Insidious, Deadgirl and Eraserhead: Holy Crap

This is not going to be a long review, though it easily could be.

I have been busy writing my own material and submitting resumes to script reading positions and video editor positions. Having said that, I recently saw these films for the first time and wanted to give my thoughts. They are all a little messed up, some more than the others.

If you liked Raimi’s “Drag Me To Hell” or are freaked out by hideous faces and freak-outs, a la the original “Exorcist” — then Insidious is for you. I definitely feel the “Saw” director’s writing here, which reminded me of the under-appricated “Dead Silence” he did a few years ago. “Insidious” is done masterfully, is clearly a step up from his previous work and “Paranormal Activity” creators work. These minds came together and created something great. They clearly know what works, how to bend conventions without making them break or seem “stolen”, including a few awkward moments of much welcomed humor, and still had me jumping. The sound design makes half the film and the other half is made up from the fact that this movie blends together and borrows from other horror films while keeping you guessing at the new thing that was created.

(A-) Must see.

“Deadgirl” is simply not for women. It’s offensive as hell, and I’ve heard from some critics that despite what the film “might” be saying about young sexuality and curiosity and frustration — the misogyny is still a bit much. The movie is about two guys coming across a chained up zombie (basically) and one of the friends falls into a dark place and keeps the zombie as a sex slave, bringing “bros” in for a quick f***.

I tried to put that aside and find a deeper meaning in it, perhaps as a statement of male agression or repression, but the uncharacteristic turn at the end of the film, which I won’t give away, had some critics and viewers upset. “He wouldn’t do that” they said, “he’s the last good guy.” Don’t continue reading if you don’t want to read the spoiler of the end of this movie. ****** SPOILER ****** When the Ricky decides to keep the girl he has always loved alive as his slave, it seems contrary to his character, despite the fact that you may feel he is going to take care of her and respect her in some klind of fucked up way. The truth is that if she died, he wouldn’t have anything, so he kept her after she was bitten. His friend, the guy who basically goes crazy by the end, is totally right when he tells Ricky that she would never pick him if she had the choice. SHe abandoned him when they were young and the time for bright lights between them is over. Before she was bitten, she would probably run away from Ricky if she had the chance, and that makes the audience mad because we ‘re supposed to feel bad for Ricky and hope that the stupid bitch sees how much he would care for her if she just gave him the chance. But, she’s a bitch, and the film seems to be saying “sometimes you can’t change people and they won’t accept you, but if you can get ahead in life, take as much control and fuck where you can.”

A lot of reviewers claimed this was a great little gem, but I think that  is an over statement. Worth watching if you have a tough stomach and don’t mind tons of rape and being uncomfortable, but this is clearly a polished indie film with a cast who can act “pretty” well (enough to make it work) — but don’t really ever shine and feel like a bunch of So-Cal, colleged age pretty boys and girls who don’t have tons of range. The Best actor was J.T. — the psycho.

(C+) Original as hell if nothing else. Don’t buy it though. You’ll watch it once.

Eraserhead — This is David Lynch’s first film from 1977. It was given the Criterion Collection stamp of approval, but only God knows why. This film is an art peice. Period. It’s not bad, it’s not good, it’s something to look at and “hum” and “ahh” at and try to find some meaning in something which cannot be analyzed. It is very, very, very difficult to watch in one sitting. You will want to watch it by yourself if you ever watch it, and it is one of the most disturbing, expressive, surrealist films I’ve ever seen. It’s a great peice to debate about, and I know what I think about it, but besides the near “silent movie” film quality and beautiful lighting, very little will be agreed upon between you and your peers. This film is one of the MOST disturbing films ever. Very creative, but I don’t know if it’s worth the effort of deconstruction without a bag full of shrooms. The film is probably making a statement of how it feels–not what is real–but how it FEELS to be in a place you hate, in a job you don’t like, with images of giving birth and bleeding and people’s innards and how monsterous a baby can seem if you are anxious about the brith or don’t want the responsibility. It shows how it destroys your reality and you ability to enjoy your partner or sleep if your living in a one bedroom apartment by the railway in a shitty part of the city.

It’s only about 85 minutes but feels like two hours. Good luck. You’d have to be a film enthusiast of the highest degree to sit through this one. The average movie goer is going to turn this off at minute 8, and if not then, definitely by minute 24. Anybody who says they “really get this” movie or it is their “number one favorite” is an idiot and an elitist — trying to be hip and make others think they are some genius, artsy snob.

(C-). Watch if you’re high or if you wanna be “super cool” and torture yourself in the name of street cred. Cult Classics like these aren’t made anymore.

MH

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