ARTS / ENTERTAINMENT
Reviews of movies, tv shows and ssbbw/bbw art and artists
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Jeff's Review Corner
With the advent of the internet and rise in popularity of video hosting sites like Youtube, new avenues have been opened to the indie creators of the world. At last, the low-budget, amateur content creators can make their own movies and get them free publicity outside the Hollywood system. It's just a shame so much of it looks low-budget and amateurish too. Just in time for February and the season of love - I present a look at an indie horror film. What? It makes perfect sense to me!
Today's Film - "The Slender Man"
This indie film project debuted early 2013, and never really took off. I feel that's a shame because I see no reason why I ought to be the only one to suffer. For context, the titular "Slender Man" is a commonplace internet-borne monster, characterized by a very tall, very thin humanoid monster, clad in suit and tie. Oh, but it has no face and tentacles. Kind of a thing. The mythos surrounding him is unclear at its best, and is thus open to interpretation - so the movie has its own take on things as well.
The film opens up promisingly enough, a father and son playing catch in a field near the woods. Something goes wrong and the boy goes missing in said woods. When I saw that, I was pretty intrigued so I decided to watch the whole thing through. Then all Hell broke loose. The main characters are Emma and Jace, a pair if siblings (none of this is explained clearly until the end of the film) who record the events in first-person shaky cam. Oh, the joy and the glory. Halfway through this hour-18-minute feature, I felt the onset of a headache because of that. Unfortunately, the siblings are our main characters. It's unfortunate because they're both stupid, unlikable and every time Emma screams (far too often, especially in the third act) I felt the evil power of Satan himself stabbing itself through my ear drums. As soon as they started talking, I was begging Slendy to show up and kill them both. They go to help clean out their dad's old home after his passing and they (very poorly) justify the POV cam methodology because Emma needs to make a "documentary". A documentary on a family member dying pretty much makes you the worst human being alive, and the movie even calls her on this to no avail. This gets shot in the foot when she claims it needs to be only 15 minutes long, which she grossly exceeds over the rest of the film.
At this point, all coherency is lost as the plot skips around randomly between some doctor who's contribution to the film is a grand sum of nothing, a private investigator who only turns up to do something in the last 15 minutes of the film, some lady who shows up purely to exposit about the titular monster, some guy who kidnaps kids to sacrifice to ol' Slendy - who I assume is the antagonist, but seeing as he barely has any screen time or established arc, I'm merely guessing on this point. Way to ruin the extremely limited credibility you established by doing that whole "found footage" thing, movie. In fact, there's several scenes where the camera is supposed to be sitting on a chair or floor but is clearly being held too high and more than once, the camera man's hands show up on the lens! Not that said finger was breaking up the pulse-pounding action exactly - the acting ranges from decidedly mediocre to the standards of Ed Wood Jr. Not helped when the script is just this inexcusably bad, including a 10 minute bloc towards the finale where the dialog consists entirely of the same lines repeated over and over again. Oh, and the private I.? He walks around with one hand on his gun and his finger on the trigger - two very big no-nos that a man who was allegedly a cop at one point would know better than. Again, the POV shot becomes a hindrance when everyone is trying to act and carry a bulky camera at all times. If you want to take someone out of a movie's plot, I can think of no faster way. Thank you, Cloverfield, for popularizing this technique - without you, I might have been able to enjoy cinema again.
Taking me out of the movie further is the fact that this movie was SO low-budget they couldn't get a wind sock for the camera microphone. Even rookies know that if you can't do that, you overdub the film later so I don't have to hear static every time the wind picks up. Oh, speaking of the audio, there's no sound mixing. Volume randomly jumps up to obnoxiously high to near-mute with no rhyme, reason or warning. Thankfully, you can just mute the whole thing since there's nothing in the film actually worth hearing. In particular, near the end when Emma will not shut her mouth and just screams the entire time, which frankly is far more sinister than the Slender Man himself.
The only particularly INTERESTING aspect is the story tries to give Slendy some kind of motivation, tying into Germanic folklore to the myth of Der Grosseman (wrongly referred to in the movie as "Grobe Man") about a man who lost his child gone mad, blackmailing other parents into sacrificing children to him so he could create a homunculus child from the parts before he'd return a select few. This pays off in exactly zero ways, since we never actually SEE Slendy make good on this threat/promise. Also, he's supposedly been doing this for hundreds of years - you have enough parts now, Slendy, you hoarder.
Another thing that makes no sense is that the Slender Man takes an interest in Jace and Emma fairly early in the film simply because Emma googled his name. He even appears right before a jump cut behind them but we see in the very next instant nothing comes of it, nor the other repeated times they meet until the very end. The entire first act tries so hard to build up tension and drama that it's laughable, but when you make everyone so useless and dispensable, I can't find it in myself to care about their fates.
In fact, it's pretty safe to say everything wrong with the film stems from trying to copy the elements of Marble Hornets - a popular Slender Man story found on Youtube - and some of the Slender-based games. The POV camera was a bad idea, the multiple characters who do nothing was a bad idea, the lack of any kind of cohesive narrative until 50 minutes in was a bad idea, the ridiculously long spans of sheer dead air staring at a dark screen was a bad idea, allowing Emma to make noise was a bad idea.
Everything about the movie was BAD, excepting the special effects on Slendy himself, who spends way too much time doing nothing instead of killing everyone like a good supernatural horror. Those effects are actually pretty decent, for what the movie ends up being.
All in all? Give this one a pass.
Written by: Jeff M.
If you spend any time on the internet you may have already seen the video clip below. If not, watch it and get a smile on your face.
"I started out wanting to be an actress. I have a degree in theatre studies. I had this grand dream of being the kind of actress that changed the industry but I got discouraged when I couldn't seem make a dent in local theater in someplace as small as Columbus,Ohio. In college though, I was lucky enough to take some performance art classes and that is where I first saw performance poetry (or "spoken word" as most people call it). I have always written but was pretty secretive about it. I started attending a local open mic and slam just to watch and after a year I read my first poem on the open mic and that quickly escalated into focusing more on writing and then into competing in slams and then, after being cast as a psychiatrist for like the 3rd time I quit acting and focused primarily on poetry. I have always been someone who processes emotions and reactions on a bit of delay and writing has been a big way for me to do that. Performance poetry has been a way for me to go back to hard moments and say what I wish I had said or to unpack my feelings about something."
"The poem 10 Honest Thoughts on Being Loved by a Skinny Boy was written on a bus on my way to Chicago. I had been with my boyfriend at the time for about 7 months at that point this relationship (my first with a thin man) had me experiencing some insecurities that I did not even know I had, as I have always considered myself pretty confident and comfortable and I really needed to unpack where these feelings were coming from before I sabotaged the relationship in someway. I had no idea it would resound with people but I am very happy that it did. I get a lot of emails now where people say they feel less alone because of the piece-I feel less alone with these thoughts as well and I am so grateful for that connection. I think that because of the society we live in where we are blasted constantly with a "standard" of beauty that people often walk around worried that someone will come along and point out our insecurities or perceived flaws and so we're all walking around in some kind of denial and hoping no one notices or at the very least doesn't call out the fact that we aren't living up to this ridiculous standard (which I could go on about for pages) but if we just own these supposed flaws and love them as part of ourselves they aren't weapons anymore."
Written and submitted by: Rachel Wiley
You can learn more about Rachel at her website and blog Rachel Wiley - Poet, Performer, Force of Nature
BBW/SSBBW/BHM TORONTO BASH 2014
Hey everybody! Welcome to Club Curvalicious! This is a place where BBW's and BHM can find a place to be themselves and meet like-minded people.
We are holding a BASH here in Toronto (Ontario, Canada) from September 25th - September 28th, 2014 (inclusive). Check out our webiste (http://www.clubcurvalicious.com/) for more information. Please don't hesitate to contact us for any questions or clarifications!
Club Curve Nation - Curve Nation First Annual Plus Size Expo 2014 - Hosted by Rosie Mercado
July 11th - 13th, 2014
International Palms Resort & Conference Center
Visit website (http://www.clubcurvenation.com/#!expo-2014/c18yv) for more info.
"No matter how love sick a woman is, she shouldn't take the first pill that comes along."
"Never go to bed mad -- stay up and fight."