

Also note the complete dead-eyed lack of empathy at the horrific violence he just committed. Maybe the movie is trying to make a point about how we're all so desensitized now. Or maybe it's just total shit, either way.

So that's Exeter. It sucks. It's poorly paced, poorly acted and poorly characterized, and the scares are as good as any you would find in your local Kindergarten class. The plot makes no sense, with a bunch of random threads never connected, like the world's worst-made Christmas sweater, coming unraveled at the seams. Like, yeah, a story about a random possessing demon with no rules or logic to how it works, and the magical priest who can survive being hit by a car and then becomes an stone badass killer for no reason. Sign me the fuck up for that.

But at least it's not a total loss. There are a few redeeming factors. Like, uh, well...actually, nevermind.

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