Monday, December 30, 2013

Favorites of 2013

This year was a great year for me and my DVD player, we got to enjoy countless hours together, chilling.  I’ve never really kept track of whether it was a good year for horror movies, because I’d never really set out to watch as many as possible.  Over the course of 2013 I watched tons of current year movies, but also ones from the past that I’d never even heard of.

After visiting many of your blogs and using the good old google search key, I realized there’s a whole world out there that I’d never known about.  I’m so happy that I don’t have to depend on movies reaching the theaters to watch them.

Here are the movies I talked about in 2013 (starting in September).

Martyrs (2008) was one of the first movies I bought on recommendation from blogs, searches, and lists.  I can’t even begin to tell you how blown away I was, the story was superb and the director really hit a home run.  I can’t believe I’d never heard of it before, but I guess raising two baby’s means I spend a lot of time on the Disney Channel.  So as far as the best movie I saw this year, I have to give it to Martyrs.  That movie’s a game changer.

So the new stuff, oh yes were there some great new movies this year.  I have to give my favorite award to American Mary.  It’s so fresh, so sleek, and so entertaining.  I have to give an honorable mention to Contracted, I know not everyone loves this movie but sometimes you like what you like = and I LIKE it.

I did manage to watch a few things that didn’t live up to my expectations - well actually maybe they did (because they weren’t high).  I have a chip on my shoulder as far as what makes it to the theaters and gets lots of hype.  Perhaps it colors by view, so there’s quite a few I saw in the theater that didn’t impress me.  Now does this mean I thought they were bad?  No, it doesn’t.  I think most of these are just not my style. 

The movies that didn’t float my boat in 2013 - The Conjuring, You’re Next, Mama, Evil Dead, and Maniac, just not my style.

I don’t really ever think a horror movie is bad, when I think bad I think someone forcing me to watch something that they intentionally made crappy in order to torture me.  I think a lot of work goes into every movie, even ones I don’t particularly like.  There were quite a few movies I watched that I would never recommend to anyone else unless they enjoy horror no matter the end product – but really if I think about it, the more movies I see (even the bad ones) the more I ultimately enjoy those random gems that come along each year.

Bravo to all the writers, directors, screen writers, and make-up artists. I bow down to the folks that venture off to make horror movies – You’re living your dream, and I can’t imagine the work it takes.  I will continue to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Here's to the Horror of  2013, bring on 2014!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Compliance (2012)

Director – Craig Zobel
Writers – 
Craig Zobel
Production Company – Bad Cop Bad Cop Productions, Dogfish Pictures, Muskat Filmed Properties
Stars – Ann Dowd, Dreama Walker

Compliance isn’t exactly a horror movie, unless you take into account that this really happened, and happened a lot.  Compliance follows a particular incident that happened in Mount Washington Kentucky, where a prank caller posing as a police officer, manages to talk quite a few people into doing crazy things all in the name of following authority.  I think it's OK to go into this movie knowing the whole story, but spoilers are to follow.

Ann Dowd plays Sandra, the restaurant manager, receives a prank call from a man impersonating a police officer.  Sandra is under some intense pressure throughout the movie to keep her restaurant running but also field this phone call.  Sandra’s being told that one of her workers has stolen from a customer that day.  She will be asked to assist the “police officer”over the phone.


Becky played by Dreama Walker is the naive teenager who is accused of the theft and brought to a back room, where her life’s about to change.  The caller demands that employees search Becky. She’s brought into an office and ordered to remove her clothes.  Sandra is slightly reluctant while performing the strip search, but is almost romanced by the prank caller into complying with his demands.

Many other people will participate at various points in the movie, but none are worse than Sandra’s fiancĂ©.  Van is asked to drive into the restaurant to help Sandra with the situation. Van doesn’t even work there, but the prank caller wants a male to watch Becky, one that Sandra trusts.  What follows are two hours of utter disbelief for me, Becky is searched over by Van in very demeaning ways, and it will all end with an implied full on sexual assault – and Van leaving the restaurant saying he’s done something bad. Sandra throughout the movie remains unaware of just how far the prank has gone concerning Van.

Eventually a maintenance man is brought in to watch Becky, after Van rushes out.  He actually refuses to comply with the caller, and that’s when everyone becomes aware that they’ve been duped. 

End Spoilers

If I would have seen this movie and not have known it was actually based on truth I would have thought the story was really out there, and honestly, might have written off the movie. Knowing it’s based on truth I can really say I enjoyed this film immensely.  The cast is top notch, it’s filmed beautifully, and the music is atmospheric.  I felt like I was trapped in that room with Becky, and this whole time the rest of the place is just booming with regular patrons enjoying their food.

I highly recommend this movie, and think if you go in knowing it’s based on truth, it makes it even more enjoyable...except you might be yelling at the screen a few times!  

More info on the actual case HERE & HERE

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Here Comes the Devil (2013)

Director – Adrian Garcia Bogliano
Writers – 
Adrian Garcia Bogliano
Production Company – MPI Media Group, Morbido Films, Salto de Fe Films
Stars – Laura Caro, Francisco Barreiro

Have you ever watched a movie and you know it’s not a masterpiece, but for some reason you still like it?  I think I would place this movie in that category.  There’s stuff missing that could have made it killer with a capital K, but I still really dug it as far as horror movies go.

Here Comes the Devil has a pretty simple concept.  Two parents are on vacation with their kids, and being kids they want to go explore a mountainous area on their own.  While exploring the kids go missing for 24 hours or so, but are soon reunited with their desperate parents.  When the family returns home things start to change, the kids are different, and the parents aim to find out what’s happening to them.

So that’s the basic story plot, and now the director/writer Adrian Garcia Bogliano gets to fill in the details.  Here Comes the Devil looks great, I wish I had the fancy words to describe his vision but I’m no film student.  Besides the gritty backdrop of Mexico, and luscious colors the city provides, Adrian also has a real style of filming.  Adrian often zooms in on faces at odd angles which I really liked, and he also tends back up quickly after the zoom in.  I liked this quirky little signature of his.  I’ve not seen any of his other movies so I’m not sure if this is new, or what he’s known for.

The soundtrack is absolute perfection and timed perfectly for overall affect.  It’s something that really stood out to me.  It all flows together with the film so wonderfully.  The music sounds, like the movie looks – if that makes any sense to anyone!

This movie is OnDemand currently, don’t read any further if you don’t want to be FULLY Spoiled.  If you’ve already watched it let me know what you think.


So the details, the beginning of the movie shocked me a bit.  We open with two younger females having sex in a house.  I was reading someone else’s view on this scene and why did Adrian have to include such graphic sex, and one of the commenter's posed the question “would you be so shocked and questioning this scene it if it were a girl and guy having sex?” You know what, I probably wouldn’t have - so I’m taking what that commenter said to heart, it’s not really shocking it’s just not what I’m used to seeing.

The two girls have a conversation that lightly ties into the rest of the movie, sets a tone, they are interrupted by a knock on the door.  One girl goes to answer and she’s met by the most prolific serial killer in Mexico’s history (well you find that out later).  When our killer shows his face, it’s all devil.  He doesn’t look quite human.  This brings up one of my first questions, was he already changed into a devil like being or is he the person that starts our chain of events?  Our killer escapes the house after being injured, he ends up going to a mountainous area and dying there – yes the same place the kids eventually get lost in.

Now we go to a more present time where you meet the parents and kids, who are our main characters.  Sara the daughter gets her first period while the family is exploring.  Her mother, Sol, played by Laura Caro takes her to a gas station to sort everything out.  While Sara is cleaning up they’re spied in the bathroom by a creepy man outside, Lucio.  Sol takes notice of the stare down he’s giving them and scares him away.  Lucio is a local who many people find strange in the town, he’s apparently obsessed with the surrounding mountains and caverns.  At this point Sol doesn’t really know that, she only knows Lucio is paying her and Sara way to much attention.

The kids eventually go off on their own for a little exploration of the mountains, their parents stay behind and get hot and heavy in the car.  Let me say the conversation had between Sol and Felix (dad) is quite graphic!  I was little surprised, but while graphic it comes off pretty standard in the dirty talk department.  So while shocking, I feel it was only shocking because normally sexy talk in movies is so, well, pretty. There’s nothing pretty about Sol and Felix’s dirty talk!  Might I also mention that while Felix is “handling” Sol, we get nice little shots of the cave which happens to be the same shape as Sols…coincidence?  Perhaps, I tend to read into things sometimes.

Hours later the kids haven’t returned. Felix makes a short run to where the kids went but he doesn’t find them, though he does pass a red truck.  Sol and Felix contact the police and wait in a nearby hotel for news.  They get into your normal this is your fault quibbles and eventually rest until morning - except for an unexplainable earthquake felt by Felix in the middle of the night.

Thankfully the kids are returned to them in the morning, the family is ecstatic and return home.  The kids start behaving differently though, and the parents have them visit doctors and psychologists.  During some of these visits things keep piling up, and everything is pointing to something very traumatic having happened to the kids – but they’re not talking really.  At home strange things are also starting to happen, you get some strange sounds and flickering lights.  Things that make the parents pause, but no leap straight to a supernatural explanation of why the kids are behaving oddly.

During a psychologist visit the kids are asked to draw pictures of what they remember, and they both draw very similar things – except for one small item that sparks a memory for Felix – a truck.  Here’s where things get really shocking.  Felix remembers a truck he saw when he went to search for his kids, so the whole family goes to stalk this vehicle down, since they believe this person might have information on what happened to the children.

One of the scariest scenes to me is when they finally find the vehicle and its owner. It’s Lucio, as soon as Sol sees Lucio she’s disgusted as she remembers how he looked her and Sara up and down in the creepiest of manners – the kids also start flipping out and screaming as they see Lucio, this really hammers it home to the parents that Lucio must have something to do with why their children are so off now.

Revenge time, it’s always nice to see mild mannered parents circumvent the law and take things into their own hands.  It’s what most parents say they’ll do if they ever find out their children were harmed in some way, the thing is you should really make sure you’re right.   This is one twisted little scene.  During all of this the kids are left with a sitter, who they promptly scar for life.

The kids keep up the odd behavior so momma bear decides she needs to follow them to school, except that’s not where they’re going.  The kids have been skipping school and traveling back to the cave where they were lost.  Mom see’s this but she doesn’t tell dad, this is a slight flaw to me but the the filmmaker does hint that the mother’s leaning towards a supernatural explanation over a straightforward one like the dad.

Now to the goods, the part that had me super excited for this movie.  Mom visits the cave on her own one day, and she finds the bodies of her two children inside, dead.  I mean dead as in they died the day they went missing. The children in her home are not hers.  *Chills*, totally dig on this little twist.

Sol returns back home and decides to take care of the children, by take care I mean drug and gas them.  I love how Sol didn’t come home to confront, she simply took things into her own hands – still shocking though.

Sol calls Felix to meet her at the cave. He’s completely unaware of what his wife’s done.  She shows him to where his children’s bodies are and well things don’t go well for Sol.  Felix kills his wife thinking she’s murdered the children, and she did, but certainly not the real ones dead in the cave.  Felix then kills himself.

Shortly after, Felix and Sol emerge from the cave, and drive off = Brilliant!  The cycle continues.  Something cute that I caught about this scene – in the beginning of the movie Felix is teaching his son how to drive and his son keeps having issues with learning.  When Felix drives off with Sol, after they emerge from the cave, he’s driving like his son.  So does this mean Felix is now some sort of devil incarnation of the son?  Just something I spied, did anyone else catch this?

So what was this movie missing?  There’s not any background given on that serial killer from the first scene.  I was confused as to whether he had already “changed” via the cave, or if he was perhaps still human - and then died in the cave, transferring to the children?  I’d love that cleared up, though it doesn’t totally kill it for me.

There's also no information on how this infestation of the person presents itself, what is the overall need and want of the “person” that comes back?  We don’t really get a lot of that, we hear about the children’s odd behavior but we don’t really know why they’re doing the things they’re doing?  Why did the kids float?  Was this purely “the devil” or was it pieces of the person who died before?  Lots of questions!

End Spoilers

Overall this is one of those movies that I really liked because of how fresh it felt, but I do see lots of room for improvement.  I’d love to give it a second look, but I have to fit in my horror movie watching between taking care of two kids….who can’t watch horror movies.

I’d love to hear others thoughts and takes on this movie, have you seen it?  What did you think?

Friday, December 13, 2013

Megan is Missing (2011)

Director – Michael Goi
Writers – Michael Goi
Production Company – Trio Pictures
Stars – Rachel Quinn, Amber Perkins

Megan is Missing is a movie about two best friends who end up missing after being targeted by an online predator. Megan is a 14 year old popular girl at her school, though she’s popular for all the wrong reasons. She’s sexually active, partying, yet still seems to maintain excellent grades at her High School.  Megan has an oddball best friend named Amy, 13.  Amy is reserved and not well liked by Megan’s partying crowd.  The two form a very tight relationship though, Megan needs a true friend who doesn’t use her and Amy is drawn to Megan’s outgoing personality and ability to navigate life on the popular side.

The whole movie is made up of found footage and videos of the girls talking to each other via skype, I have to say that I was caught off guard with all the frank talk of sex between the teens like it was no big deal.  I think that’s because I’m 35 and their 13/14….I was thinking to myself please tell me kids these days don’t rattle off talk like this at 13/14 and please dear lord never let my daughter do these types of things! I bet a lot of teens are like this though, so while it shocked me I bet it’s not too far from the truth (yes I do realize not all kids are like this).  You are also presented with reasons throughout the film that give you a little look into why Megan is so “free” with herself – disturbing too.

Megan is played by Rachel Quinn, I feel her acting throughout the film came off as very believable.  Like I said there’s a lot of each of the girls talking directly into cameras while they’re skyping and I felt she was very natural and bubbly like a real teenager would be.  Amy on the other hand was far less believable, I didn’t get much emotion from her and couldn’t quite connect or feel for her.

Light Spoilers

There’s a couple of scenes in this movie that go on for far too long, one of them is when Megan brings her friend Amy to a party.  First of all Megan has to trade favors just to get Amy in, again please dear lord never let my daughter do these types of things.  The party scene must go on for 15 minutes, it’s all random music and teens acting up.  The supporting characters in this movie do not give great performances (painful and very bad), I almost LOL a few times.  This particular scene just gets old, it’s not that it came off really fake as far as the set-up, but sometimes I think scenes go on for far too long.  I don’t always need a point hammered to me for 15 minutes to achieve the goal.


Megan eventually begins chatting with an unknown kid named Josh via skype at home on her PC.  Josh has a broken camera, so Megan can’t see him during their conversations.  I can totally see an unsuspecting girl not getting up in arms over this, look at the show Catfish.  People go months without seeing who they're talking to on the other end.  For a teenager, and in this movie, I don’t see this as a flaw or something Megan should have been worried about.

Eventually Megan goes missing, hence the title.  Amy is distraught from the second she notices Megan’s gone.  The next shots are straight from the HLN Network, can you say Nancy Grace?  Nancy Grace's news show isn’t my favorite, but I do see it ALL THE TIME.  Plaster pictures of the beautiful missing teens on the TV, talk about how loved she was, how popular she was, make “important” reenactments of the crime for the TV audience etc.  I even had a little laugh as after they spend 15 minutes talking up Megan and urging the public to find her, the newscaster then spends 2 seconds also letting her viewing audience know there's a missing teen in Crenshaw. Let’s just say that Crenshaw teen didn’t get as much pub as our California Queen.

To be honest this was a great part of the movie.  Seeing these types of newscasts in a movie, made me realize how effed up some of these shows are.  Sure we get the word out about a missing person, that’s good, but the shows are so pumped up on adrenaline and ratings that it’s also a little bit sickening. 

Eventually Megan reaches out to the last person who had contact with Megan, and that’s when “Josh” lets his true colors show.  Soon both teens are missing and we get to find out what happened, it’s not nice of course.
Now up to this point I don’t really like the movie that much, Execution and timing is bad so when you finally reach the climax, and get to see what happened to these girls, it was fairly brief.  You get your run of the mill girl in a cage chained up scenario and a rape scene (made very uncomfortable not just because it’s rape (that’s bad enough) but the thought of her only being 14 makes it all the more torturous.

But more torturous then that rape scene is the two hundred gabillion million minute scene of “Josh” getting rid of Amy.  I swear to you, you get to watch a guy shovel for approximately 20 minutes.  This went on for far too long.  This is another case of “dude, I get it”.  If you hang on though, you are rewarded with a chilling scene and thought. As Josh is burying Amy she’s still alive, as he covers her with dirt you get to hear her pleading for her life but her voice fading underneath the dirt - So disturbing and heartbreaking.

I also have to get this out, if you’re going to use found footage for scenes there absolutely must be a reason for this footage to have been recorded in the first place.  The end of Megan is missing is sorely guilty of giving us no reason for the last 22 minutes of footage to exist.

End Spoilers

Overall the story is great.  I think with better execution, better pacing, and a few acting classes this could have been better.  Josh definitely could have been given a larger role too, a peak into his world, just a peak now!  I don’t need hardcore motivation, shoot he’s a predator and that’s that.  It just would have been nice to understand his methods and want for teens personally.

I can really only recommend this to horror movie lovers who like to try everything out, despite the great idea it’s pretty painful to watch.  I will however keep this director/writers name in my mind, he’s got a chance to do better as far as directing and writing an entire movie.

- Michael Goi has quite a few cinematography award nominations and one win, looks like he's also worked on AHS.  Here's his IMDB Page.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Maniac (2012)

Director – Franck Khlafoun
Writers – Alexandre Aja, Gregory Levasseur
Production Company – La Petite Reine, Studio 37, Canal+
Stars – Elijah Wood, Nora Arnezeder

I didn’t know what to expect when I turned on Maniac the other night, I do love horror movies but my memory doesn’t serve me well on knowing if things are remakes.  I don’t believe I’ve seen the original Maniac made in 1980, so while I was watching this current Maniac, I had nothing to compare it to.  I simply picked this movie because word of mouth keeps bringing it up on my radar.

Elijah Wood plays our main character, Frank.  Frank runs a mannequin restoration shop, courtesy of his late mother.  Frank is a disturbed young man who can not only thank his mother for the restoration shop, but can also thank her for his great need to scalp women!  Thanks mom. 


Franks mother is shown in various flashbacks, most of them involve her having seedy sex in front of Frank and yelling at him to leave or go wait for her somewhere while she finishes her deed. This is definitely disturbing to a young man, I can only imagine.  But I’m not quite sure this would lead to Frank wanting to scalp other young woman?  It would have made more sense to me if he wanted to kill guys looking for prostitutes.  But I can sort of accept him wanting to hurt ladies, if they acted the same way his mother did (aka loose) – but some of them he truly knew nothing about.  It’s not like he was out scalping prostitutes or porn stars.  He’s just murdering run of the mill girls.

Frank brings these scalps back to his mannequin restoration shop and places them on his restored mannequins, he then has all sorts of interactions with these mannequins.  From watching it seems like they sort of retain some of the scalped woman’s personality and fight with each other, which drives Frank nuts…well more nuts.

Frank also leaves a super trail when hunting his ladies, there’s never gloves and he even uses a Dating website to hook up with one of his victims – not to mention there are a few chase scenes in the city where the ladies always find themselves surrounded by fences or walls– and why these women couldn’t attract attention or at least try to beat the crap out of Frank I don’t know. Frank seems really small compared to half the women in the movie.  Frank was creepy for sure, but not scary in stature.

The main storyline is between Frank and Anna, Anna is a photographer who ends up at Franks shop.  Her niche is taking pictures of mannequins and bringing them to life.  As you can imagine, Frank becomes quite attached to her.  She’s kind to him, and very interested in his work.   Anna talks him into letting her use some of his mannequins for her art show in the very near future.  Frank falls for Anna and she remains kind to him even though he’s quite off – even in everyday life.

Throughout Anna and Franks interaction I wasn’t quite sure if Anna saw more in Frank then just a friend, I guess there could have been a little something there – Anna neglects to tell Frank she has a boyfriend, and it seems fairly obvious that he was “into” her.  She also accepts gifts from Frank, and he makes himself highly available to her.

The last part of the movie involves Frank going to Anna’s art opening, he has a few cringe inducing interactions between Anna’s boyfriend and her agent.  Frank ends up murdering Anna’s agent, and subsequently Anna finds out about her agents death and becomes highly emotional – Frank soon comes over to her apartment to comfort her. Once Frank is at Anna’s apartment they start chatting about Rita, and Frank let’s a few things slip out that make Anna highly aware of the fact that Frank’s the killer.  She runs around and manages to lock herself into a room away from Frank.  Then comes the scene that made me squirm, it involves a neighbor, his mouth, and Frank’s butcher knife…omg..that was a good one!

But that great scene still didn’t save it for me.  Anna manages to escape her apartment, and we end up with another man chasing woman scene.  A car is passing by, and Anna manages to jump in. As the driver speeds away she grabs the wheel and points the car in Frank’s direction – well she tries too.  The car ends up hitting a pole, and Anna is hurt so badly I was shocked.  I might need to view this scene again, but Anna is flung completely out of the car and Frank comes to her rescue, OK that’s a lie – He comes over to take a souvenir.

The last scene did confuse me a little bit, I already mentioned above that I was a little confused on the interactions that Frank had with all of his mannequins so there’s more of that, and all the mannequins are fighting with each other making Frank crazy and then they all pull the skin off his face (in his mind I think) and then the cops show up.  The End.

OK so you can probably already tell I wasn’t totally digging this movie.  So the main things that I didn’t like, that I’m totally open to people clearing up (be gentle) for me are :

1.       How did Frank’s childhood = I need to scalp women now? (I guess I should just accept this though, I mean the title of the movie is MANIAC)
2.       Why did Frank choose the women he did?
3.       How could the cops not be hot on his trail? ( I would have loved to see a detective have a role in this movie, gathering clues etc.)

End Spoilers

During the whole film you don’t get to see a lot of Frank, it’s a POV sort of style.  You get to see what Franks sees.  I enjoyed this highly in some scenes like when Franks stalking from the shadows, chasing his victims, or even having a more gentle conversation with Anna. However I think it might have been a little overused, I would have felt Frank’s “crazy” with less of it.

The music, I LOVED the soundtrack to this movie.  It was very atmospheric, and seemed to fit quite perfectly – but it could have stood to be used a little less, as you can overkill a movie with music too. The overall look was top notch and I was even a little shocked at the gore because normally when something looks so good you get really fake looking gore – this was done masterfully.

It’s a style thing I didn't dig, not a quality thing in this movie’s case.  I simply don’t enjoy this style movie, it was almost too perfect looking and not gritty enough. The POV filming style was a bit annoying and  I would have enjoyed it more with some simple changes like a stronger main character (aka fierce, big, and scary), more connection between the scalping’s and Franks childhood, and a more clear understanding on what relief scalping women gave Frank – even if it was only fleeting.

I wish I could explain my thoughts on the film more eloquently – but that’s what I got.  Sometimes I think I'm hard on one film for one thing but willing to let it slide in others, but I guess that's why there's so many choices for so many tastes!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Dogtooth (2009)

Director – Giorgos Lanthimos
Writers – Giorgos Lanthimos, Efthymis Filippou
Production Company – Boo Productions, Greek Film Center, Horsefly Productions
Stars – Christos Stergiolou, Aggeliki Papoulia

Dogtooth isn’t quite a horror film, it’s an artsy little flick.  I had this thrown on my radar due to my extensive searching for offbeat and disturbing movies, I’m a weirdo what can I say!  Dogtooth is another one of those movies that looks great and had the subtle hand of an artist directing it, but I can’t say I really liked it.  For me Dogtooth lacked motivation for its characters, and so what they’re doing doesn’t really have any clear direction.  Without understanding the motivations for what people do, it’s hard to understand the situation in general or empathize.

Three teenagers/perhaps mid twenty kids (2 girls/1 boy) are confined to an isolated country home with their parents.  I’m guessing this is where they’ve been raised their whole lives, but this wasn’t fully explained.  They spend a lot of time learning from homemade tapes that teach them vocabulary.  This vocabulary isn’t run of the mill though, for some reason they are taught that certain words mean different things.  An example would be instead of calling a light bulb a light bulb, they are taught that it’s called a mouse etc.


This is one thing that isn’t properly explained.  If the kids are already confined to this home, scared to leave, and brainwashed – why is there a need to teach them this odd vocabulary, what purpose does it serve?  I suppose I could dig really deep and say perhaps the director what just using this as a metaphor to show us viewers the type of brainwashing that was going on, maybe it represents the total control the parents have by even changing words? But I just keep coming back to what purpose does it really serve if they know nothing of the outside world? The parents also subject them to games and tests, rewarding them with stickers.  I find this a little tough to swallow with young adults, sure kids are into stickers for a prizes but you would think young adults would be needing a bit more to keep in line. 

The parents, I really couldn’t get a grasp on them.  Like I said before we are presented with no motivation for the reasons they would keep their children away from the world.  The most obvious guess is the world is bad and they want to protect them, but this is never fully explained.  There are also a few really warped scenes with the husband and wife, so maybe they’re just crazy?  I’d love it if anyone could shed more light on them for me.

Another low point is that the kids seem like robots, I mean I realize they’ve been kept away and have no real experiences except inside this space but they lacked any emotion.  It’s not like they’re locked in a room all by themselves, they have each other.  I would have rather seen them chat and question their lives with each other.  I think I just expected more raw emotion from young adults, and this leads me to another strange part of the film.  One of the kids is a young male and the parents bring in a female outsider, Christina, to help him with his “urges”.  But the dang thing is - I never once see this kid have an “urge”, she just comes in every couple of days/weeks, has a little mechanical sex, and they’re done.  It would have been nice for the director to show the son acting out, and that sex was the logical answer that the parents came up with to help him.

Speaking of sex, and this is a super major spoiler -  At one point the outsider female (Christina) starts leaking information into the kid’s lives (random objects, words, etc.), so the dad squashes this and Christina is no longer welcomed in their home.  So what do these parents do now to help their son with his urges?  Well logically they let him choose between his two sisters who gets to take on that task, this is crazy if you think the parents are keeping them locked up for their safety, or to keep them pure or something – and why even bring in Christine to possibly spoil things if having your son sleep with his sister was an option in the first place.  This didn't make sense to me, but the parents are warped.  It would have just been nice to hear the parents discuss the issue, and how they came up with this as the answer.

In the end one of the sisters “Bruce” does manage to poke a few holes in her parent’s story with help from Christina, who provided her with a few video tapes.  This does result in one great scene where Bruce actually performs the iconic dance from Flashdance in front of her siblings and parents, I particularly liked this scene.  It really showed some acting out which I think was lacking throughout most of the flick, though does Bruce really know she’s acting out?  Maybe not, but it’s good to see something that would organically happen when someone who’s not been exposed to the outside world finally gets a taste. 

One of the last scenes involving Bruce is BRUTAL, and quite awesome – this is where I see what I’ve wanted to see the whole film!  This is not because I get to see something disturbing with my eyes, it’s because of the emotionally disturbing act erupting out of Bruce – this reaction from her makes sense!  Finally some emotion that makes perfect sense!

So again while the film is good technically, and the plot is interesting as a concept, I just couldn’t quite grasp why any of the characters were acting the way they were.  I couldn’t understand why the parents were confining their kids and I couldn’t understand why young adults wouldn’t question their parents more? 

I’m totally open to others interpretations! 

This is a movie I “almost” need to watch twice, but for right now I can’t get behind it.  I say Bravo for the effort, I can see the effort, I just couldn’t detect any real reasons for the characters actions. I feel I’ve run on about this movie, so it must have stirred up something, so overall inventive and easy on the eyes but just falls short for me.