I saw this movie last Friday, but I had to finish the blog-a-thon before I could post it. But here it is now. But before I get into the actual movie and review, I must set up my personal experience for you first, because I didn’t really see the movie. I haven’t had a movie-going experience this annoying in a long time… but here goes. So first of all, this is an R-Rated horror movie. LEAVE YOUR KIDS AT HOME, DAMNIT. As the trailers were going (including a very misplaced Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 trailer), this young kid is already whimpering and damn near hyperventilating (from the scary trailers, not from seeing Alexis Bledel). As the opening credits start rolling, the two guys that are with this kid are jabbering away to each other, and if the kid says anything, they immediately shush him, but then keep talking themselves.

But finally, after about 10-15 minutes (not like I missed anything in that boring beginning anyway), they stop. Then, right before ‘the strangers’ show up, some toddler starts babbling incoherently somewhere in the back of the theater (I’m closer to the front). I mean, this kid is making noises I didn’t even know could be made. And then when the suspense starts, the kid starts crying. And all I hear is crying from the kid and ‘SHH’ from the mother. Finally, I hear a stage-whisper of “I’ll take him outside.” So they start descending the stairs as noisily and as slowly as humanly possible… only to stop at the entrance/exit ramp to watch the movie from there, instead. She never takes him outside. The kid is still crying. Let me repeat that:

Kid is crying.

Stops at bottom of stairs to watch movie.

Kid is still crying.

She’s still watching movie.

Kid is still crying.


And she never does. Eventually the kid reverts back to incoherent babbling, mixed with laughing shushes from the mother. And so the mother never takes the kid back to their seat, but decides to remain closer to me near the entrance/exit ramp. This continues for at least the first half of the movie before I finally realize the kid has stopped making noises completely.

So I’m finally trying to get into the movie… and remember those two guys and the other young kid from the beginning? Yeah, one of those guys’ cell phone goes off. He catches it pretty quickly, so I shrug it off. I try to get into the movie again. Then the kid with the guys starts talking again… and they shush him… so that the two guys can start talking again.

All of this finally dies down… until, you guessed it… the babbling/crying kid starts acting up again. It was like Circus Babies, trampezing back and forth. So anyway… that was this movie experience to let you know how this review was affected by that experience. Now to the actual review…

Imagine the potato sack boy from The Orphanage all grown up and having moved on from shoving and locking people in bathrooms to mentally torturing and killing. James (Scott Speedman) and Kristen (Liv Tyler) have just left a wedding reception where, apparently, James asked Kristen to marry him… and was denied. They groan about for 20 minutes or so before a girl shows up asking if some random person ('Tamara', I believe) is there. Not long after, three people in masks show up and start psychologically torturing the couple.

That’s about all there is to it. I didn’t really care about the characters at all, and I realized this toward the end when Scott Speedman goes missing from the movie for about 10-15 minutes or so, and I realized I wasn’t even worried about what the heck happened to him. The acting was about as bland as Liv Tyler’s voice. But the writing was the big issue of the movie, as already implied by the not caring for the characters bit. The whole first 15-20 minutes of the movie is all about how they’re drifting apart now that the proposal was denied and how they need time apart from each other and really don’t even want to speak to each other (which is odd to me in and of itself). And then, out of nowhere, they start making out and he starts to pull off her panties to have sex.

Funny side note… around this time, one of the guys with the kid behind me told the kid “close your eyes” when Scott Speedman started to pull off the panties. Might I just relay that you’re in a freaking R-RATED HORROR MOVIE? This isn’t Kung Fu Panda, sir. You shouldn’t be bringing that kid here to begin with. If you’re gonna show him torture and murder, he should be able to see something more endearing and natural like sex.

So anyway, there is actually a fair amount of suspense that did hold my attention some of the time. But the movie was really a one-trick pony: have the strangers show up randomly in the background, shift camera, look back, show them gone. Or… have a noise in the other room, show something that wasn’t there before. Rinse, repeat. It was the same tricks over and over again. And they were effective the first few times, but by the end of the movie, it’s really old. If the poster (which is a scene in the movie) isn't enough, here's some examples of how the movie basically works via picture form... through the majority of the film:

And no, much like the other pictures, she does not know she's being followed at this point in time. And no, they never learn to turn around, but always keep their eyes straight ahead.

Not to mention the end of the movie itself. There’s all that build-up for… that? That’s it? And you don’t even SHOW it? Not to mention the very last frame was beyond predictable.

So here are a few other random tidbits of likes/dislikes:

-I liked how, at least in the house, the only music was on the record player.

-The cameraman had to have Parkinson’s disease, because that camera was unnecessarily bouncy, even in scenes that were supposed to be straight, calm shots.

-The movie, on the whole, was quite predictable.

-When Liv Tyler falls down and hurts her leg (horror movie cliché), she’s crawling around on the ground for the next 5 minutes or so like she could barely stand (as portrayed in the last picture). Then, not even 5 minutes after that, she’s walking around no problem. Seriously?

-The only reason this movie was rated R had to be because of more than one F-bomb… because there was relatively little blood, with two scene exceptions, and there was very little actual physical violence. Most of the horror came from psychological things being done, which is all fine and dandy. I'm no gore-hound (in that I need it to be scared). I actually prefer psychological horror.

The movie on a whole wasn’t God-awful, and it’d be okay to watch on Showtime or whatever when it comes on TV. But it really isn’t worth rushing out to the theater to see. The main characters (good and bad) could have been deeper, the story could have been tighter, and the movie could have used a lot fewer clichés. It was suspenseful, from the parts I could focus on, but that’s about it.

Stupid parents.

Feed Me, Seymour!

(P.S. The audience experience really didn't have an effect on my rating... I would have felt the same regardless. It was just an interesting story to add on to the review, really).

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