Netflix is a very good lay, in that it will show me only enough to keep me interested while scramming when I lose my endurance. I will not watch a movie that I find ridiculous in its first ten minutes. Life is too short and the internet is too, too tempting, even the parts without porn. Witness:
Bob Goldwaith is an underrated yet frustrating director. He seems intent on taking the most extreme personal experiences and showing that dog-f**king happens to folks just like you and me. “World’s Greatest Dad” took a teen’s death by auto-erotic strangulation and turned it into another chance for Robin Williams to show his dick. “God Bless America” took spree-killing to its most rewarding targets, but failed to deliver the truly transgressive conclusion “They Deserved It.”
“Willow Creek” follows a troubled young couple on a quest to find Bigfoot in the wild. The premise is worn, and the movie’s found-footage format is wearing thin, but Goldwaith finds some golden moments in this production. The young couple is played by actors who share real chemistry and convey realistic emotion. The script allows the characters to develop and dares the viewer to be bored, even when waiting for those noises outside the tent. The conclusion is predictable, but still chilling.
“Jug Face” (not a comedy)
A stylized rural community sacrifices people to a monster in a hole. Too stylized for me to feel suspense for the characters. Tried for “American Gothic” (the TV series) and fell short in a way I haven’t figured out.
Turns “The Bad Lieutenant” into a he’s-really-an-okay-bloke comedy. No.
Stylized the scary right out of a haunted tenement.
“All Cheerleaders Die”
Lucky McKee is another director who seems on the cusp of making a great movie, but needs some one (ME!) to give his scripts a last going-over. “May” took an obsessed teen seamstress in a predictable direction, gave the story a twist, and mistook the movie’s central event for an ending. “The Woman” took two tropes and ran them together in a surprising manner, then went overboard instead of using restraint.
(Please watch these two movies anyway. McKee’s strength is that he is a great Actor’s Director. Angela Bettis and Pollyanna MacIntosh by themselves are intense leads.) But “ACD” has too many characters, no clear magic concept, and lacks the courage of saying “yes, the magic that reanimated five four people is EVIL and not Wiccan”. The only PoC is the lead bad guy, who is also the most believable performer. This movie makes you appreciate Joss Whedon more, in that he knows that horror and comedy *alternate* scenes, and that jokes which digress from a scene ruin suspense, while jokes within the scene can heighten suspense.