31 DAYS OF HORROR – DAY 9

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Here we are the 9th day and I have 2 brand new movies that just came out this week to talk about. That’s it for my intro today because I am TIRED.

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The Final Girls (2015)

The Final Girls is a more comedy than horror, but it’s a comedy about horror. It’s about a girl named Max (Taissa Farmiga) whose mother (Malin Akerman) dies in a car accident. Her mother, in her youth, was an actress in a famous slasher movie called “Camp Bloodbath,” which is basically Friday the 13th. 3 years later, Max’s best friend’s step brother convinces her to come to a showing of the “Bloodbath” movies because she’s the daughter of one of the actresses. So Max struggles with this decision, because the showing is the 3rd anniversary of her mother’s death. She goes, the theater catches on fire, and Max and her friends escape behind the screen while the movie is still playing and they’re transported into the world of the movie.

So it’s pretty meta, and I hate that word because it doesn’t really mean anything, but you know what I’m talking about. It’s at times pretty emotionally resonant, as Max is in the movie with a younger version of her mother. So that part of the movie is handled better than I expected from a horror-comedy, then it’s also really funny. The movie is hilarious, and the acting is good. It’s basically an ensemble cast of young actors, like Taissa Farmiga from American Horror Story and Alia Shawkat from Arrested Development.

The casting is good, the movie is funny, it is not at all scary at any point, but it’s a fun movie making fun of all the horror tropes, kind of like Cabin in the Woods but on a smaller, wackier scale. More like Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil, and if you haven’t seen that, fix it because it’s hilarious. And if you haven’t seen Cabin in the Woods, definitely see that too. It came out yesterday (Friday, Oct. 9) in limited theaters and Video on Demand. So yeah. The Final Girls. Smart, funny movie. I recommend it.

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Knock Knock (2015)

I’m not sure what Eli Roth was trying to say, but at this point I’m not sure he was trying to say anything. You could interpret Knock Knock as one of those women revenge-type movies like I Spit on Your Grave, etc. But it’s not really that. Sometimes it seems a little mysoginistic, but at the same time it seems almost the opposite. It just has a very low opinion of humanity. Men, women, everybody. This movie is very misantrhopic.

And that’s why I liked it.

Because there are no real heroes in this movie, besides a few supporting characters, but of the three main characters, no one is particularly heroic.

It’s about a family man named Evan (Keanu Reeves), whose wife (Ignacia Allamand, from The Green Inferno) and kids go to the beach and he can’t because he has to work. So he’s home alone on Father’s Day and while he’s there the doorbell rings. At the door are two, soaking wet young women (Lorenza Izzo, Eli Roth’s wife and star of The Green Inferno, and Cuban¬†actress Ana de Armas) show up and ask to use his phone or computer. They start flirting with Evan and you can pretty much guess what happens.

But before all that happens, Evan calls an Uber for them and I just want to talk about that because it’s really cool. So the Uber app gives you live updates as to when you driver will arrive. So as the time is ticking down, the girls are sort of wearing him down with their flirtations, until eventually they succeed when the Uber gets there. It’s just a really cool way to frame the seduction.

So the next morning the girls are still there and they don’t want to leave and he tries to kick them out, succeeds, and then they come back. And things get crazy. And psycho. And torturous. And darkly hilarious.

So I read some reviews (they’re not great) online. And critics have not always been kind to Eli Roth. And I like Eli Roth. So one of the complaints was that the movie was campy and that didn’t really fit the subject matter. Now, a lot of Roth’s movies are that sort of campy black comedy in the face of highly disturbing circumstances. It’s a sick sense of humor, and I’m a fan of it. So, they thought it was inappropriate for the type of movie this was and I disagree. I think if this movie played it completely straight, it would be boring and arguably tasteless. The campy melodrama is what keeps this movie from being offensive. You know the movie isn’t taking itself seriously, so you don’t take it seriously. You just sit back and enjoy it for what it is.

So the movie is funny, the movie is pretty sick, and the acting is great. And by great, I mean everyone hams it up to the extreme and it’s wonderful. The two girls played by Izzo and de Armas are great because they’re playing many characters at once. They’re seductresses, then they’re psycho-crazy, and they go nuts with the roles. It’s way over-the-top, and that fits the tone perfectly. Then Keanu Reeves, who some people hate but I love, is not always the best actor around. But he’s always pretty likable, and he goes full Nic Cage in this movie. He pretty much yells every one of his lines from the halfway point of the movie.

The movie is so fun, so funny, and you will understand early¬†in the movie that it’s a movie to be laughed at and enjoyed. So Knock Knock. Eli Roth. If you don’t like his movies and you don’t have a sick sense of humor, then you may not enjoy it, but for people who do and for people who are tired of Roth and want to see him do something different (there is very little gore in this movie), then check it out.

Okay sorry it’s midnight LATER

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