Part crime caper gone awry, part survival horror film, this 1970s set thriller depicts a harrowing fight for survival after a pair of wannabe crooks botch a bank heist and flee into the ... See full summary »
James Landry Hébert
A brilliant painter facing the worst creative block of her life turns to anything she can to complete her masterpiece, spiraling into a hallucinatory hellscape of drugs, sex, and murder in the sleazy underbelly of Los Angeles.
A twist on the slasher genre, following two death-obsessed teenage girls who use their online show about real-life tragedies to send their small mid-western town into a frenzy, and cement their legacy as modern horror legends.
Sadly, another well made film by Mickey Keating that is ultimately disappointing (following Darling and Carnage Park and POD - but that was a super low budget first film so the positives outweighed the negatives in that case). Keating has an excellent visual eye, and this film is nothing if not a testament to the skills of it's editing, but it is all in the service of absolutely nothing. And even though I personally prefer films that are intelligent, offer new insights and observations within their genre, and approach their subjects with depth, I can still sit back and enjoy movies that seek only to entertain. And during the first half hour of this film I was willing to cut it a lot of slack, even though it announced its conspicuous lack of depth with the line "There ain't no why to evil" and a faceless narrator whose ramblings skirt perilously close to "crap happens". But regardless of the "hook" the film hangs it's narrative on there is no story to speak of and no characters of any depth or real interest even though many of them are given monologues that frequently serve no purpose except adding to the run-time. Keating is too influenced by other directors so there are extended sequences of figures dancing against black or performing old songs in the white light of a stage spotlight (thank you Mr. Lynch) or too-sleazy characters (a totally unbelievable police officer) who gets to have a lengthy, profanity laced monologue saying nothing worth listening to and punctuated by beating another character (an attempt at Tarantino?).
Plot? Narrative? Follow-through? Anything??? He doesn't even develop the idea he started with as his hook. You watch the film without engagement, succumbing to frustration that you wasted your time and the director wasted an opportunity to make a good film. And at the end everything dribbles away and we're supposed to see that as clever because the unseen and omnipotent narrator apologizes if it was all "too ambiguous". Keating obviously needs to spend more time re-writing and polishing his screenplays (or find himself a co-writer who will push him toward creative AND coherent), but there is still no reason for the slew of improbabilities and impossibilities that litter the film even if the director's excuse would be "it's supposed to be stylized", such as a character doused in gasoline who wrestles with another man holding a lit cigarette, before taking out a lighter and using it to ignite even more gas - all without attracting a spark. And tossing the fingerprint-laden metal lighter into the fire. Those fingerprints would remain. Or the fact that the same record album contains stylistically divergent music by completely different artists, or an officer is going door to door at 4:30 in the morning and greets a woman with "I hope I didn't wake you". And that same officer's hair (especially if it's a period film as all the accouterments suggest), and the way characters react around a very public crime scene etc etc etc. This film is almost enough to make me give up on Mr. Keating eventually producing a successful film. But I have nothing, if not hope; which is why I turned this on in the first place.
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