|Index||10 reviews in total|
Kalamity, directed by James Hausler, is a psychological thriller for everyone - male or female. This is a movie for people who enjoy getting into the mind of a killer. Starring Nick Stahl, Jonathan Jackson, Christopher Clark as the leads, Kalamity tells the story of college friends - in their post college years - when life becomes real. Back from a bad breakup, Billy (Stahl) is wounded and confused. Figuring he can count on a buddy to help him through the mess, he turns to Stan (Jackson), but he quickly realizes that Jackson is a bigger mess than he is and for far more serious reasons. The plot builds steadily as Billy (Stahl) and Christian (Clark) work through the maze of madness they find themselves in. This is a good movie, well-written with a key performance by Stahl. Get your popcorn before it starts; you do not want to have to leave the theater.
After breaking up with their girlfriends of five years, two friends
handle it differently. After moving back to his hometown Billy (Stahl)
learns that his girlfriend no longer wants a long distance
relationship. He is not handling it well and goes to friend Stan
(Jackson) for help coping. Stan is not handling his break up well
either and soon his girlfriend winds up missing. This movie more then
anything is a little disturbing, mainly for the fact that this is very
believable and I'm sure at least part of this has happened to someone
before. I don't want to give to much away but before you watch know
that this is not a horror movie like the preview makes it seem like,
but a very disturbing look at how an unstable person handles a
break-up. I give it a B-.
Would I watch again? - Not sure, I think I would but it may not have the same effect.
Written and directed by James Hausler, Kalamity claims its spot as an
intriguing psychological thriller. Ripped to the bone by heartbreaking
loss, Kalamity grasps Billy and Stan as its true victims. This film
takes a different perspective since, for once, we hear from the men,
witness their emotional bleed, and follow the horror of the
'subconscious rip'. The movie starts out with a haunting, compelling,
and strikingly wise voice-over, which pulls the audience into the film.
Grounded by Hollywood professionals Robert Forster and Nick Stahl who portrays the story's hero, Billy, Hausler's brilliant choice of Jonathan Jackson as the aggressive, uber-disturbed best friend, Stan, carries the suspenseful tone. Although Billy has problems of his own, he recognizes almost immediately that his good friend has some profound mental imbalance.
The dialogue is real; it reflects the way real people feel and talk. Billy's reflection on his own lost love, Alice, speaks to that part in all of us who yearn for that lost love of our own reliving snippets of moments in our own memories as Billy randomly does with Alice throughout the film.
I saw this in the theater, and watched on demand repeatedly, each time unpeeling another layer of Hausler's tightly scripted, haunting film.
Kalamity is a believable psychological thriller directed by James
Hausler. Hausler anchors his cast with Nick Stahl in a lead role as
well as veteran actors Robert Forster and Patricia Kalember. Stahl
returns to his hometown after a broken romance in pretty bad emotional
shape. Hoping to turn to his best friend, Stan, Billy (Stahl) soon
learns that something is very wrong with Stan. As the plot unfolds,
Hausler builds suspense keeping the audience completely engaged as the
Jonathan Jackson, a relative newcomer in comparison to Stahl, believably portrays a disturbed young man, whose life changes in an instant.Christopher Clark has some difficulty in his off-beat role but does not detract from the overall quality.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
See, it's like "calamity" but with a "K", get it? Deliberate
misspellings are so totally cool, dude! It's like a time machine back
to 1996! Yes, the name doesn't tell us anything about the story and
isn't inherently interesting
but it's "calamity" with a "K"! It's a
good thing indy movies like this don't have to worry about stupid
studio execs sticking them with absurd titles picked blindly out of a
bag of marketing buzzwords. I mean, "calamity" with a "K"? It's genius!
Putting that inspired choice aside, this is a flabby film that feels much longer than its 98 minute run time. It gets its own essential mystery wrong, bollixes the psychology of its antagonist and has a protagonist so passive he's practically in a coma. The story rests entirely on a difference between two characters that is never examined or explained and writer/director James M. Hausler wastes an enormous amount of time on a narrative device that does nothing and goes nowhere. The basic premise of Kalamity is sound and Jonathan Jackson does a nice job playing the facets of a character who's never integrated into a believable person. It's also nice to see Patricia Kalember get work. Sisters was a criminally underrated show. The bottom line on this production, though, is that it's the proverbial sound and fury, signifying nothing.
Billy (Nick Stahl) is a mid-20something guy who's returned home to Virginia after breaking up with his college student girlfriend (Beau Garrett) in Ohio. And let me just stop right here. Nick Stahl is a talented performer but he can't play mid 20s anymore. He's got a lived-in actor's face that doesn't look like it's been injected, pulled back or retouched. It's a great face, but not for somebody in their mid 20s. When the film slaps a ball cap on him in a flashback to pass him off as even younger, it's pathetic. He's not acting too old for the part and maybe some make up and getting in a bit better shape would have helped, but Stahl's apparent age really screwed up the whole sensibility of Billy and put the film in a hole from the very beginning.
Anyway, Billy returns home to find his best friend Stan (Jonathan Jackson) has become a raging douche who gets violently angry at the mention of his ex-girlfriend's name. Then Billy learns that Stan's ex has gone missing and, well, he sorta waits around for someone else to do something, although he instantly suspects that Stan's involved in the disappearance. Oh, and Billy also goes through the whole movie seeing and talking to his ex-girlfriend as a daydream/hallucination.
Here's the crux of the problem with Kalamity. It's about two guys experiencing the same heartbreak where one merely mopes around and the other turns to murder, but why Billy reacts one way and Stan another is never touched on. There's no reason even vaguely referenced at any point in the film. Without that emotional context, the only thing this movie can be about is the mystery of what Stan did and why he did it. However, any reasonably intelligent viewer figures both those things out immediately and Billy understands it the moment he first hears about Stan's missing ex. The only mystery here is why the hell Billy never calls the cops. Well, that and what the hell writer/director Hausler thought he was doing with Billy's girlfriend delusions.
Kalamity is a hook and a theme that never develop into a story. It's unclear what these events are supposed to mean for Billy and his life. It's unclear what the audience is supposed to make of Stan's descent into evil. The only suspense is in wondering if this thing is going to wander into the general vicinity of a point. It doesn't. Billy's fantasies should have been dispensed with and replaced by a plot that gave him some purpose and Stan some rationale. This is a classic example of a filmmaker coming up with some good scenes but not realizing they don't add up to a film. A bunch of supporting characters should have been removed or greatly de-emphasized because they don't contribute anything to the conflict between Billy and Stan.
Kalamity isn't a katastrophe. It's just a bad movie.
Stan returns home and his co-worker and roommate Christian wants to
know why Stan changed his shirt. We later learn the shirt was blue.
Something blue was in the trash at that gas station and the camera
spent a lot of time showing us that trash container.
Stan's friend Billy has broken up with Alice, who is still in college in Ohio, and returns home to this parents outside D.C.
Stan and Billy spend a lot of time together and it's not clear half the time what they are talking about since half the words had to be bleeped for broadcast TV. But there is a pretty and sarcastic girl who insulted them in the bar where they were drinking. Not a good idea! Billy talks to Alice a lot but she's not really there.
Stan had his own bad breakup, with pretty Ashley, who he dated for five years. Ashley is missing and it's a big news story.
It takes a while, but it's finally clear to me. It's Stan who is going off the deep end, not Billy. Some of the scenes have audio that sounds like it's coming from inside a trash can, and other visual or sound techniques that make it clear Stan is not in his right mind.
One day neither Stan nor Christian show up at the automotive sound equipment store where Stan is a manager ...
This is a hard movie to watch, but ultimately rewarding. My favorite scenes involved Robert Forster as Billy's father, Patricia Kalember as his mother and Sammi Hanratty as his adorable little sister Barbie.
But Stan's creepy behavior is worth seeing too, I suppose. Toward the end we finally get a payoff, along with a mystery that never quite gets resolved.
One of the better performances comes from an actress with a brief scene at the college Alice attends in Ohio.
Is it any good? I suppose. It's not really my kind of movie.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I love Stahl movies that's why i was excited to watch this one. Well,
from the start the movie feels incomplete, this guy Billy gets back
tohis town after splitting up with his girlfriend, he tries to get
close to his friends after 5 years of absence, there is Stan also
"recovering" from a messy break up and now he hates all women, and
there is Christian, kind of dorky, shy fellow,who spends his time
between working for Stan and watching TV..What make this movie slow and
boring is the bloody break up IMHO,i expected a thriller, far from
it!!! First of all we do not know the reasons of these break ups, until
almost at the end when a "loony" Stan decide to give Al, Billy ex
girlfriend, a visit. Before that all we see is inconsistency among
these people, when it comes to use common sense. I still do not
understand why when Billy and Christian found Ashley's body didn't call
the cops, or somebody else, then if that was not enough to swallow,
"moronoly" Chrisitan goes back to his home knowing that Stan is a
killer! What a bloody nonsense!Furthermore Christian had already his
suspicion on Stan, when he questioned him, about his shirt he changed
when out with Ashley, like it was something shady, why? Also what
really id annoyed me during the movies Billy's whining over his
ex-girl, daydreaming too much, i was like what the heck is that all
about???Get a grip DUDE!!!And the end well, after98 minutes of waiting
for something to happen, instead of calling the cops again when Stan
kill Chrisitan, and perhaps his girlfriend , i didn't get that part,
Billy leaves Stan alone to kill himself, still we didn't know why they
broke up only why he killed Ashley!!.Gosh what a pill!!
I would not recommend to anyone to see this movie, it is not a horror, definitely not a thriller, only a simple story of three guys messed up but reacting in different ways, not really interesting to watch for 98 min..The only thing good about this movie is the acting, I still love Nick Stahl, and that's why i gave it 2 stars.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Where to begin, where to begin? Well, let me preface this by saying I
tried watching this once before and couldn't get through it. Recently,
however, I was visiting my buddy who lives in Alexandria, VA and I
happened to remember that Kalamity was filmed in Fairfax, VA. My buddy
grew up around there and lived there for a number of years. I thought,
hey, if nothing else, maybe he'll see some familiar sites or, perhaps,
someone he knows. Also, I was thinking that maybe I just needed to give
this movie another shot. Perhaps I wasn't in the right headspace when I
watched this the first time. Well, it was 60 minutes of pure tedium
that would have been better served watching paint dry. Wait, you're
saying, it's a 90 minute movie, not 60. Quite true, but we watched for
about 50 minutes and then had to start fast forwarding to see if there
was anything to sustain our interest. No such luck. We were teased
early on by a great scene where Stanley popped Christian in the face
with a hockey puck. We would soon learn that this would be the
highlight of the entire movie. The acting was stilted in some scenes
and OTT (over the top) in others. The university in Ohio looked
suspiciously like George Mason University. And, come on, you end the
movie on a traffic signal changing from red to green? What does that
even mean?! Sounds like art for art's sake to me. Lastly one of the
characters made a crack about a "slut from Manassas." My grandmother
lives in Manassas! I need to stop here and calm down before I can
finish this review...
Okay, If this movie could be saved (and that's a big "if"), I'd reedit it so there are only these scenes: 1) Billy comes home from college, 2) Stanley decks Christian with the hockey puck, 3) Billy has one of his girlfriend hallucinations in his Volvo, 4) Christian gets gunshot by Stanley, 5) Billy confronts Stanley, 6) The traffic light changes from red to green. That's it. Roll credits.
Kalamity is the story of three lifelong friends, two of which go
through a break up at the same time. One of them, (Nick Stahl) is
saddened, if not quietly psychotic and the other (Jon Jackson) goes
remarkably crazy, pointing guns at people's heads and beating up his
defenseless friend, (Christopher Clark), who it seems was added to the
story just to push around. Soon, Jackson's girlfriend disappears and
we're left to wonder who did it and what's going to happen next.
Unfortunately, we know what happened and what's probably going to
happen from the very first scene. Why? Because the riddle to the
mystery is blatantly obvious from the very first scene.
Kalmaity is not noir and barely thriller because it never really does come up with any intensity. The movie can't be called a mystery either because we know from the start what happened. It is a belligerent story about how insane one person can go, (over a devastating break up). It's more of an antagonist based script and Jackson is not able to give any reason or depth. Instead he walks around in an under-lit daze with an animalistic look in his eye saying things like " I could kill somebody."
Unfortunately, there is really no room for our hero. Stahl looks bored throughout the movie and is never able to capture anything about his character to make anything around him interesting... He's perhaps the least active hero I've ever seen. His mission seems to be to stand around with his hands in his pockets while his best friend goes on a killing spree. Is his apparent apathy for the roll somehow connected with his character's stagnation? I don't know, but it's one of the few interesting questions the film brings up.
The bones of the story are admirable because it attempts to stray from typical screen writing but it's never able to get off the ground. The dialogue is clunky and it's surrounded by performances by professional actors with nothing to do but stand around until this anti climactic experiment ends.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I do not know the shills who reviewed this movie, but do they not
understand that if YOU FIND A BODY In the woods and DO NOT REPORT IT,
those that found it will face CHARGES???
This movie was so stupid, they find a BLOODY photo, but do they go to the police? NO! They instead decide to go searching for the last place the girl they thought was at. Okay, at least they are giving their friend the benefit of the doubt, though MOST people would have called THE POLICE!
Then they actually find a murdered body, but do they call the police? NO! One guy goes home and gets murdered and the other goes home lays down then wakes up later to take a shower....and the idiot still does not call the police!
Then he goes to the home of the murdered guy and confronts his friend. The people that wrote this garbage ought to be slapped! It has no basis in reality...NONE! If they were actual people then the guy at the end of the movie would have the police looking for him because he left his prints all over the place. What a stupid story!
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