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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Long Time Dead

Last week's slasher flick was Austrian; this week, we have one from Great Britain. Is it bloody, or just bloody awful? Let's find out! Oh, and....blah blah blah, `blah blah blah blah.

As I said, it's British, so of course, the story begins in Morocco. And it's 1979, so how am I even reviewing this on the Internet? I'm 8 years old, fer cryin' out loud! Oh wait, this is only happening in the movie? Okay, then my future self should be okay. Wait, who is that grim-looking guy asking people if they know some chick named "Sarah Connor"? Hmmm....

Anyway, back to the film...There are a lot of people chanting, and they're all sitting on the floor in front of a Ouija board. All of a sudden, the camera goes into "Sam Raimi" mode, zipping and zooming around the room and its occupants. Oh, and there's some kind of locket or medallion that is getting a lot of screen time, so it must be important. Okay, somebody remember the locket for me, in case we need to reference it later!

As these goofballs continue chanting and swaying, we keep seeing a guy who looks like Tommy Chong, if Tommy Chong were dragged behind a pickup truck for about a week. Then we see a rather clean-cut dude(Among hippies? Yeah....), and then the title comes up. Wow, that whole sequence explained everything!

Then we rush to the present day, where 3 guys are getting stoned together in a drab-looking apartment. One of them, Rob, suddenly springs into action, and announces that they should go out for the night. One of his friends laughs as he checks himself out in a mirror, and declares that Rob is as vain as somebody named Stella. Uh, if you say so, Nameless Friend # 1. Oh, and the other friend is played by Lukas Haas, all grown up from his role in the movie Witness. Cool.

We don't get the names of Rob's friends yet, but we do get to meet Stella. She's a pretty cute blond, and she takes college very seriously, unlike the 3 potheads she barely has the patience for. There's some sarcastic banter, which ends when Rob tells one of his buddies that his aunt has a nice ass. The friend, named Liam, somehow took offense to hearing about his aunt's sweet ass(Gosh, that's a real shocker, huh?), and there's a short scuffle.

It's mostly just horseplay, so the 3 friends leave Stella rummaging in the fridge, while they go to a club. We still don't know the name of the dude played by Lukas Haas, so we get introduced to another character instead. That makes sense. Her name is Lucy, and she's Stella's equally cute friend. Sweet! At least if this gets dull, I can just shut off my brain and admire the attractive cast...

Lucy is at the club already, and as she dials Stella's number, another entity(possibly the same one that was flying around in the first scene) shows up and whooshes around behind her. She senses it, but doesn't actually see anything. When she gets Stella to agree to show up at the club, Lucy disconnects. Then Stella hears an object break in another room in the apartment building. She decides to investigate, and we get a cheap jump-scare involving a long-haired guy named Joe. He claims to be a new roommate of the other guys, but she seems suspicious.

After Stella changes her outfit, she and Joe have an unpleasant encounter with the landlord. He looks like a Crazy Ralph-esque old coot, which could be fun. More slasher flicks need crazy old coots in them, to keep the pace up. Let's try to pass that as a law, people!

The old man mentions that some of the wiring in the building seems faulty, and that he might need to enter their unit to examine it. When Stella seems alarmed by the thought, the landlord makes a creepy joke about not reading her diary. Yeah, but I'll bet he tries on some of her clothing. In any event, Stella and Joe quickly get as far from him as they can,

The club they arrive at is the usual generic techno-filled joint, crammed with extras trying to pretend they can dance to the bland music. We meet yet another character, named Spencer, and he seems to be competing with Joe to be The Coolest Guy In The Group. Oh, and I finally decided to give up, and just look up the name of the other character. He's "Webster", which just seems like the unlikeliest name ever for the guy. Why not just name him Floopy-Doo, if you're going to insist on the uncommon name route? Oh, and another anonymous-but-cute female has joined the group, and at least one other male, I think.

This is gonna be one of those movies.....

Anyway, there's a Hee Haw-style montage, wherein we see all of the characters doing goofy crap in between shots of the dancers. We see people having sex in semi-public areas, snorting coke off of a railroad track, that sort of "extreme" crap. And the music is getting on my nerves.

The incident with the drugs on the railroad track somehow leads into a discussion of what provides the "biggest buzz". they suggest mostly sex-related stuff, such as sex in public, sex with someone you love, etc. But then the last anonymous guy(I think... this group is getting big!), Spencer, says that nothing was better than the buzz after he used a Ouija board. Uh oh....I wonder what's going to happen next?

Well, they don't have a Ouija board. Geez, just go to the closest toy store and buy one...Parker Brothers makes a zillion of them! But no, they decide that they should "make" one. Even after Lucy says something about how she heard that you shouldn't use a Ouija board when you're intoxicated or high. If that were the case, no one would EVER use one!

Anyway, their version of "making" a Ouija board is just plain goofy as all Hell. They cut up little squares of paper, on which they write the letters of the alphabet, and place them in a circular pattern, like a clock. Then they put a drinking glass in the center of the circle, to use as a pointer. I don't see any separate pieces of paper for "Yes", "No", "Hello" or "Goodbye", so I guess the spirits better be prepared to enter a spelling bee with this group. No, wait, I take that back...I saw yes/no papers.

Before they begin, some ground rules are laid out: they're each allowed to only place 1 finger on the glass; they can't "force" the glass or push it; and they must, at all times, keep their fingers on the glass, or else the spirit will be unable to return to The Other Side. Everyone got those memorized?

They get the session going, and Lucy takes charge. She asks if there are any spirits nearby, and if they have any messages for the group. For about a minute, nothing happens. Then, just as they seem ready to give up, the glass shoots forward, and a message begins to take shape...

The spirit seems to spell something in gibberish, and they all let out a nervous laugh. Then the glass moves again, faster, and spells out "all die", several times in a row. Whoops! Anonymous Girl gets upset, so Lucy attempts to regain control of the situation by asking the spirit who it is. It spells "Djinn" over and over, until Liam suddenly has visions of the group from the first scene.

Liam gets upset and runs away, breaking the rule about touching the glass at all times during the session. They all seem shocked at first, then some of them start laughing. They decide to see if Liam is okay, and none of them realize that they left Webster's video camera running in the room when they leave.

The anonymous girl turns out to be Liam's girlfriend. She finds him outside, getting some fresh air, and he gives her a ring. She must have asthma, because Liam asks her where her inhaler is, and she figures that she must have dropped it when the group ended their session with the spirit world. She promises to hurry back to him, then goes back inside.

In the room, things look a lot darker. She stumbles around while searching for her inhaler, then finds it in a dark corner of the room. A noise frightens her, then another one nearby, causing her to start yelling that it isn't funny. She runs and runs, eventually winding up on the roof, and tries to climb up a ramped part of the roof made of glass. When she sees a group of people that are dancing, she screams for help, but then plummets toward them when the glass breaks beneath her. She falls to her death, and the partiers stare in shock at her bloody corpse.

The police are called to the nightclub, and our main group ride home in a tension-filled, silent VW bus. The creepy landlord is sitting in front of the apartment building when they return, and he and Liam exchange mean glares. Then Spencer tells Lucy that he needs to see his drug dealer, to get something to calm him down. He begs her to go with him, but she just walks away after looking disgusted with him. He tells her that he'll be back in ten minutes.

The rest of the group more or less head to their rooms, or find places to be alone. That's always a great idea in a horror film! Lucy hears someone/something whisper her name, and heads back inside to do some research on the events that transpired that evening. She finds a book that informs her that Djinn, or genies, are demons made of fire that can easily possess humans if they are summoned by those not trained to control them, like shamen. The best way to exorcise a Djinn after such a possession, is to "banish" it, through some probably-obscure ritual. Awesome.

Lucy decides to make some tea, and a spout of flame shoots out of the burner that she turns on. Is it the Djinn? As Lucy slowly backs away from the oven, she suddenly hears something thumping around outside. She calls out to Spencer, but there's no reply except more thumping noises. She seems to hear it getting closer and closer, then Lucy hears her boyfriend calling her name.

She rushes outside, and finds Spencer and a strange man there. The stranger tells her that he's an electrician(second time we're hearing about electrical it some kind of clue?), and Spencer gives Lucy a hug of reassurance. They decide to get off of the boat for the night, and join the rest of their friends at the apartment. How the heck do college kids afford a boat to live on?

Anyway, they head to the apartment, and everyone else is already there. There's a discussion going on over how the anonymous girl died, and it turns out her name was Annie. Hey, better late than never, I guess. In addition to the glass and the bones broken when she fell, Annie supposedly also had scorch marks on her body. Was the Djinn copping a feel?

Lucy gets nervous talking about the death of their friend, and mentions that she thinks the Djinn has been with her throughout the evening. She mentions the research that she did, and puts out the theory that one of them has now been taken over by the Djinn. She believes that it may try to kill them all, so that it can remain in a human host with no fear of being banished.

They return to the nightclub warehouse, to let Webster retrieve his camera. Hey, d'ya think there might be something scary on the footage? Nah, I doubt it. It's probably just a wedding video or something. All righty....roll that beautiful bean footage!

They watch themselves sitting down to start the Ouija session. When they see the part where Liam freaked out and left, they wonder what made him react like that. Right on cue, the power goes out, and they all start to get scared. The guys explain that the fuses blow all the time, then Webster and Spencer decide to visit the landlord, Old Man Becker. Anyone else getting a "Scooby-Doo" vibe here?

Anyway, the 2 guys knock on his door, but there's no answer. Spencer finds an open window, but insists that Webster should enter the landlord's place, because he doesn't want to get in trouble with either the police or Lucy. Sure, but it's okay to let the kid from Witness get into potential trouble. Makes perfect sense.

Webster, not being the sharpest stick in the woodpile, goes along with this non-logic, and enters Becker's(that's the landlord's name, by the way) apartment to have a look around. He uses the world's dimmest flashlight to look around with, and nearly wets his pants when he crashes into something. After some more exploration, Webster jumps out of his skin when he finds Spencer in the dark with him. After all the crap about not wanting to get into trouble, it turns out that Spencer was getting too scared outside by himself. Sheesh.

They hear a noise, and realize that it's probably Becker coming home. The 2 guys duck under a nearby table, just as the front door starts to open. Becker comes in(we don't see his face, but it's probably him), fiddles around with some things, then leaves again. After he closes the door and locks it again, they wait a few seconds for him to really be gone. Then they leap back to their feet, and Spencer stupidly flips on the lights...revealing that the apartment is literally covered in various notes, newspaper clippings, and other bits of scrap, all pertaining to the Djinn. Uh oh!

The 2 guys rush back to their friends, and tell them to come and see the place for themselves. Becker seemed obsessed with the Djinn and Ouija boards, and seemingly had every possible bit of information about the ritual that took place in 1979...oh, and a human skull or 2, just for feng shui, I suppose. Of particular interest to the group, is an article about a couple from that hippie group who had a child...a boy named Liam. DUN DUN DUNNNNNNN!!!!!!

Yup, that's why Liam is having those weird flashbacks, I guess. Then we see Liam driving, when another flashback hits him, and he begins swerving the VW bus around on the road. He just barely manages to pull off the road safely, and covers his face with his hands.

They group leave Becker's apartment and call the police. Liam wakes up in his car and continues home, and the cops pore through Becker's apartment, trying to figure out what his master plan was supposed to be. Reunited with Liam, the group sit down to breakfast, and try to figure out what exactly is happening to them. Liam, having missed everything that happened the previous night, demands an explanation about the police presence in Becker's place.

Well, it turns out that Liam thought that both of his parents were dead, and that he knew nothing about the events of 1979. In fact, he has to find out from his friends that his father has been living for years in an insane asylum. Understandably freaked out by all of these new tidbits(plus, the fact that the landlord had been obsessed with the 1979 incident), Liam storms off. Oh, and Joe is being kind of a dick in the scene, making life miserable for the group by doing and saying stuff meant to antagonize everyone. Nice guy.

Liam finds a lonely hallway where he can sulk and brood. At the same time, Stella announces that she needs to get away...and goes to the bathroom. Okay...No sooner does Stella get her stall door locked, when a loud noise startles her. She starts to cry, but a larger girl in the next stall reassures her that it's okay.

Calmed down somewhat, Stella exits the stall and washes up at one of the sinks, only to be dragged back into the stall by the invisible Djinn. We see her feet leave the ground, then her shoes getting drenched in her own blood. The girl in the next stall sees the blood, checks on Stella, and finds her bloody, mangled corpse. Naturally, the girl screams.

Lucy tries to do some research on the Djinn back on the boat, but Becker shows up from out of nowhere. He tells her that his intentions are good, but she obviously doesn't buy that after everything that has transpired. Still, Becker insists that she and her friends need to perform a spell or ritual to banish the Djinn, and that Liam was the cause of it being summoned in the first place. When Lucy still refuses to listen, Becker tells her that she and her friends will all be dead soon.

Then we catch up with Liam again. He's done a little digging, and discovered the facility that his father is residing in is called Pernhill. The man in charge tells Liam that his father has never allowed a visitor to speak with him in at least a decade, so Liam writes the word "DJINN" on a piece of paper, and asks that it be delivered to his father.

Yup, that did the trick. They face each through a window, and communicate with phones, just like any prison. Liam quickly loses his cool, accusing his father of sending Becker to kill him and his friends. As Liam is dragged away shouting and kicking, his dad seems genuinely shocked by the accusation.

That evening Webster and Joe hatch The Dumbest Plan Ever(at least, until I watch next week's movie), and decide to break back into their apartment. Of course, the entire building is a crime scene, and there's a cop outside watching the place, but like I said, it's The Dumbest Plan Ever. The reason for taking such a risk? Because Webster wants to grab the videotape he made of the Ouija board session, and see if any weird stuff happened during the recording.

Of course, as soon as they grab the video, Webster tells Joe that he wants to watch it there, to satisfy his curiosity immediately. It's a stupid idea, and Joe even tells hims so, but Webster refuses to be logical. This would only ever happen in a movie...nobody in real life would be so dumb.

Joe announces that he's going to explore the kitchen for a match or a lighter, so he can have a quick cigarette, but it's really just a dumb way to get them in different rooms. While Joe looks for a match, Webster watches the video with a pretty intense stare. Webster sees something that shocks and horrifies him on the video, and yells over to Joe that he needs to see it. Joe has problems of his own, though, as the Djinn is busy shortening his lifespan.

Webster finally gets tired of waiting, and decides to see why Joe hasn't replied to him yet. He doesn't find Joe, but flipping on a light reveals that Webster is standing in a fresh pool of blood. To make matters worse, he can't get the door open, and the Djinn is coming after him next! *GULP*

Webster runs upstairs to hide, which seems kind of pointless, since the Djinn is invisible, and could be standing beside him the entire time without him even realizing it. Oh, and there's a neat sequence where we see the building from outside, with 3 windows lit up. As Webster is trying to find a place to hide on the second floor, the lights from the other rooms are seen flickering off, one by one. Pretty creepy.

Webster finally decides to hide under a bed, and wait out the Djinn. As he does so, Joe's corpse is unceremoniously dropped onto the floor next to his hiding spot. Webster waits a minute or so, then emerges from underneath the bed to try to make his escape. He gets as far as the locked front door, where the Djinn finds him, and bashes his head into the door, killing him instantly.

Back on the boat, Lucy is told by Rob and Spencer that Stella has been killed. Lucy decides to perform the banishing spell, so they all travel back to the warehouse where they originally summoned the demon. Please God, no more techno music! No music, but as they attempt to summon the Djinn to their location, it lights their Ouija board on fire.

They all take off in different directions, and Spencer fumbles around in a blind panic as he looks for a place to hide. He accidentally causes a metal bar to crash onto the floor, and the Djinn begins flying to his location. Spencer hides in some kind of locker, and sees a blur fly past him. Then, as he relaxes, Rob pops up in front of the locker, and he suddenly has slitted, reptilian eyes. He zooms around the locker, and proceeds to break apart the back of the container, then grabbing and yanking on Spencer's head. He snaps the young man's neck, then shoves him to the ground.

Liam and Old Man Becker arrive on the scene to help any survivors, and Becker has a gas can in one hand. As Liam explores the place room by room, Rob pops up and exclaims that the Djinn is actually Becker, but Becker slams into him from behind, then douses him with the gasoline. Before he can set Rob on fire, Liam attacks the landlord and knocks him out cold.

As Becker is lying on the floor, it looks like Rob says to him, "We'll always have Morocco," which would imply that the Djinn is inside Rob. Becker then wakes up and tries to choke him, but Rob delivers several fatal strikes to the man's skull, claiming that he acted without thinking.

Rob and Liam start to leave, and it starts to look like Rob is going to kill Liam from behind. But then they both get distracted by the realization that Lucy hasn't been seen in a while, but might still be alive. Thus begins Star Trek 23: The Search For Lucy.

As he's looking around, Liam sees something in the elevator shaft. Getting the door open, he realizes that it's Lucy, who has a noose around her neck. Liam cuts her down and tries to revive poor Lucy, but she's a goner. Then he faces Rob, who has the Djinn eyes in their full glory.

Grief-stricken, Liam tries to stab Rob, but only succeeds in slicing a deep wound into the possessed man's hand. Instead of blood, flames shoot out of the wound, and Rob retaliates by delivering a few painful injuries to Liam with his now-superhuman strength. He pulls Liam's head back and takes pleasure in the pain it causes.

The Djinn reveals that, ever since the summoning, he has been inside Rob's body, using him like a puppet to kill everyone who was involved in the ritual. He also informs Liam that he's been in a tortured state for a very long time, and plans to let Liam experience that torture in retaliation for his father trying to banish him in the first place.

While the Djinn is taunting him, Liam has another flashback, and sees the Djinn getting defeated by being set on fire. Liam snatches up a lantern, and dangles it in front of his possessed friend. When the Djinn realizes that he's soaked in gas, he pretends to leave Rob's body, and feigns not remembering what happened.

Liam doesn't buy the ruse for a second, and flings the lamp at the Djinn. He goes up like a fireworks display on July 4th, and Liam kicks him down the elevator shaft. Of course, this being a horror movie, Liam is compelled to look into the shaft. Would it really shock you if I told you that Rob popped up as he did, and Liam had to push him in again? Of course not! The killer never dies on the first try! Heck, there's even another burst of flame after that, just for good measure.

In the last scene of the film, Liam visits his father at the asylum. He goes in for a hug, only to reveal that he's now the Djinn. He crushes the old man in a deadly embrace, then the camera pulls back to reveal that the Djinn killed several staff members on the way in. The final image is a rapid zoom on the demonic eyes of the Djinn. THE END

Well, it wasn't much on complexity or character development, but Long Time Dead certainly delivered some suspenseful setpieces. In particular, I enjoyed the evening chase sequence in the apartment, and the bizarre toilet murder. Not the best movie, but far from the worst I've seen since starting to do this. I'll give it 3.5 killer trees out of 5, as I found it to be above average.

And what did Long Time Dead teach me?

-You don't even need a Ouija board to make a horror film about Ouija boards. I miss you, Witchboard movie franchise.

-British chicks are mostly cute and perky, and I need to find one in the near future to fall in love with, before she gets killed in some freak accident involving demonic summoning rituals.

-England is in constant need of electricians and repairmen. Sounds pretty chaotic there.

My next movie is called Perkins' 14. Strange title, but we'll see how it turns out. See you then!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Dead In 3 Days

Well, here we are again! This week's movie, Dead In 3 Days, is a slasher flick from Austria. Beyond that, I know almost nothing about this particular movie. Oh, and it's my first movie since I had my NetFlix membership reinstated! No more waiting a week for a BallBuster movie to arrive! YAY!!! SPOILERS, as always, begin here...

The movie starts us out in a green, swampy area. We see somebody skulking in the trees, and making what looks like a, wait a sec, they're untying the rope from a piece of wood.. The stranger brings the rope up a winding set of stairs, and ties it to a beam in a ceiling. Oops, I was right the first time. The person just made a noose and committed suicide. See, I should never second-guess myself. There's a shot of what is probably the dead man's face, or possibly an extreme closeup of whoever our presumed slasher will eventually turn out to be. It's probably the suicide victim...they wouldn't reveal the antagonist before at least setting the plot in motion.

Anyway, we see a young woman limping through what looks like it might be the same area, and her face is torn up and bloody. She sees a road up ahead, and staggers out of the trees, before collapsing on the road. A vehicle stops, and the girl sees a blurry face above her, possibly also covered with blood. (It looks like there's a line across the driver's face, but the image is extremely blurry, as it's a POV shot.) The injured woman begs her rescuer to help someone named Nina.

Then the movie goes back in time, and shows us what was happening 4 days ago. We see a fairly huge U-shaped building, which turns out to be a school. Inside, a nervous-looking guy is reading a poem to a grim panel of what I guess are teachers and school administrators.. Just outside the classroom, another male teen is watching the door like a hawk.

After reading his poem, the young man stares at the assembled group, and one of them asks him if reciting poetry is his only skill. Ouch! The kid in the hallway enters the women's restroom, where 3 female students are rolling what look like joints. They all look nervous when he walks in(gee, I wonder why...), and ask him if he "got in". He hoots and hollers, and the girls do a little celebratory squealing as well. So.....yes? No?

Then, one girl asks how Martin did. I'm guessing that Martin was the poetry-reciter. Instead of answering the question, the boy leaves the bathroom with all 3 girls, and they head back to wait for Martin to finish up his oral exam. Along the way, they spot another teen boy lurking near some lockers, and one girl comments that he gives her the creeps. Fascinating, Spock.

As they approach the classroom, Martin joins them in the hall. He supposedly passed his test, but feels as if that female teacher was picking on him. Boo-fricking-hoo, dude. Grow a pair. At an assembly, that same teacher announces that they all passed, and will get to graduate, which sends Martin flying out of his seat cheering. As everyone else joins in the victory, that one student who was shunned earlier is seen still sitting, glaring at the students around him.

The students all get their diplomas, and our core group of characters get into a jeep together, and do doughnuts in the parking lot. They nearly wipe out their fellow graduates, including that one grumpy kid. Boy, I'll bet he's the life of every party--funeral party, that is. Oh, and there's this really dopey song playing, where the lyrics explain what's happening. Literally, the singer is rocking out saying stuff like, "We're so happy, because we just graduated, now we get to waste our parents' money at college, unless we get killed by some dude in a swampy forest..."

As they all start singing along and head-banging to the music(seriously...), the vehicle hits something in the road. Pleaseletitbethesonofafisherman, pleaseletitbethesonofafisherman, pleaseletit--

Nope. It's someone's dog. The others urge the driver to put it out of its' misery, even going so far as to suggest running it over again. He yells at them that he can't, and tries to make one of its' paws return to a more natural angle. I don't know why, but the thing with the paw kinda made me snicker. I mean, he doesn't want to kill the poor thing, but torture is okay to do?

Anyway, the driver drops his girlfriend off first, and walks her to her front door. It turns out that he did kill the dog, and he asks her to forgive him. She eventually smiles and they kiss, as another girl in the car stares at them. Possible love triangle?

The girlfriend, a cute blond with a pixie-ish haircut, watches the jeep leave, then she turns back to the house. As she enters, she gets a text message telling her that she'll be dead in 3 days. Neat! Somebody should make a movie with that as the title! Oh, and by the way, when do any of these assholes get names?

Blondie enters the house, and is greeted by the family dog, who probably Knows What She Did After Graduation! She and the dog walk to the back of the house, where her family is waiting to snap the photo of a real, live high school graduate in the family. Oh, and accessory to Scooby-Doo-icide. But they're probably just celebrating that first thing.

Sadly, the blond girl's parents decide to squabble on the happy day. Her sister reveals that they were fighting right before she walked in the door, as well. So much for the graduation party. Let's go somewhere else...

Next up, we see a guy named "Clemens"(no shit, I had to look it up), who is busy scooping up big, fat fish out of a plastic tub with a net, and dropping them into a different container in the back of a vehicle that probably smells like Aquaman's crotch. Oh, and while I remember this, anyone out there remember Sabrina, The Teenaged Witch? Well, Clemens kinda resembles the guy who played Harvey on that show. Weird.

Clemens' dad comes over to the vehicle to talk to him, and tells him that, after he delivers the fish, he can keep the money from the delivery to go out and party with his friends. Then, without warning, we're at a gas station/car wash business. A cute, dark-haired girl(the one who was staring at Blondie and her boyfriend) works there and looks pretty bummed out about it.

The gas station girl is named Mona, I think(seriously....why don't any of the damned subtitles ever mention the names of these characters? Watching a slasher flick shouldn't require a full investigation every 5 minutes!), and she has a quick topless scene, as she changes into a fresh shirt to go out with her friends. Her father, who is in a wheelchair, tells her that her workshift isn't over, but she drowns out his voice with some rock music on her headphones. Then she grabs some cash and heads out.

Oh, and when Mona leaves, she closes the gas station for the remainder of the day as well. WTH? Her dad may be in a wheelchair, but he can certainly pump gas, can't he? But no, he just lets her walk all over him, I guess. She gets on a motorcycle and roars away.

Clemens, meanwhile is driving around and smoking a butt, maybe looking for a place to park the Fishmobile. Before he gets out to make the delivery, he gets the same "YOU'LL BE DEAD IN 3 DAYS" that the blond girl had on her phone. He turns off the phone, then makes his delivery.

Inside the restaurant, Clemens finds the fish tank in the kitchen, and lifts the lid off. He drops his scaly friends in with several other fish, then notices that the glass around the top of the tank looks kind of jagged. He adjusts the air going into the water tank, then mentions the rough glass to one of the chefs, warning them that someone could get hurt if the glass isn't covered with something. Foreshadowing?

Clemens leaves the kitchen behind, and finds himself shuffling down a dark, deserted hallway in what may or may not be in the same building as the restaurant. As he climbs a staircase, he hears something down the hall, and turns to look. He decides that he'd rather investigate a noise in a dark corridor, rather than go up some slightly illuminated stairs, so I'm guessing that he may be about to make a quick exit from the movie.

Clemens finds a door in the hallway slightly ajar, and peeks in. Seeing that it appears to be empty, he decides to go into the room, which looks like a hotel room. While Clemens walks over to a window, a girl follows him into the room. She demands to know why he's there, then she grins and kisses him. she's Alex, his girlfriend.

Then we get some random nonsense with a guy dancing around in his underwear, playing air guitar. After that, the group of friends all go to a nightclub together. I'm just going to take a stab in the dark here, and guess that the club is called something like Der DancinkScrewink Hottootrottzen. At this point, it wouldn't surprise me if I was right.

In addition to the group, that moody kid Patrick is also at the club. He glares at all of them, as usual, but he seems to pay particular attention to the blond girl. She tries to ignore him, and gives her boyfriend a big kiss. That also gets the attention of Mona, who tells some poor kid to fuck off when he asks her to dance. That was cruel, but also kind of funny.

They stop dancing so that he can take a potty break. Oh, and I think he's Martin, which would make the blond girl Nina. I've almost got this Rubik's Cube-style script figured out! Yay! Maybe I can even avoid a nervous breakdown when it ends...

Martin steps into an ultra-grungy bathroom, and walks by a sink that looks like someone crapped in it. While he's peeing, someone enters the restroom, and abducts him. When he doesn't return to the dance floor, Nina decides to see what's taking him so long. She starts to worry when she finds no sign of him, save for his phone on the floor with the death threat message on it.

Nina finds her friends, and shows them the text message. When some of them admit to getting the same message, Nina begs them to help her look for her boyfriend. Mostly to shut her up, they agree.

Meanwhile, Martin wakes up in a strange, blurry room, filled with ropes and various tools. Martin begins to cry as a figure approaches him, but that's all we get for now. I wonder if he'll get tortured a little first, or just killed? It's kind of weird to end a scene like that before we get some kind of action.

Nina turns up nothing, and the others are just as empty-handed. She takes Clemens' keys, and drives the group to the nearest police station. She attempts to file a missing persons report, but the officer on desk duty is Martin's cousin, and he laughs off the notion of Martin vanishing. He tells Nina that Martin is either passed out from too much alcohol, or that he hooked up with another girl at the club. Furious, Nina and her friends leave. Before she gets back into the jeep, Nina sees the desk cop looking at her through a window, and she gives him the finger.

Following that, we see Martin in a rowboat with the killer. Oh boy, I think the killer's going to pop the question! If you say yes, Martin, he might even untie you! Oops, no....the killer just shoved poor, trussed-up Martin overboard. Martin somehow manages to keep his head above the water, at least until the killer reveals that the rope is also attached to a circular block of concrete that also gets tossed into the water. Bye, Martin....say hi to Jason if he's down there!

The next morning, Nina hears the ringtone on Martin;s phone. and jumps out of bed to answer it. It's her mother, telling her that she missed her driving test, but that she made sure to reschedule it on Nina's behalf. Nina then goes out for a practice drive, and nearly crashes the car when she spots a guy who looks like Martin strolling on the sidewalk. She leaps out of the car to approach him, but it's just some random guy.

On her way back to her pissed-off driving instructor, Nina collides with a woman walking by. The woman keeps going, but Nina stares at her for a few seconds. Wait! Did Martin get reincarnated as some middle-aged woman with a double chin? Oh man, I hope so. That would be hilarious!

Nina tells her driving instructor to kiss her ass, then walks away. She eventually finds herself at the lake, staring into the water, lost in her thoughts. From quite a distance behind her, creepy Patrick is just giving her his usual 1,000-yard stare, but she's facing away from him. Dude, go fixate on Jodie Foster. It worked for that guy who shot Reagan. He had a successful future after that, right? Yeah, I'm sure he hit it big soon after.

Nina pays a visit to Mona at the gas station, and moans and gripes some more. Mona decides to cheer her up, by quitting early again, so they can head to the lake. When they get there, Mona, Clemens and the others meet up there as well. Everyone starts ribbing each other, and it almost seems like old times....

...that is, until Nina realizes that she can see Martin's corpse just below the surface of the lake. She dives in, and the others soon follow when they realize what she spotted. Nina plunges underwater, coming face-to-face with her dead boyfriend. Naturally, she screams. Her friends help her get back out of the water, and they all just helplessly put their arms around her while she cries.

When the police arrive, the lake becomes a 3-ring circus. Detectives search the land around the lake for any evidence, dive teams are sent down to examine the body(and hopefully retrieve it), and even Martin's cousin is there, looking ashamed for the way he treated Nina the night she came into the station.

At the police station, Nina and her friends get picked up by their folks. There's a lot of crying and hugging, until some cops walk in, leading Patrick into the office to be questioned. I doubt it's him, that'd be too easy.

Nina goes to bed that night, but just lies there in the dark, staring straight ahead. Martin's cousin is also restless, driving around with a female passenger in his car. He tells her that his cousin was still alive when he was thrown into the lake, and she tells him not to blame himself. Boy, this is getting depressing.

Nina has a nightmare about drowning, then wakes up to find her bedroom window open. She heads downstairs, and decides to go to the kitchen. While looking for a snack, she gets snatched up by the killer.

She wakes up in the trunk of a car, and the abductor then hauls Nina into some kind of shack. As Nina tries to scream past her gag, the killer's face is partially revealed. It kinda looks like the woman she bumped into on the street, which is pretty weird.

Anyway, the killer then turns away to do something, and Patrick suddenly pops up out of nowhere. He shushes Nina, the begins to loosen her wrists and ankles. When he looks back at the killer, they're no longer in that spot anymore! Uh ohhhhhh....

They make a mad dash out of the room, and quickly find the exit door, but it's either locked or jammed. As they try to force it open, the killer is seen coming up fast. Nina finally gets out, just as Patrick is grabbed. The killer pushes his face against a window, and Nina gets to watch as he gets murdered.

Nina then runs out into the street, and we get a re-enactment of the first scene in the film, except that Nina suddenly doesn't seem nearly as injured as she was when we saw this before. The driver gets her to the hospital, and the staff there wheel poor Nina into surgery. While all of this is happening, Clemens and Alex wake up after a nice, leisurely snugglefest.

Clemens heads down to the kitchen, where he grabs some booze and checks the fish tank. He fixes the air hose again, then walks away. In a dark area of the hotel, Clemens drops the bottle and gets a jump-scare from Alex. Alex tells him to go back to the room, while she cleans up the mess.

Alex throws away the shards from the bottle, then sees a fish on the floor, flopping around. When she goes in for a closer look, the killer grabs her from behind. Alex is lifted off the floor, and her throat is split open when the killer pushes her face into the fish tank. Clemens then comes back to the kitchen, where he discovers the blood-filled tank, as well as the mutilated body of his girlfriend. Naturally, he doesn't react well.

But hey, Nina's awake in her hospital bed! A nurse offers her some assistance, then slits poor Nina's throat wide open. Within seconds, the bed is drenched in blood, while Nina can do little more than go into death spasms.

Oops, still yet another nightmare sequence. The same nurse is in the room, and offers to bring in Nina's family. Then we see the authorities take away Alex's body, and the police decide to get Nina, Clemens and Mona together for a group interview. They show them all a sketch of the killer, and it gives Nina awful flashbacks. Neither one of her friends seem to have much of a reaction either way.

When asked if they know of anyone who might have a grudge against them, all 3 play dumb. Still, it's clear that they know much more than they're telling. Once they get alone again, we finally get to hear the full story.....I hope.

When they were all kids, a very young boy named Fabian wanted to be part of their little group. Being jerks, they refused. It got to the point that, one winter day, as they all played hockey on the frozen lake, they asked the boy, Fabian, to play in a remote section, to keep him from interfering with the game. The ice in that section, however, was thin, and poor little Fabian fell through and died. When the boy was finally rescued, he was in a coma, and died after 3 days....hence the title.

Anyway, eventually Fabian's father couldn't handle his grief, so he hung himself. Despite this fact, Nina clearly believes that the police sketch looks like the father. The mother is still alive, but the cops claim that she left town, even after Nina tells them that she bumped into her on the sidewalk the other day.

Okay, so are these hallucinations? Is Nina insane? Or is there more going on here than we know? Whatever the answer is, it's a restless night for all. Nina can't sleep, so she finds both Clemens and Mona to hang out with. The desk cop guy can't sleep, so he makes some calls to follow up on a few loose ends. And Nina's kid sister can't sleep, so she gets to be the one to warn the authorities if Nina and her friends don't come back from exploring the empty home of Fabian Haas and his family.

Before they get to the house, though, 2 things happen: First, they make a stop at Clemens' house, so that Clemens can steal his dad's gun; and secondly, Nina's sister leaves their home, either to follow the teens or head to the police station.

At the creepy Haas house, the 3 teens find an open door, and enter the premises. Nina's sister observes from the bushes, then somebody grabs her. Oh well, another one bites the dust.Oh, and their are indications inside the house that a person might still be living there.

Clemens hears someone, and decides to check it out. At the same time, Nina and Mona find a shrine to the Haas family, as well as numerous masks that would allow the killer to look like Mr. Haas. And that's exactly when Mrs. Haas shows up. She has Nina's sister as a hostage, but Clemens has the gun.

As they try to get answers from her, Mrs. Haas shoves a knife into Clemens' side, In the chaos, Clemens falls to the ground, Nina's sister rubs away, and Nina and Mona run in different directions, to confuse the killer. Mona is chased first, into a bedroom. She breaks a window just as the killer arrives, and jumps through, unaware that large spikes are waiting below to impale her. Ow.

Mona still lives! Despite her painful injuries, she manages to stagger into the road so---A-HA! It was her, not Nina, seen in the opening sequence. We then see Nina's sister get rescued, but Nina appears to be missing.

That's because Mrs. Haas took her out on the lake to drown the girl. But when the maniac moves to throw her into the lake, Nina stabs her, then dumps her overboard instead. Sadly, things get worse, as Nina realizes that the weighted rope is going into the water, and dragging her with it.

After some darkness and dreamy images of the ice hockey tragedy, Nina wakes up in the hospital, next to Mona. They exchange glances, then hold hands. The final image is of Mrs. Haas in the lake, standing there for eternity. THE END.

Wow, what a downer. Still, it had some pretty good plot twists and suspense going for it. Minus 1 point, though, for making me guess all the damn names.

And what did Dead in 3 Days teach me?

-Names are closely guarded secrets.

-Fish tanks are death machines.

-If you let someone drown, try to remember the event later in life! It might be important.

My next movie is a supernatural thriller, Long Time Dead. See you later, all!

Sunday, July 15, 2012


Triloquist, this week's movie came in the mail just under the wire, arriving Friday afternoon. It's the story of a brother and sister ventriloquist act, and their crazy delusions. And it's narrated by their dummy, named Dummy. Expect some damn strange SPOILERS this week!

Thanks to the opening narration, we find out that siblings Norbert and Angelina were raised by an abusive mother who had once been a famous ventriloquist in Vegas. Once the fame vanished, she became a junkie, and tormented her children whenever she could.

That didn't last too long, though, as the mother was evicted right before she overdosed. Norbert and Angelina were then passed from one foster home to another, after a sleazy uncle couldn't keep his hands to himself. And you thought YOUR home movies sucked...

When they became adults, they formed a strange family, and learned to get by. Norbert grew up as a mute, while Angelina grew up to assume the leadership role in everything they did(like stealing, murdering, get the idea). Ironically, though, it was Norbert who was put away in a mental ward, leaving Angie and Dummy to break him out.

Angie seduces a guy in charge of Norbert's file, then mutilates him during a sexual encounter. Then she drives over to visit Norbert, and attempts to convince her brother's doctor to release him to Angie's care. Then she sneaks in to see him.

That night, using Dummy as a distraction, an orderly is bitten in the throat, and Norbert gets away. In the car, Dummy continues to insult Angie, and she shuts him up by showing the dummy a lighter. Travelling cross-country proves to be difficult, and the trio end up hitching rides.

Oddly enough, Angie discovers that showing off her "goods" doesn't make anyone stop and offer a ride. She settles on a different approach, lying down on the solid center stripe. Sure enough, the next car stops, and it's a convertible being driven by Larry Manetti, who played Rick on Magnum, PI.

While Angie tries to negotiate a ride from Larry and his wife, Dummy recognizes him. Larry humbly admits that he is from the show, then Dummy tells him how much he hated watching it. Mere seconds later, we see Larry and his wife dead, being dragged away from the road. Geez, why couldn't they have killed Higgins instead? Or Tom Selleck?

While Angie takes a picture of herself with Larry Manetti's corpse, Dummy is in the front seat of the convertible having a driving fantasy about picking up topless hitchhikers. Angie snaps him out of it, but he keeps whining that he wants to drive, until Angie flings him out of the car. When Norbert picks him up, Dummy tells him that Angie is losing her mind.

They stop at a roadside restaurant for hot dogs, where Dummy reveals that chili dogs give him gas. Then Angie accuses some men who were ignoring her of wanting to screw her, and some cops approach them. Angie and Norbert give off so many "we're guilty" vibes that it borders on ridiculous, but the cops merely wanted to tell them that they have a broken tail light. That's another slasher/horror/suspense cliche that needs to be retired. Why is it always a broken light? Just once, I want to hear a movie cop say, "Hey, your rear bumper fell off 5 miles back", or "We saw flames and smoke belching forth under your vehicle"...anything but a busted light.

Anyway, Dummy almost botches the conversation by being mouthy, but the cops ignore him. After the officers move on, Angie proposes that they should find a woman to kidnap, so that Norbert can get her pregnant. We then see a woman listening to the radio. When she switches it off, she can still hear singing, because Dummy is sitting on her backseat. The young woman pulls over and rushes out of the car, but Norbert and Angie catch her. Oh, and Norbert performs the world's worst dance moves.

Somehow they knock her out, gag and bind her, and stuff her in the trunk. The next time we see her, she's jolted awake by Dummy's off-key singing. Angie warns her not to make any noise, then they drop a sheet over her. Oh, and Angie tells her that Norbert's going to rape her soon.

The movie then briefly goes B&W, as we see Angie pull over and enter a convenience store. She picks up a few groceries, then lures the clerk to the back office to have sex, but she murders him instead. When she's done, Angie calmly picks up her groceries and exits the store. Uh, dumbass, why didn't you also grab the money in the register? Geez, do I really need to do all the thinking here?

The car gets pulled over, and Angie warns the girl in the back that if she doesn't stay quiet, Dummy will eat her eyeballs. Oh, and now the victim is in the backseat. Anyway, she makes noise, and the cop looks at the backseat, and finds her. Norbert does a dance to distract the officer, while Dummy sneaks up behind him. Then he gets his neck bitten by Dummy, and tries to run down the road. Angie shoots him twice, and they just leave the cop's body in the spot where he died.

Then Angie pulls over at one point when she sees a stranded motorist trying to fix his car engine. He's glad to see the trio, until Angie ties him up. She gets his truck working again, robs the guy, then sends the truck sailing down the road. Yikes!

That night, Dummy again tries to convince Norbert to abandon Angie and drive away. Angie overhears him, then does a Wonder Woman spin and sends Dummy flying again. When she asks Dummy for a good reason not to rip him apart, he tells her that she has nice breasts. Amazingly enough, that actually works.

They fail to notice that the police have caught up to them. Thinking swiftly, Angie rushes towards the cops, claiming that she was kidnapped. No one buys the story. The cops split up Norbert and Dummy, and one of them(played by Brian Krause, who was in Sleepwalkers) finds and rescues the kidnapped woman. Wait, did the movie end early?

Nope. As the police vehicle carrying Angie and Dummy speeds toward HQ, one of the officers comments on how creepy Dummy looks. While Angie makes one of her typical dumb statements about sexual harassment, Dummy's eyes begin to glow red. Detective Kislow(the character played by Krause) and the rescued girl then find the police car crashed, with Angie and Dummy gone.

Gone, but not for long. Kislow calls in the crash to the station, then sees Dummy in front of him. As he's distracted, Angie bashes him from behind several times, while Norbert grabs the girl again. They storm a bar, and Angie lets a handful of people leave. Then she asks a rap group onstage to play a song for her. She and Norbert "get down", while Dummy, the abducted female, and any survivors still in the bar look on.

The three of them leave the bar at some point, and find a motel. Following that, Angie decides to go through the girl's belongings. We finally discover that the girl is named Robin, and Angie taunts and threatens her until she cries. Then Angie orders Norbert to screw Robin, while Angie ditches the stolen police car. As usual, everyone forgets that Dummy is even there.

Dummy speaks up after Angie leaves, though. He tells Norbert that if he doesn't rape Robin soon, it'll tick off his sister. Robin pleads with Norbert to release her, but Dummy cautions him against it. When Robin asks for her phone at least, she and Dummy negotiate a deal: if they help her escape, she has to help them get away from Angie on a permanent basis.

Angie, who stopped on her way back to grab a soda from a vending machine, is seriously pissed when she finds Robin using the phone. She knocks the girl aside, then makes Dummy tell her what happened. After she knocks Robin around for a bit, she tortures Dummy by holding a lighter up to his tongue. Then she ties Robin up again, and cuts her hair.

When Robin wakes up, she asks Dummy how his tongue feels. Then she begs him again to help her get away. While that's going on, Angie gets drunk, talks to Norbert about "magic" that they were taught as children, and seduces him into having sex with her instead of Robin. Geez, I hope they have mutant flipper-babies!

After the deed is done, Dummy and Angie debate over what it means to be alive, and whether or not Dummy has a soul. Then it looks like another dream sequence kicks in, as Dummy finds himself in a strip club, surrounded by half-naked women. As expected, Angie wakes him up and drags him outside. She uses his head to smash an emergency axe out of a glass case, then starts to chop off his limbs.

This also turns out to be a dream sequence Dummy is having. He sits up in bed, gasping, until he realizes that he was just having a nightmare, then he goes back to sleep. In the morning, he and Angie have their usual insult-fest, then she leaves to check on the now-very-expendable Robin. Things don't look so good for the kidnapped lady, do they?

Lucky for her, a knock at the door distracts Angie. It's the maid service. The "maid", a rather large male, enters the room. He hears Robin trying to speak past her gag, and mistakenly thinks that someone in the room is having sex, so he leaves the cabin/room/whatever alone.

While Robin panics over her predicament, the cleaning guy sneaks back in and finds her. He tells her that he'll rescue her, then someone throws a noose around his neck. Robin watches as he gets dragged out of the room. Norbert, Angie and Dummy take him outside, where Dummy rides him like a horse, but the noose chokes the guy to death.

As Angie lectures Dummy(and throws him again) about killing too many people(wait, SHE lectures HIM???), she finds a newspaper article about their killing spree. After seeing photos of herself and Norbert in the article, Angie decides that they should kill Robin that evening, bury her in the middle of nowhere, then drive directly to Vegas.

They all get in the car, and Angie tells Robin that she'll try to kill her as painlessly as possible. Then, before they drive off, she decides to get another soda from the machine. While she tries to get the stubborn machine to spit out a soft drink, Dummy once more begs Norbert to kill his sister, so they can be free of her. As usual, Nobert does nothing.

Angie drives them down a dark, deserted stretch of road, unaware that Robin has managed to get the tape off of her mouth, and is dialing her phone with her face. She connects to a 911 dispatcher and begs for help, but Dummy interrupts the call. Still, the dispatcher and another person listen carefully to the short call.

Angie pulls the car over, and forces Robin to run ahead of them, into the woods. They stop at a clearing, and Angie forces the frightened woman to get on the ground and dig her own grave. In the background, Norbert does another one of his goofy dances. Then he and his sister share a kiss, and Robin uses the momentary distraction to fling dirt in their faces and try to run away.

Angie fires the shotgun into the air to make Robin freeze, then points it right in her face. It's empty though, and Robin resumes her escape attempt. She eventually gets disoriented, and Dummy pops up from behind a tree to scare her. Robin takes off again, and Dummy appears to fly at her from the branches of another tree. Luckily, Robin is smart enough to dodge and run away yet again, and Dummy crashes into the tree she was leaning against.

She runs until she finds a small town, and enters a bar that looks like it might be occupied. Inside, she finds Detective Kislow bleeding on the floor. She asks him if he has a phone, and he tells her that it's in his pocket. She approaches him, only to find that he's dead, and that Angie was speaking through him, using the "magic" she and Norbert had been taught.

Angie orders her brother to kill Robin, and he drags her into a gameroom to throw her onto a pool table. She asks him to spare her, but Dummy tells her that Norbert has no soul either, and only does what Dummy and Angie tell him to do. In a last-ditch effort to survive, Robin tells Norbert that she loves him.

Well, that did the trick! He hesitates, and Robin gets him to kiss her. She takes the knife away from him, and plunges it into Dummy's eye, causing Norbert to cover his eye too and start bleeding.While Robin uses the chaos to try to get free again, Angie blocks the door, and knocks her out.

Then Angie corners Norbert, telling him that she made up the stuff about magic ventriloquism. She shows him how she can mimic all of the characters voices in the movie, and informs Norbert that he is nothing special at all. She pushes him up against a neon sign, and Norbert gets electrocuted.

Norbert may be dying, but he still staggers across the room to die next to Dummy. Angie prevents Robin from leaving, but they have a chick-brawl, and Robins gets away again. A very frustrated Angie tries to strangle Norbert, who has suddenly found his voice. They clutch at each others' necks, but Angie wins. Norbert rests next to Dummy as they begin to die, and Angie watches to make sure they're really dead this time.

Robin travels down the road until she sees numerous police vehicles heading in her direction. She takes them to the bar she wandered into, and they find evidence that Angie made good on her threat to dismember Dummy.

Then we get treated to another scene devoid of color, and Dummy reveals what occurred after Norbert passed away. He and Angie found themselves homeless in LA, and Angie was severely depressed over the death of her brother. She even seemed to resume her old life as a junkie and prostitute.

As Dummy tells it, Angie passed away immediately after having the baby that Norbert gave her. Dummy reveals that the baby looks like a distorted baby doll toy, and then it's THE END

This was a terrible movie. The characters were under-developed, the dummy looked horrible, the soundtrack was inane, and no one could act. But that could all have been forgivable, if the movie had given us a decent origin story for Dummy, along with more flashbacks to his creation. Instead we get a rip-off of Seed of Chucky, and a lame soundtrack. .5 out of 10 killer trees.

And what did I learn while watching Triloquist?

-Apparently, today's writers don't want us to be invested in their movies, because they refuse to ever show us any kind of explanation for anything you see in a movie like this.

-When you see a goofy-ass guy dancing by himself, run as far away as you can.

-Never help someone wounded by a monster, because he's already dead, and being used like a puppet.(and Dead Silence did it better.)

My next film is something called Dead in 3 Days. Sounds like a fun time for all. Later!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Red Hook

So this week's slasher flick is kind of strange for me, in that I thought I had watched it for the blog before. But, try as I might, I can't find a record of it, not even a rough draft on my laptop. So, I guess Red Hook is good to go. Maybe I started to watch it a while ago, and switched it off for some reason. Have I seen so many of these dumb things that they've turned my brain to mush? Will I remember to put up a SPOILER warning? I guess we'll find out....

Right away, I'm getting deja vu vibes, as most of the trailers in front of the movie are for slashers I watched previously as SAW entries. Kinda bizarre. If I run out of slasher movies to watch, I may need to find another sub-genre. Rom-Com A Week? Generic Western A Week? Man, I hope not!

So the movie begins at what looks like the house Michael Myers grew up in, in the middle of a cricket apocalypse. Inside the Myers house, a little girl named Jenny is arguing with her babysitter about going to bed. I guess she can't argue very well, because soon enough, poor Jenny is trudging up the stairs to her bedroom.

She soon sneaks out of her room though, just in time to see her babysitter(who is apparently also her older sister) having a rendezvous with a boyfriend. Little Jenny heads back down for a closer look, only to discover her sister being assaulted by the boyfriend, who is in a police uniform. The sister begs her to run away, and Jenny rushes back to the second floor. Brilliant plan.

As Jenny gets to her bedroom window, her sister is being dragged outside. Jenny watches the cop stab her sister to death, then keel over as someone apparently shoots him. A few more cops arrive, and a detective named Tom is told that they "got him". Fat lot of good that does for Jenny's sis.

Anyway, several years pass, and now Jenny is a woman who looks to be in her mid-to-late 20's, but is supposed to be a younger woman on her way to college. Oh, and she's agoraphobic...for those who don't know, that means that she has a fear of wide-open spaces. Okay, so perhaps that would explain why she didn't try to escape her house when the psycho murdered her older sibling.

Oddly enough, during the opening credits she doesn't seem to be suffering much, as she rides a cab around New York City. A pop song is playing that sounds like it would fit into a "special" episode of Felicity or Dawson's Creek rather than a slasher film, but I don't care enough to mute the thing. Hey, after watching dozens of these, I'll just be impressed if the cast can act.

Jenny finally arrives at her dorm room, and a subtitle tells us that it's "Wednesday". Uh, okay. Did the cab ride takes a week or something? Is there some significance to Wednesday that they're keeping a secret? I mean, look, if you don't want me to find your film annoying, maybe stop doing annoying stuff before the plot even kicks in.

Dagnabbit, now they're just screwing with us...Jenny gets into her dorm room as the bubbly, generic theme song stops, and her new roommate is singing it while she decorates. Okay movie, this means war. *rolling up my metaphorical sleeves* It's.....ON!!!!!

The roommate is Angela, a girl so screwed up, she can't even pronounce her own name correctly. Seriously, she reminds me of that scene in the Mike Myers comedy where he says "You put the wrong em-PHASIS on the wrong syll-ABLE!" Oh, and she's a drama major, which makes her horrible acting even better. Did I rent a comedy by mistake? And did I just reference both Michael Myers and Mike Myers in the same article?

Anyway, after AnGELa gropes and fondles Jenny for about 5 minutes, she pretty much asks her what it was like to see her sister murdered when she was a child. Uh, how the heck would she know about that? People get killed every day, and the case has to be at least a decade or so old, right? It would be like someone coming up to me and saying, "What was it like to eat pancakes for breakfast on May 6, 1986?" How would someone A.) know that about me; and B.) know that about me if we had just met for the first time?

Before the movie can explain AnGELa's psychic powers, in walks Tim, the Resident Advisor. Is he also a psychic? Not in this scene, thank Cthulhu, but he was once dating AnGELa. He tries to more or less ignore her, and welcomes Jenny to college. Oh, and he invites her to take part in a campus tradition: a scavenger hunt that takes place all over New York. Let's hope he just means the city, otherwise this movie could be a miniseries.

He and Jenny have an awkward conversation, mostly because the actress playing Jenny seems to not be familaiar with her part of the script, including body language. Heck, she can't even fake-laugh correctly in this scene. Yeesh. After Tim finally gets to leave, AnGELa tells Jenny that Tim has a small penis, then says "not really," and pouts. Pretty sad when the most annoying character(so far...) gets the best line early on.

Jenny heads off to class, and a guy bumps into her, then tells her he did it to meet her. Since neither he nor Jenny exchange names, his plan seems pretty lousy. Then we see a male student handing a cheat sheet over to a female student for one of her classes. Neither of them seems to have a name, so it's entirely possible that these are 2 students who walked into the scene by accident. Better hope their professor never sees this movie(Who am I kidding? Of course he won't!). A taller student then approaches the girl, and she tells him that she's always been able to get other students to help her cheat her way through classes.

Oh, and STILL none of these people have names, which just further supports my theory that the camera was left on and caught some actual students in the shot. Come on movie, prove me wrong! (Shoot.) The couple see Jenny as they leave the building, and make fun of her for being there. Then she exits as well, and someone appears to be filming her.

Jenny then heads to a room filled with people, and tries to find a place to sit. It looks like it might be the world's tiniest dining hall, but then a snarky chick tells Jenny that she can't have a certain seat because it was the seat the girl was in right before she was accepted into an honors program. So maybe it's the world's least-convenient administrator's waiting room? Yup, I'm going with that.

Well, whichever it is, Jenny stands around in it until a table is free, then falls asleep at the table while reading. When she wakes up the room is empty except for 1 other person, and someone outside is again filming her every non-move. Wow, this is action-packed!

Jenny heads back to the dorm, and finds a sign on her door that says that AnGELa is rehearsing, and can't be interrupted. Then an incredibly attractive, tall brunette comes out of her own room, and offers to let Jenny hang out with her until AnGELa is done being a bitch....uh, I mean, "rehearsing".

Before Jenny can reply, the friendly girl, Deena, reveals that she's a lesbian...but that she likes her dates "larger" than Jenny. Now this is probably a reference to Jenny's chest, but I should have probably mentioned before now that Jenny bears an uncanny resemblance to Olive Oyl, in that she has the body of a stick figure. If Hollywood ever does a Popeye movie remake, she's good to go!

So Jenny gets flustered, and Deena starts to walk away. Deena then has words with Tim and nearly snaps his arm off, but decides to just keep walking. Tim is with the guy who collided with Jenny earlier, who still has no name. However, thanks to the IMDB, I was able to find out his name is Gavin. Ha, I bested you, confounded film!

Anyway, after AnGELa finally lets Jenny back into the room, Jenny gets teased about Gavin liking her, and vice versa. Uh, so what? Jenny, tell her to mind her own business! Oops, I guess Jenny is busy. In the 2 seconds it took for AnGELa to shut the door, Jenny has somehow used supernatural powers to instantly get out of her clothes, and into a towel. I may need that towel, I think my brain just started oozing out of my ear. It's probably trying to escape to a place where a better movie is playing...and the laws of time and space still work.

So, while Jenny and AnGELa talk, Jenny decides to stand in front of the window the entire time. At first I thought this was kind of dumb, but after realizing that she literally has no figure to entice voyeurs, I imagine that any bystander would just look up at the window and say, "Hey, why is that floor lamp wearing a wig and a towel???" Please, anybody, make her a sandwich!

Jenny eventually goes to the shower area. She gets into the shower and hangs up her towel, then turns on the water. After a few seconds, she hears something, and pokes her head out of the curtain to see if someone else came in. Across from her, another shower has been mysteriously turned on.

Now getting scared, Jenny reaches for her towel, but it's gone. Nope, it just fell on the floor. She quickly wraps herself back into it, sees a quick glimpse of someone else moving, and runs for the exit. Run, Forrest, run!

Back out in the hallway, Jenny encounters Deena, AnGELa, Gavin and Tim, all just conveniently standing nearby as she leaves the bathroom. Only Deena seems to give a crap about Jenny's state of panic, and she tries to calm her down. Then a custodian emerges from the shower area, and claims that Tim told him that there was no one in there to interrupt his cleaning. The others all glare at Tim, who may or may not have known that Jenny was taking a shower. If he did know, then he's kind of a jackass.

The movie then tells us that it's Thursday, and we see shots of a cemetary, and POV footage of someone with a camera running around. Jenny returns to the dining lounge(more like a "dining closet"), where Tim approaches her. He makes a half-assed apology to her, revealing that he merely wanted to prank any random person who happened to be in the shower, not necessarily her. Then he claims that half of the fun of college is pulling pranks on new students. Ass. Of a jack.

Jenny walks away after he brings up the scavenger hunt again, and asks some girls if she can sit with them. They wait for her to crack open a book, then they all get up together and leave. Y'know, the New York Tourist Center should give out free copies of Red Hook to everyone who stops in. The charming characters really make me want to visit the city!

Over at the next table, Gavin watches the incident. He finally introduces himself to her(and the audience...), and manages to break down her chilly demeanor by being nice. Ooh, be suspicious Jenny! No one in this movie has been nice up to this point.

Another generic pop song starts up, and Gavin takes Jenny up to a rooftop. To my surprise, he doesn't push her over the side...does that count as a plot twist? No, wait, they look like they're just sitting on a hill now....ugh, as if it matters. Rooftop, hilltop, who cares?

It starts to rain, so Jenny whips out an umbrella. As they sit beneath it together, Gavin asks her if she really saw her sister die. When she says yes, he lets her know that AnGELa has been spreading the story around the entire campus. Then he lets her know that he lost a sibling as well. They bond, and have a warm, fuzzy moment over death and tragedy.

As night falls, they decide to grab some munchies at a convenience store. The store almost gets robbed, but the cashier also grabs a gun, and decides to show Gavin and Jenny how tough it is to get splattered brains out of clothing. I'm going to book a trip to NYC as soon as this movie is done!

Back in her dorm room, Jenny is shell-shocked by the violence. AnGELa just tells her and Gavin to be quiet, so Jenny retaliates by answering her phone. She loudly and happily tells her mother how great the city and the school are, and does a very convincing job of fooling her. After the call, Jenny tosses the phone onto the bed, and tells AnGELa that she's not the only actress in the room. Too bad she never hung up the phone, though....I woder if Mom heard her?

AnGELa gets mad, and decides to do her homework/rehearsal/who cares? elsewhere. Then Tim shows up again, pushing the scavenger hunt on anyone who is unable to escape the sound of his voice. Shouldn't some of these twits be dying right about now? Normally I'd be against watching a slasher flick with too much mindless death....but come ON!

So now we get a long, unfunny montage showing Tim begging, bribing and brown-nosing a ton of people, in order to get participants for the scavenger hunt. I hope I lapse into a coma soon. I need the break from watching this dumb thing.

Thankfully, the movie then shows Gavin arriving at Jenny's room, seeking escape from Tim's hard-selling pitch. Jenny tells him that her agoraphobia stems from her sister being murdered....she fears that, if she were out in the open, she could be killed as well. Gavin empathizes, but tells her that she shouldn't be afraid to live her life. Oh, and he finally convinces her to join him in the scavenger hunt. Wow, the plot may finally be going somewhere...

It's SATURDAY. More shaky video camera footage is shown, this time displaying warehouses and factories. I hope they're not attending a bloodletting. The footage is akin to watching Leatherface's home movies, ie boooooring.

When it finally ends, Jenny gets a text from Gavin, and another syrupy pop song begins. Then Tim welcomes a small group of players to his scavenger hunt. There are about 6 participants, including Angela, who immediately objects to being paired up with a "less cool" looking student. Gavin is a no-show, leading to a great moment where we see a bunch of blurry asses, and momentary glimpses of Jenny looking upset. I'd be upset too, if I was being framed in a shot by butts.

Here are the basics of the scavenger hunt: every person in the hunt will get text nessages from someone named Red Hook. The messages may be the same for each team, or unique to an individual player. When they decipher each clue, the players then have to find the object it refers to, and photograph themselves with the object. At midnight, the person or team who gets to the last location and has found the most objects will win tickets to a White Stripes concert. Are they even performing together anymore?

As the pairs all scatter, Jenny tries to call Gavin. She leaves him a message, and we get "creepy" shots of a map with scavennger hunt locations on it. Ooh, scary stuff. Maps!

At a bar, AnGELa and her teammate are hoping that they have the first correct destination. To get a picture proving that they were there, AnGELa gives the other player's phone to the bartender, then gets up on a stage to "sing". The bartender then grabs some papers, tells them that he was told about the scavenger hunt, and given a specific song that the players had to sing. The clue is set to the tune of "Oh, Susanna", and it's about on par with the rest of AnGELa's songs. Yeah, it's that bad. Just put it on mute, and trust me just this once.

Alone in the dorm room, Jenny tries to call Gavin again. Almost immediately, she gets a text from Red Hook/Tim, saying hat Gavin is in his room. More maps and pins stuck in them are shown.

Before giving us any resolution to the "missing Gavin" mystery, we see 2 more players. This time it's the blond who wanted a cheat sheet, and her dull boyfriend. They get a clue that implies that they need a used condom. Yeah, this is a classy movie. The boyfriend admits that he has a condom, so they walk off-screen to "use" it.

By this time, Jenny has arrived at Gavin's room, and is knocking on his door. When it appears that he isn't there, Red Hook texts her a sarcastic-seeming "Oops." She sees someone at one of the entrances at the end of the hall, but they don't respond to her when she calls out for either Gavin or Tim.

At The New York Times, a cute journalism student and a nerdy generic guy try to figure out the clue they have. They don't, but the duo do find a picture of somebody they know named "Camille". Who's Camille? Seriously, I'm getting tired of referring to characters such as Blond Chick, Her Boyfriend, Cute Journalist, Nerdy Guy.....give them NAMES!!!

Oh well. Blond and Boyfriend have decided to make whoopie in the woods. Sounds uncomfortable and splintery. And possibly insect-infested. Have fun guys!

Back now to the pair looking at the poster. They find their names on a small pair of boots drawn in the corner of the poster, and a guy working at the newspaper tells them about a pizza joint chain called Two Boots. He even tells them the location of one of the restaurants, where movies are shown to the diners. Scavenger Hunting For Dummies should have been the title. After revealing so much information, the employee asks them to let him return to his work. They do, but only after he snaps their picture with the poster. Cheese! In many, many ways.

Back to the forest fuckers. Heh, I'd like to see a movie with that title. The happy couple snuggle together, and snap a pic of themselves with the used condom. They start bickering, and it turns out that she's Camille, and he's Chazzy. Yeah.

Chazzy figures out how to put on a shirt and leaves Camille there, and she starts to gather up her stuff as well. A masculine-looking hand gives her back her own shirt, then stabs her in the gut. As that happens, Jenny gets scared in her room by Tim. He swears that he never sent her the "oops", and that each team was sent clues designed for them.

As Tim gets more and more annoying, Jenny finally decides to leave. But just then, a mystery figure appears, calling out her name. Jenny runs down the hall, then flings a shoe at her stalker. I bet she's got no sole...

Whoops, first a correction: the killer shoe came from Deena, not Jenny. Together, they discover that Jenny's stalker is Tom, the officer who saved her life when she was a child. He confesses that her parents hired him to snoop on her at college, but that he only started 2 days prior. Since Jenny's stalker has perhaps been watching her throughout the week, that means that she could still bein danger. I'm going to be bold, and say that she is.

Okay, so hot Journalism Chick wants to ditch her geeky partner. They find their next clue at a dumpy video store, where the clue is hidden among a bin of returned rentals.The partners insult each other, then get to work. In the dorm, Deena gives Jenny a sealed letter from Gavin. At the same time that Jenny opens the letter, the partners in the store locate their clue.

Then Angela and her partner find a clue, just as Chazzy arrives. Wow, how is he still alive? He tries to grab the clue, but fails, and a chase ensues. Pretty excitung stuffzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Oops, was I asleep? Musta been, because now we're with Jenny and Deena once more. Deena's trying to convince Jenny to team up with her, and she's practically drooling at the idea. Then Journalism Chick and Nerd knock at Jenny's door, to ask for help with their clue.

It looks like Liberace's lunchbox. When they drop it, it opens to reveal another hint and something nasty. In a plastic bag, they find a severed finger. Heh, Gavin gave Jenny the finger! The attached note challenges Jenny to save Gavin, before he loses more body parts. So much for a fun tour of the city. But on the plus side, maybe Jenny will get to build herself a new guy out of spare parts!

AnGELa and her teammate find Chazzy just hanging out by himself. Then we see the other players making fun of Jenny, telling her that the finger is a joke. As they start to gang up on her, a phone rings. Jenny is told to "stay calm", when she recognizes Gavin's ring on the severed finger. Nasty.

They all head to Tim's room, unaware that AnGELa's team is inside, looking for clues on his computer.They uncover a series of photos that show Tim being stabbed and killed. Each picture is more disturbing than the last. As usual, AnGELa laughs, and accuses Tim of pulling a prank.

The others wait around in the hallway until it's dark, then get another text message. I guess AnGELa and the Tweedle Twins weren't on the other side of the door, because they emerge outside without being found. Amazingly, it's not dark outside. I LOVE this movie for not having confusing editting and continuity issues. Do they give out Oscars for random continuity?

AnGELa's team heads to a bookshop(well, she and one of the guys, anyway), and the larger group splits up to explore 2 leads. Jenny and Deena are going to check out a bridge, while Karla(the journalism student...I looked it up) and Roy(she says his name) break off to check out a club called Hellgate.

More shots of the map. Then Chazz and Camille's cheat-sheet supplier split up after a spat, mostly because Chazz was getting sick of the other guy's obsession with his girlfriend. Cheat-Sheet enters a dark, ominous-looking location, while AnGELa is seen examining a window. AnGELa gets her hand caught in a Venetian blind, and whines and moans for a bit until the killer approaches her. As he's killing her(YAYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!), Cheat-Sheet discovers Camille's corpse while looking for more scavenger clues.

Red Hook sends Cheat-Sheet a text asking if he found the body, and then he finds a note on her, telling him that the prize is his life. Then the "uncool" guy who was paired up with AnGELa gets a text from the killer, telling him to find Jenny, or she'll die.

At Hellgate, it's loud enough to make Helen Keller complain. Roy gets annoyed by Paula and finds the bathroom, where he is stabbed in the face while on the toilet. Jenny and Deena get to their bridge and walk around while that's happening, and Paula somehow gets there in seconds. She tells them that Roy vanished when he went to find the bathroom.

Chazzy finds Uncool banging on Jenny's door, and they compare stories. They team up, and then we see Jenny call her mother. She finds out that Tom the detective was never hired by her folks! Rut roh!! All 3 girls get a rhyming text message, telling them to get to a car for the next clue.

Sure enough, the clue arrives as they're driving. No, wait, it's Uncool and Chazzy. They try to tell Jenny about the murders of AnGELa and Camille, but her end of the call sucks ass. Still, she hears that last part, and tells the other girls. They drive to "Henry Street", which is presumably where Red Hook told them to go.

While sitting in the car and waiting, they hear a series of thumping sounds. Deena gets out to have a look, and finds either Tim or Roy(hard to tell, because the scene is so dark, but I think it's Roy), right before the killer comes after her next. She knocks the killer out, then he somehow gets behind her and kills her anyway, just to further the nonsense we've already seen.

Paula and Jenny go down a red tunnel, then find a sign marked FINISH, in front of a building where carnival music can be heard playing inside. Paula tells Jenny to wait at the entrance, then she goes inside. A screen in front of Jenny shows the other player's faces, along with images of candy and messages along the lines of, "You win! Tickets inside!"

As Jenny watches the images, she sees the camera go to a live feed of Paula being stalked and killed. Then she hears Tom calling her name, so she panics and runs. Being the main dumbass in a film chock full of them, she runs right into The Funhouse of Disembowelments. Yeah, that makes sense.

She gets lost in a maze of sheets(this movie's PACKED with amazing sheet!!!), then finds her boy-toy Gavin, lying on the ground. As they reunite, they both suddenly hear a voice. It turns out to be AnGELa, in a recording of the karaoke scene from earlier. They watch, horrified, as she sings. THE END...

Nah, just messing with ya. Chazzy and Uncool show up, as another screen shows the murders being played out. Jenny tries to warn them that either Tim or Lt. Fox(Tom) is somewhere nearby, but they tell her that Tim wouldn't do that. Then Gavin gets up and starts to unwrap his "injured" hand, revealing that it's intact. *gasp*

Jenny asks Gavin if he murdered the others, Chazzy attacks him, and they both hit the floor. As Chaz starts to strangle him, Gavin whips out a knife. He stabs the other student twice, first in the side, then with a slit to the throat. Then Gavin just calmly gets up again.

He explains that he killed them all because they had never lost anyone, like he and Jenny had. That, in his view, makes them soulmates. Before he gets to deliver a rambling speech about his motives, Lt. Fox arrives and shoots him. Yay!

Gavin sits up, in true slasher tradition, and picks up his knife once more. The cop aims the gun at him, but it turns out that Gavin just wanted to slit his own throat, to avoid a lengthy trial, and more screentime. Jenny holds him as he dies, then the day turns to SUNDAY! OOOOOH,,,,,THE END?

It's ironic, but the best song is during the end credits.

Okay, so I exaggerated a bit for effect(the actress playing Jenny is actually really cute in her IMDB photo...), but this movie was still terrible. The acting, the pace issues, the soundtrack--if not for the gore effects in the last third of the movie, this would have been a completely useless entry in the genre. 1.5 out of 5 killer trees.

And what(ugh....) did I learn from Red Hook?

-That you can have a slasher film called Red Hook, and have no actual hooks used in your movie.

-If you have a fear of open spaces, your first choice for a college will be located in one of the most open and populated cities in the world.

-If a slasher flick is filled with jerks, the most bearable person will be the killer. Go figure.


It looks like my next movie is something called Triloquist. Looks goofy, but that's not always a bad thing. We'll see....