Revisited: Orphan

Well…what can I say.

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Round of applause to the guy that made this. YOU sir, deserve a drink.

like…where do I even begin? I’ve spend the past hour shouting profanities at my laptop and wanting a 9 year old dead so badly (even though she’s really 33…we’ll get there), that my brain is actually overwhelmed with emotions.

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I first watched this amazing car crash of a film when I was like 23 and thought I knew everything. I was so pretentious and full of shit  at the time that I categorically refused to finish it deeming it “ridiculous”. man I wish I could go back in time and tell myself to lighten the fuck up. I missed out BIG time with this one. No amount of fellini will ever give me the same joy that an escaped lunatic from Estonia with dwarfism can.

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The layers to this film are stupendous; you literally don’t know who to hate more. It gets to a stage where you basically want everyone to die because their middle class problems are more frustrating then the psycho dwarf in the tutu.

So you have the ex alcoholic mum, who has been dealing with a lot of issues since having a stillbirth  (understandable). She’s seeing a councillor (Dr. Bobby) who, it emerges, seems to know jack shit about her job ( nice, wildly inaccurate, observation of Esther… keep up the good work there buddy). Karen drives a lexus, lives in a beautiful house has a tense relationship with her husband and plays the piano to compensate her alcoholism. Fantastic

Then you have the passive aggressive cheating husband who obviously can’t spot a psycho dwarf when he sees one. he. He’s one of those annoying men who tries to act totally chilled about the fact that his wife doesn’t wanna sleep with him anymore, but you basically suss out that that’s potentially what lead him cheating on her in the first place…possibly, I’m just brainstorming here.  

Then you have the crazy lunatic posing as a 9 year old when she’s actually a grown ass woman who escaped from an asylum (SO brilliant)

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So they decide to adopt, (which it later materialises was a really bad idea). Said adopted child categorically ruines their already pretty unstable lives, and does so in the most manipulative and cinematically epic way possible.

In true “yuppie thriller” fashion (think the hand that rocks the cradle, fatal attraction) we see the husband and wife turn on each other and (surprise surprise) Karen looks like the crazy one for thinking that there’s something wrong with the creepy kid.

I won’t ruin the good bits by telling you all the amazing shit this crazy bitch does… but it is MIND BLOWING.

watch this with a loved one. they’ll appreciate you more.

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You will catch Chlamydia and you will die….

dir: David Robert Mitchell (2015)

*MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD*

I wanna start by stating that this is a proper film, and I mean a PROPER film. It’s an art house, wide angles, beautiful cinematography, amazing acting, ‘nod to David Cronenberg’ kinda film.

Def not one for the Netflix and chill.

Had to get that out of the way so you can understand the nature of what we’re dealing with because I, the viewer, wasn’t quite sure of what to expect so i feel its my duty to clarify a few things before you casually stick this one on waiting for your Dominoes.

For starters it’s an indie-flick, so the translation of that means its slow. If you have the attention span of a goldfish (c’est moi), you may find it a struggle to get into this. Now this isn’t necessarily a reflection of the film; its more a reflection of you and the vacuous brain you now have that is saturated with snapchat and candy crush and physically can’t focus on anything for more that five mins without expecting a chainsaw and multiple deaths.

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So yes. I did struggle towards the start.

It was time to put my phone under my pillow and really focus, on this cinematic horror masterpiece, which so many reviewers have jizzed their pants about.

I’ll begin by outright saying that it is visually incredible. hands down; the film is gorgeous.

An ambiance is created from the get go which I really noticed, and you will to. Everything is rich, and symmetrical and details are emphasized, and it’s really really beautiful.

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Also you don’t really get a clear idea of what era its meant to be set in, which confuses you a bit but kinda gives it that timeless, retro feel. This situation could literally happen to any teenager at any time in history, so even if you add or strip away all of today’s technology (which Mitchell smartly did…with the exception of a random clam shaped kindle), the outcome will remain the same. In various interviews Mitchell mentions an homage to the 80’s classics, so having the time-frame purposely ambiguous does that very smartly without making it feel forced or dated.

Ok so the movie is basically about an STI that kills you.

That’s it. That’s the plot.

It’s not necessarily a ‘cautionary tale’ (again, not one for the Netflix and chill), its more of a modern twist on the ‘curse you pass on’. The issue wasn’t so much unprotected sex, or sex with strangers, or any of those really obvious things they do in films to make you never want to have sex with another human ever again in your life (that would be the movie ‘Kids’ in case you are interested), it came across as more of a ‘pass it on’ curse. Sex was just the medium used of passing it on, as opposed to like a VHS tape or a letter, or any of the other things we’re more accustomed with.

Also, it does play on fears that teenagers have, so yes, sex was also a very appropriate medium for the curse. Its bad enough that you’re going through adolescent bullshit, then you meet someone you like, and you have sex with them, and next thing you know you wake up tied to a wheelchair being told you have a shape shifting STD that’s literally coming to kill you.

pretty heavy shit for a Friday night.

The premise is not new, the execution was, which makes this film very interesting to watch as a horror fan. It’s not as jumpy or gory, or decapitate-y as anything you may be used to, but its far from a comfortable watch and I am totally cool with that.

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My one main issue with it, which was also Quentin Tarantino’s issue with it (great minds), is that it doesn’t follow its own mythology. So ‘It’ is an entity that takes the physical appearance of a variety of things (man, woman, child, cat…whatever), and literally follows you (hence title) until it gets to you and kills you. Once you become accustomed to what ‘it’ is, as a carrier of this disease, you know very quickly when to exit a building, a house, leave a cinema or just jump in a car and drive.

HENCE WHY a few things didn’t add up; such as the woman in the cinema (which as a carrier, the dude would’ve know that she was not a casual woman in a floral dress), or the fact that shooting ‘It’ didn’t really work at the beach, but then it did at the pool. Also the fact that ‘It’ starts chucking stuff and hitting people? So does that mean it is able to affect people who don’t carry the disease or what? Like…a few inconsistencies with how ‘it’ functions.

And then the ending….

All in all a great film. If you’re not a horror fan, but you just want a really good film to stare at for 94 mins, this is also appropriate.

The Visit….sure

Every now and again comes a director so mind-blowingly overrated you almost feel compelled to hate them just to level out the playing field a bit. Even though not all of them are as evil and self obsessed as say, Christopher Nolan (just picking names out a hat here guys), you’ve decided by default that you WILL dislike their over hyped work, and nothing will change your mind. Which is why when this came out i felt a weird sense of curiosity and sympathy.

Bless M. Night Shymalan…hes had a bumpy ride….

Noone likes M Night Shymalan

Although I’ve never been his biggest fan, I do, to a degree, get what hes tried to do. And that’s not because I hate The Sixth Sense (i do hate The Sixth Sense), or because I think all his films are like…the same, or any of that. I just don’t find him particularly effective as a director within the horror genre…as it were.

And none of his films have actually ever scared me in the slightest.

And I don’t like that his name sounds like a three part drama.

And i fucking hated the village

So I reluctantly watched this, because i was told I WOULD enjoy it by trustworthy sources, and felt i should give him one last stab at winning me over. Go on then Shymalan…do your worst.

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Premise of the story is that two teenagers have never met their grandparents due to family estrangement. They go and visit them (I missed this bit completely by the way, because i was in a line buying m&ms), and then some really odd shit starts happening. Becca, the older of the siblings, puts this erratic behavior down to age (they’re old, and old people do odd stuff). The younger one however (Tyler), has his cray-dar firmly fixed since they arrived, and picks up on said red flags pretty quickly.

Now i happened to walk in halfway through a ‘hide and seek’ scene, and noticed that (spoiler alert), the film was being shot entirely from the perspective of Becca, thus making it…

found

fucking

footage.

Lets just clarify right now that there is nothing more infuriating then found footage. Literally. nothing.

How can you time your filming so accurately with all the horrific things going on around you? How? How did you even know? Are you that confident within yourself that you don’t mind looking through a lens and possibly getting possessed or killed at the same time? that eager to capture the moment…really? that eager?

‘fine, lets sit through an hour of this, hate it, and then write something really scathing about how he couldn’t get funded and had to pay for it all himself’, I thought.

Surprisingly though, I actually didn’t hate it.

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There were moments at the start where it really could’ve gone left with my patience. and i mean really left. Like the grandma’s crazy eyeballing of everything around her, pop pop and his shed full of shit, and that story about going to the costume party (??!). Crazy nan pops up again scratching the walls butt naked and then there’s another story about sundowning, or sungazing, or something…which i’m really glad the kids googled the next day, because i personally wasn’t buying a single word of that crap.

Once you get past the obvious predictability that comes as standard with a found footage film (eyeroll), the end result was really quite great.

It was sharp, it was funny. Tyler was played by an exceptionally talented actor who’s going to get really far in his career, and the ending was phenomenal. Very fun to watch. very sinister (shock horror) and amazingly ticked all the boxes.

Well done Shymalan. you stopped listening to the voices.