Friday, April 14, 2017

Don't Look Up (2009)



Inexplicable plotting and reticently clear direction makes the experience of Don’t Look Up (2009) quite frustrating and difficult, but so does much of David Lynch’s oeuvre. That said, Don’t Look Up challenges the viewer at every turn not to avoid it and move on to something else. Fruit Chan (responsible for the diabolical “Dumplings” from 3 Extremes) brings the flies and Onryu freaky eye to this film while the back story mines old folklore to produce something of an evil that is pervasively undermining the making of a gothic horror film about a Romanian gypsy (the film is being shot on location in an old theater unused for decades) who made a deal with a devil to secure the financial security with the kind of husband able to pluck her from poverty, with unspeakable results. All the devil requests is offspring from her daughter…

* / *****


A film director named Marcus (Reshad Strik) is taking medication for what look like seizures or epileptic episodes, but director Chan doesn’t make that appear to be the only method behind his mental behavior…it very well could be that Marcus is having visions and actually seeing apparitions coming to life on the set, born from agreements made long ago. There’s the sick Claire (Alyssa Sutherland), a woman in his life he cherishes and left him, dying, seemingly on her death bed. Claire’s brother, Garret (Shiloh Fernandez), is mad at him for stopping by to see her…there’s reason for this explained at the end of the film, further emphasizing Marcus’ deep psychological/emotional hang-ups. He isn’t taking his medicine lately, during the shoot, to encourage the visions as inspiration for the freaky nature of the current film. Producer Josh Petri (Henry Thomas) wants Marcus’ subject matter and tolerates his weird antics because the first film was a commercial success. The second film project was a bust, its notoriety (dealing with a house in Maine Marcus couldn’t ultimately enter during the troubled production) kept tight-lipped thanks to Josh, hoping this third film project, all the way in Bucharest near Transylvania, will recover what little rep remains for Marcus in the horror industry. Directors, according to the film, are eccentric in nature so Marcus’ behavior isn’t necessarily against the norm.

The lead actress hired for the shoot named Romy (Carmen Chaplin) seems invested in the part, a bit too invested. It seems what appears to be care for the director stems from perhaps long ago. There’s also this old guy walking about Bucharest “waiting”. What’s he waiting for? Later we see he has this bulging lesion on his neck which Marcus cuts away. Eventually the crew on set go berserk, losing their shit, and chaos ensues with Marcus a target due to the deaths that build up during the shoot…

Eli Roth makes an appearance as a Bulgarian director who vanished, as did the crew, while shooting the same folktale of Matia, the gypsy. This shoot eventually bleeds into the current production as an imprint of the old footage emerges on the new footage shot by Marcus, with Josh wanting their footage “cleaned up”. This footage seems to offer a curse on the current production, with lots of flies and the eye of a spirit haunting the location, with filmmakers being bombarded by whatever evil they contain. I think the film’s use of items on the set killing folks works better than the flies. The CGI flies just do absolutely nothing for me personally. Nothing. The eye on a screen and later seen while a Romanian crew member drags a body into a basement is pure Japanese horror cliché, not really helping this film much at all considering it deals with Romanian folklore. It just kind of seems added because this film has ties to another filmmaker’s Don’t Look Up (1996; Hideo Nakata). The light dropping on a head to shut a production assistant up, disgruntled with the outré atmosphere on set, and a camera operator dumped off a scaffold (with a matte dropped containing trees) landing hard to a wood floor are probably my two favorite scenes. They describe adequately that something’s bad wrong in the place, eventually influencing a revolt and escape from the shoot, explaining that it has all gone off the rails. Other than that I just kind of wasn’t as angered with all the confusing direction and plotting as much as just bored. I didn’t find the material challenging as much as haphazard and ill-conceived. Quite frankly, none of it worked to me. I was quite glad when the credits arrived. Just not an experience I would wish on myself again. Reshad Strik didn’t have a terribly interesting performance to me, either. His character was immediately established as off-his-rocker and there never was that chance to truly embrace him, invest in his plight because we rarely see him in a way that we can grasp his battles, feel his pain, and latch onto his dilemma. His face was tormented, and he was made up to be mentally under siege, but I could find no reason why Josh would wish to get behind him in any capacity for an overseas shoot when he should have received supervision back home instead.

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The Girlfriend Experience- Boundaries

Before I sod off, I have had this on paper for a week! Been either forgetting about it or just avoiding it. Last Thursday night I watche...

Ahs

Ahs

Edc

Edc
Blog's Dead all Over
"... perhaps we invent artificial terrors to cope with the real ones."

--host, Donald Pleasence, Terror in the Aisles (1984)

Sbut

Sbut
Snip. Snip

Hal

Hal
There are many things under the sun
---Dr. Werdegast, The Black Cat

hal1

It's Halloween, everyone's entitled to one good scare.

Jtm 2

Jtm 2

Rave

Rave

Mrub

Mrub

Gb

"Back off, man. I'm a scientist."

--Ghostbusters

sm6

sm6

Rv1

Rv1

Nas

Nas

nos3

nos3

Lok

Lok

Po

Po

Ra6

Ra6

dawn

dawn

Dracula's Daughter ('36)

Countess Zaleska: Be thou exorcised oh Dracula, and thy body long undead find destruction throughout eternity in the name of thy dark unholy Master.

mh2

mh2

z2

z2

Hiii

Hiii

Fred

Fred

Ghspo

Ghspo
Movie, so-so, but poster, cool

Enl

Enl

nos4

nos4

gm

To a new world of gods and monsters!


No 2

No 2
Jason Lives

clothes line

clothes line

Ahorr

Ahorr

Cbi1

Cbi1
Case of the bloody iris

Wsha

Wsha

Mouth3

Mouth3
In the Mouth of Madness

Fdfn2

Fdfn2
Freddy's Dead '91

Vyr

Vyr
Vampyres 1974

Sh fr

Sh fr
Friday the 13th Part 2

Vlov

Vlov
Carmilla's kiss

f133

f133

Edpos

Edpos

Ttf2

Ttf2

Jm2

Jm2
El Hombre Lobo

Psycho '60

It's sad, when a mother has to speak the words that condemn her own son. But I couldn't allow them to believe that I would commit murder. They'll put him away now, as I should have years ago. He was always bad, and in the end he intended to tell them I killed those girls and that man... as if I could do anything but just sit and stare, like one of his stuffed birds. They know I can't move a finger, and I won't. I'll just sit here and be quiet, just in case they do... suspect me. They're probably watching me. Well, let them. Let them see what kind of a person I am. I'm not even going to swat that fly. I hope they are watching... they'll see. They'll see and they'll know, and they'll say, "Why, she wouldn't even harm a fly..."

Kife

Kife
Knife is calling, Psycho 2

Meg

Meg
Meg Tilly, Psycho II

ring 2

ring 2
the ring 2002, "the tape"

poster

poster

exor1

exor1
"the visitor" The Exorcist (1973)

Conj

Conj

Tz1

Tz1
"Masks", Twilight Zone

In the kitchen, The Shape

In the kitchen, The Shape
In the kitchen, The Shape

exc4

exc4

Ps56

Ps56

Hun

Hun
Murders in the Rue Morgue 1932

Ps89

Ps89

Cof

Cof
Victor and Paul, with their Monster

pcushig

pcushig

His

His

Efny

Efny

sus

sus
I'm going to grind you down to blood and screams.

--Innocent Blood 1992
Rest in Peace, Robert Loggia

wb

Even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers by night, may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright.

WZ

WZ

Edfen

Edfen
"Do not enter the city...It belongs to the dead now."

h1

h1
Look behind you!

Bs

Bs
"There is no terror in the bang, only the anticipation of it."
--Alfred Hitchcock

linnea

linnea

Amer

Amer
Taste of metal

The h gang

The h gang

Nlc

Nlc
Old Skool Nostalgia

Hp

Hp

Smoke

Smoke
Got a smoke?

Strek

Strek
Live long and prosper

Hill

Hill

Castle

Castle

SRW

"This seems to be the place where the plot begins to thicken..."
--Spooks Run Wild (1941)

Frere and dummy

Frere and dummy

Mlove

Mlove

Alone/dark

"There are no crazy people, doctor. We're all just on vacation."

--Alone in the Dark (1982)

Lips

Lips

Fhz

Fhz

Ph

Ph

Vestron

Vestron
Vintage VHS

sm 3

sm 3

Monique parent

Monique parent
Erotique in Review

Were5

Were5

f13

f13
November 2015

Bmate

Bmate

--Wes Craven

I think there is something about the American dream, the sort of Disneyesque dream, if you will, of the beautifully trimmed front lawn, the white picket fence, mom and dad and their happy children, God-fearing and doing good whenever they can, and the flip side of it, the kind of anger and the sense of outrage that comes from discovering that that's not the truth of the matter, that gives American horror films, in some ways, kind of an additional rage.

Ms45 w

Ms45 w

Churcvh

Churcvh
The Church 1989

Ww

Ww
The Whip and the Body 1963

Lsho

"Now, no novacaine....it dulls the senses"

--Little Shop of Horrors (1960)

Christopher Lee

Every actor has to make terrible films from time to time, but the trick is never to be terrible in them.

Vampyros lesbos

You are one of us now. The Queen of the Night will bear you up on her black wings

The Unknown 1927

No....not sick. But I have lost some flesh.

Alonzo, the Armless.

Ckvh

Ckvh

Blood of Dracula's Castle (1969)

Glen: We'd like to speak to the Townsends, please.

The Butler: They are not available till after sunset.

Bw5

Bw5

Jill

Jill

Mad Love 1935

Doctor Gogol: Did you ever hear of Galatea?

Lavin - Waxworks Proprietor: Gala - who? Not wanting a statue of him, are you?

Doctor Gogol: I don't want a statue of Galatea. You see, she was a statue herself. Pygmalion formed her. Out of marble, not wax. And then she came to life in his arms.

Lavin - Waxworks Proprietor: [calling to his assistant] Start the motor, Henry. There's queer people on the streets of Montmartre at this time of night.

Doctor Gogol: [handing him his card] Here, a hundred francs if you deliver the statue to my house.

Lavin - Waxworks Proprietor: [reading card] It's a go, Dr. Go... gol. First thing in the morning.