Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Banshees are cool. There should be more banshee movies...

When watching nearly any modern horror movie you can figure out pretty quickly, if not who is going to survive, at least who will survive the longest. For example, in the movie there will be a completely useless guy, some jock who is a complete jerk, looking out only for himself. He will horde supplies or try to sleep with someone else's girlfriend. In the end, he will die, but not right away. He will be one of the last ones to die. So, for almost the entire movie you will watch the movie hoping, waiting, praying for this dipshit to die.

It's a cliche. In horror movies, it's no less a guaruntee than dying if you have sex. Frankly, if you like everyone, you sympathize when they die. However, if you don't like one or some of the characters, you sympathize with the killer, at least for a while. And, when you sympathize with the killer, you don't mind watching people die for a hour and a half.

By having this detestable person around, you can also allow the audience to believe that he might have a hand in the killing, throwing doubt and confusion into the story.

It can also be the sign of a weak writer creating a very shallow character.

However, if that character dies first, well, it doesn't exactly mean that the writer is any better.

Take Shrooms for example, a group of five American students go to Ireland to take shrooms. You have the harmless stoner and his girlfriend, the jock and his girlfriend, the blond 'good girl' and the Irishman she happens to like.While hunting for the magic mushrooms, the good girl trips and finds a slightly more magical mushroom. One that is often lethal, but that the druids used to see the future and give them strength and other mystical things. It doesn't kill her, but she starts to have visions, apparently foreseeing the future and many of her friend's deaths.

I'd wanted to see Shrooms for some time. I think it was the poster that did it for me. And, it's a watchable movie. I mean, it's better than the likes of Yeti. The actors are pretty good. Lindsey Haun (currently of Haun Solo (nice voice, boring music, 7th Fall was a little better) which I think might be the best band name that I've seen lately, but then again, I'm a fucking nerd), is good as 'good girl' Tara. She spends half of her scenes having seizures in the mud while having visions, and it's her performance that ultimately carries the movie. It's Tara's story.

The biggest problem I have with the movie, really, is the ending. It's horrifyingly predictable. And while they do their best not to telegraph it, it's as inevitable as Christmas. You just know it's coming. I can think of a couple of endings that would have been more intersting and less predictable. A banshee, for example. Maybe I should make a banshee movie. That would be pretty cool. I could call it Unsilent Night, that way it would be offensive to viewers based on content and English majors based on the title.

Back to Shrooms though, I cannot in good conscience recommend this movie. It's not that it was bad...it just wasn't good.