Saturday, November 21, 2015

Kristy (2014)

Kristy is a movie that is set around Thanksgiving time, and you don't see many of those. I like to try and review movies close to whatever holiday is going on, because I guess I want to annoy myself in a themed way. For Thanksgiving, I guess this is the best way to do it short of sitting at a Thanksgiving table full of vegans. Kristy is a new thriller/horror movie that tries some exciting avant garde tricks, like having no explanations for anything that happens. How deep!

Director: Oliver Blackburn
Starring: Haley Bennett, Ashley Greene

Co-written with Michelle.

We open with a girl getting killed in a car. Her attackers are a bunch of guys in hoodies. They take some pictures and upload them to this “dark web” looking place. What can we possibly find in there of any worth? Child molesters? Oh yeah, sounds great. I'd love to go there.

Pictured: total weenies.

This is actually an interesting opening, and it does set a creepy mood. Though, the bad guys wearing hoodies means they have bigger problems to worry about:

Pictured: Another total weenie.


Then we get introduced to our main character Justine, a college girl staying at school over the Thanksgiving vacation. Her boyfriend is leaving and so are all her friends, so now she's free to do truly scary things like dance in the hallway and chat with the security guard. Scandalous! I bet her parents didn't expect this debauchery when she went away to college!

The dancing, sure, but talking to a security guard? Don't get too crazy, movie.

These scenes aren't bad or anything, but they take up a lot of this movie, which really isn't that long. Like really, we've got about an hour left at this point and the scariest thing you've shown us is Justine running into some creepy girl in a hoodie at the gas station while buying ice cream or something. Sorry if I'm not shaking with fear, but I see people in hoodies everywhere I go. That doesn't scare me.

I will give the movie credit – it does actually make you like Justine and even the security guard guy guarding her building. They're good actors and the movie sort of, actually, endears you to them. So I guess what I'm saying is, if the movie decided to change gears and be a buddy comedy, it would probably be pretty good.

But that isn't the plan. The plan is for a trio of hooded maniacs to attack her at the school. When people said colleges shouldn't be so PC, I'm pretty sure they didn't mean students should have this happen to them. But then again, maybe this was what they meant. Gotta toughen those little pricks up somehow.

These guys are edgy!

The movie after this is mostly just Justine running around and trying to escape the college. Michelle and I found it interesting that pretty much every dorm room seemed to have been left wide open – like, the doors weren't even closed, much less locked. Every dorm, just hanging wide fucking open like an invitation for thieves. That security guard must have either been the best or worst at his job in the world.

She runs outside and attempts to call the cops, which seems to work, but then of course it's just the gangsters messing with her – because you know, most criminal violent thugs like to pretend to be the cops and string their victims along. Or they do in dumb movies anyway. I guess these guys are part of a cult that's actually smarter than your average dumb thugs. But even so, them playing around with her, cat and mouse style, is just such dumb-ass padding. All these sorts of movies do it. In real life, I hardly think these scenes would drag on so much. They'd just get it over with faster, ya know. Criminals in real life don't have time to waste.

Plot twist - the killer was INSIDE THE COLLEGE...BUM BUM BUM...actually it's lame when you put it that way. Never mind.

There's even a scene where she hides under a table and the bad guys never find her under there, even though they're in the room looking around. Guys, it's not that hard. Unless they're disabled and can't bend at the waist, I see no reason why they can't find her under there.

If you were going for groin-vision, though, then this is a success.

I guess there's some cool conceptual stuff when the cult people attacking her start calling her Kristy – title drop! – and say she's beautiful and has a pretty car or some other stuff like that. I thought the movie was trying to make a point about how shallow our society is, but they didn't even try that. They don't really explain anything. If my review is a bit confusing so far, it's because the movie has given me exactly that little to work with. It's kind of like trying to understand a person speaking a foreign language, only then you find out it was never a foreign language and the person was just blabbering gibberish the entire time.

These chase scenes are mostly not bad, I guess. There's a lot of running around in the dark, a lot of hiding. I found myself wondering how hard is it to escape when she's right out in the open? How far away is this fucking college campus from the rest of society? Can't she just run to a gas station? Don't keep hiding under tables, you moron, try actually running away!

Then she runs outside and finds the random groundskeeper guy who lives in a shack with his dog. For some completely unknown reason, when they go back outside again, the whole area is suddenly covered in a thick fog that wasn't there before and isn't always there later on. I guess that's a pretty minor thing, but it's really just more of the never-ending randomness that is Kristy, and I need to document all of this for future civilizations to see.

The fog was dumped there by government planes flying overhead, who are in cahoots with the killers. I can make that up because the movie's actual plot is so threadbare.

The groundskeeper and dog both get killed, because really, what else was ever going to happen? There's no reality where this doesn't happen to side characters in slasher movies. You could go to alternate universes where this movie was directed by a talking dog, or where all the characters had an extra arm, and this groundskeeper guy would still die in all of them.

Sorry, man. You didn't get lucky.

Things get so bad that she gets chased up the stairs in the library to the balcony, where she has to jump off to escape the killers. She lands on the ground after like, at least a fucking two story fall, and is mostly just fine. Seriously – like, she limps for a few scenes, but then a few minutes later, she's totally fine and there's nothing even worth mentioning. Did she land on the secret marshmallow filling pit on the ground below the balcony, or is she just fucking invincible?

So the movie keeps a'rollin' on, somehow, and the boyfriend guy shows back up! I love how he sees the one female killer running past him and, as he can't see her face, just assumes it's Justine. Like hey, it's a woman, so obviously it must be THE woman I'm looking for! I have a hard time believing this guy dresses himself in the morning.

It also speaks very poorly of his ability to recognize his own girlfriend.

Hey, he'll probably be fine! If I completely ignore everything I know about slasher movies and about this particular movie, I can convince myself of that just fine...

"If only I knew my own girlfriend's body better and hadn't fallen for that trick!"

Oh. Whoops. I guess we all make mistakes, including me even.

Other escapades include the time she hides in a pool and they can't find her there even! You know, I'm starting to think these guys aren't a threat at all. How hard is it to look down in a fucking pool? She's not magic invisible girl, transparent like a jellyfish, she's just right there, clearly visible to anyone who isn't blind. Maybe the guy chasing her was just bored and didn't care about looking very thoroughly.

"Hang on, let me look very quickly at the pool room and make sure she's not in plain sight... nope, we're good! She's nowhere to be found! We're brilliant at this!"

But at least they're crafty enough that they're hard to kill! Killing these badasses requires exquisite planning and strategic brilliance. Like, you know – beating the fuck out of them with baseball bats!

The intellect required for this is off the charts!

So I guess with the renewed knowledge that these guys are actually a bunch of moronic pussy bitches with the survival instincts of wounded baby bunny rabbits, Justine is able to go back outside, instantly find the last surviving cult member, and burn her alive in the parking lot right there in public.

I'd say that's cool, but there's an after-credit scene that lasts all of five seconds showing more hooded maniacs killing people. So I guess if you wanted the end of the movie to be “nothing you saw mattered at all,” this is cool.

Seriously though, they never explain why the hell this all happened or what the story was behind these cult members! There's no meaning given for it. Guys, I'm not saying I want a Peter Jackson trilogy explaining where the bad guys in this came from. But I think there had to be something.

It's just a shame, because the visuals were nice and the acting and characters weren't bad at all. This was a cool looking movie and got some atmosphere going, but the story itself just didn't tie up any loose ends, and didn't bother explaining anything going on even a little – even the most bare minimum. Most of the movie was basically just an elongated chase scene like you'd find at the end of any other slasher movie. While I appreciate the lack of dumb filler scenes, the lack of any real story just made this a pretty empty, hollow experience.

And frankly, this wasn't even really that much about Thanksgiving! Let me fix that:

Ahhhh. Yes. That's better.

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