Sunday, April 9, 2017

#Horror (2015)

Well, it's been a hot minute, but we're finally back to doing what we were born to do on this blog – reviewing terrible, never-heard-of-it horror films found in the bowels of Netflix's giant stomach. This week, the one we are looking at is called #Horror. Yes, Hashtag Horror, or, the movie most likely to confuse the fuck out of your elderly aunt who thinks that's still just the pound sign on the phone. But then, isn't confusing elderly people the main aim of all horror movies?

Director: Tara Subkoff
Starring: Chloe Sevigny, Timothy Hutton

Co-written with Michelle.

I guess this was directed by artist and fashion designer Tara Subkoff. If that's your thing, great! Personally I did not have an opinion on her one way or the other before this, and now afterwards, I am very confused.

We start off with an old classic for a horror movie: people having sex in a car and then getting murdered! Wow! What a way to set up a story!

Apparently fucking Carmen San Diego is a real fetish... why would she wear that fucking hat?

Then, in a truly inexplicable choice, we see that the credits of the film are a seizure-inducing blend of horrific CGI graphics and garish, cartoonish colors that, I think, are supposed to be the Internet or some sort of app popular with teenagers. I'm guessing the reason it looks like the vomit of a Care Bear who just woke up from a bad hangover is because they couldn't afford better effects – in which case I think they definitely should've saved up more money and then bought the rights to use Facebook and Twitter in their low-budget horror film. It's so simple!

These images brought to you by... I honestly don't know. I've got nothing on this one. This is beyond insane that anyone would put this shit in a movie.

Our main characters include an asshole father who constantly tells his pre-teen daughter Cat to stop playing with her cell phone, and a wealthy lady who spends much of the first 20 minutes of the film whining about the fact that her family is falling apart because her husband is fucking his therapist, or some nonsense like that. They're so dysfunctional that they live in separate wings of their huge mansion and almost never talk to each other. Wow, I'm sure they do a lot of crying into their wads of hundred dollar bills every night. Boo fucking hoo.

The blonde lady is just a caricature of what a rich person is like – she constantly walks around in bathrobe type clothing with her hair up, screams at her clearly hyperventilating and overworked servant to find her phone, which ends up being under the couch she's sitting on. Great scene, five stars!

"Lick my boot, peasant!"

Oh, and all the main characters the movie focuses on the most are teenage girls around 12 to 14 years old – which hasn't been done before either. But maybe that's because it's a terrible idea.

See what I mean?

Seriously – I guess it could work if you had good characters and writing. But this movie just seems to be content with having bad characters and writing. Like, did we need a several-minute long scene of the one girl, Cat, bullying the fat girl at the party? It's like, did they just leave the camera off? Why is this going so long? She tells her to KILL HERSELF for fuck's sake. It hasn't been that long since I was a kid – who are these little sociopaths?!

Oh, and the backstory here involves this guy named Ray Jameison who used to live in the house, who once killed all the people at this party he was hosting because they wouldn't leave! There's your ghost story. Just that. I guess it IS a way to make sure no one COMES to your future parties... but honestly, I'm just amazed that they chose Ray Jameison as the name of the ghost. That's not a ghost name – it's the name of a burnout hippie guitar player who you can find six nights a week in that bar by the beach playing to ten people.

The movie becomes a faceless run of mush after that – a lot of scenes of the girls just talking about bullshit, including one where they point a gun at one another! Glad that one was in there.

Maybe Russian roulette would be a good thing for this movie? Please consider it.

Finally, they kick Cat out after she won't quit bullying the fat girl. I don't know why, though – it isn't like the other girls are any better really; they're all mean as fuck to each other too. They have a few scenes where they're nice to each other, but then by the climax they all hate each other too.

There's some talk about how the fat girl's life is ruined because of stuff posted about her on the internet, and some other scenes where they actually decide to stop looking at their phones. That's actually the least realistic thing in the fucking movie. But then they also have scenes like this one after they lock their phones away:

Movie... please stop. PLEASE STOP!

So really, I am not sure how much of a victory this was at all. Girls, just get your phones out and go blind looking at them. It would be preferable to more of... whatever the fuck this is.

Then Cat's father, Dr. White, shows up – a real asshole, who seems to get off on screaming at little children. He's there, I guess, because his daughter is still missing and the others kicked her out of the house. This leads to him threatening them with a large knife!

I'm sure glad we're dealing with this situation in the best most mature way possible. Phew. What a relief to have a real adult here!

He spends so much goddamn time screaming at these little girls that I think he could've found his daughter by now if he'd actually been doing something constructive. Jesus Christ. This scene also goes on for an inordinately long amount of time and I'm inclined to think Subkoff fell asleep in her chair at some point and the actors just started improvising. Because if THAT wasn't the case, then it means someone watched this and thought it was a good idea to show the world. And that scares me more than most horror movies ever could.

By the blessing of Odin and all the other gods, the guy finally goes away and bothers someone else. That just leaves the girls to start freaking out like the apocalypse is happening. The one fat girl begins to eat cupcakes constantly, and that is all everyone else talks to her about for the rest of the movie, just a constant barrage of fat jokes. Another girl, they think she lied about having sex once, so they just start bashing her for that. DIALOGUE, THIS IS HOW YOU DO IT!

Then, mercifully, the killer realizes it's almost the end of the movie, and so starts killing everyone. This happens in extremely interesting and new ways, like their throats getting cut with a knife. Wow, a real Jack the Ripper here. Real original.

Totally unoriginal, 1/5.

Finally, I guess, the killer is revealed to be Cat the whole time, the little girl who they kicked out before. Woah, I totally couldn't see that one coming! But then again, I am an idiot. She then kills herself with a gun in the driveway of the house, which is really the ending this miserable fucking movie deserved all along.

Oh, except for the insanely trite ending where they have a bunch of fake news clips about how there were a lot of people watching and doing nothing except taking videos on their phones for social media. What incisive social commentary! You are the new George Orwell! What a fucking genius you are, and everyone should immediately blow you right now.

What was the point of any of this? It was long, boring and had almost no story structure, to the point where it was hard to even write about what happened scene to scene. The whole plotline about Ray Jameison the ghost went absolutely nowhere since it turned out to be a real person killing everyone. If it was supposed to be social commentary about people being on their phones, what was it really trying to say? It's totally a muddled message because they don't do anything with it beyond have the kids USING their phones. Not exactly a biting social satire.

I guess it was supposed to be about cyberbullying? I don't know. I can see it now that I've read the Wikipedia page, but honestly, it didn't come across very well in the film. I appreciate the attempt to tackle a real world issue, but it came off as muddled and confused the way the film did it. I didn't like or sympathize with any characters, either, which could've helped in a movie about bullying victims...

So what are we left with in #Horror? A really dumb title and an excruciatingly boring, annoying film. I guess you should see it if you want to know what a bad movie looks like? Either that, or if you've watched literally everything else on Netflix.

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