The Blackout : Reviews from a FanBOY!!
We are in fact equal opportunity here at Fangirl Magazine. And now we have Jay here to prove that point as well as share with us some film reviews!
Let em have it Jay!
Film Review: by John Fountain
(I wish I had).
There are works of art in the world that raise hope for the survival of the human race, and speak volumes about the state of the human condition. Some of these are paintings, such as works by Goya; some are theories, such as those postulated by Darwin, Einstein, and Hawking. Some may even be movies, such as The Seven Samurai. However, there are also things released into the world that not only do not contribute to the vault of humanity’s achievement, but somehow manages to make those advancements and philosophical journeys seem worthless. The thought that humanity could excrete something as pitiful and remorselessly shabby as The Blackout should make you wonder if we shouldn’t just give up on this whole “having lungs” business and crawl back into the sea. Those involved in this turgid excuse for a movie need to be hauled up in front of some kind of hastily convened tribunal, forced to watch the original Halloween, then have burly men repeatedly smash their heads into the screens, screaming “Do You See How It’s Done, Yet?” before being fed to some hyenas.
The basic plot, care of the writer, Jim Beck revolves around a group of fairly unlikeable tenants of an old New York (I’m assuming) apartment building, who bumble about their tedious “getting to know you scenes” with about as much believability and ability as lobotomised mice being taught how to play a piano. Chief among these is Elizabeth Pierce (played by Barbara Streifel Sanders…who suspiciously has the same last name as the producer…weird) from whose perspective the story is loosely told. She has a husband and a pair of bratty kids, and a lot of neighbours who veer from one character trait to another, never really settling on any particular stereotype for more than a few minutes. In to this maelstrom of tedium comes a problem: no, not the script, although that really is a major issue. It’s monsters. Well, lets be honest, it’s a guy in a poorly fitted rubber suit with a terrible CGI tail. And that’s about it.
The rest of the run time is concerned with getting out of the building through dark corridors, dark staircases, and dark rooms, blah blah blah. The few interesting moments in the film; a character noticing the flash of gunfire from another tower block; the fact that the presence of the creatures causes lights to blow; and the non-hollywood splatter of one particular character, are totally subsumed by the relentless drab malaise of the film. Poor acting; poor scripting, bad cinematography; characters being terrified one minute then deciding to have a smooch the next. It all becomes like a wet towel being lowered onto your head. As a movie lover, I committed the cardinal sin: I had to fast forward after about 45 minutes, waiting for something to happen. It didn’t. Until the end, when you get a pathetic and telegraphed “revelation” shot that a 12 year old could probably knock up in photoshop.
I was looking forward to watching this film: that’s what I can’t forgive. I was suckered by the cool DVD artwork, the claustrophobic promises of the synopsis, the desperate need for some decent horror after the disappointment of recent monster movies. That’s what should have triggered the cynic in my brain: the DVD artwork. It was just too similar to the packaging of the original Feast. Slavering maw poised menacingly above pretty female face, dripping saliva and the hope of a thrill packed ride. All of which the original Feast provided. None of which The Blackout offered. What is more annoying is that the movie holds the seeds of a good idea: creatures that cause darkness, the thing humans seem to be hard-wired to fear. And then they strain and deliver this straight to DVD nugget into the lavatory of the wider world.
Wow, yeah…this hasn’t been done before
Oh wait, it has
Someone else just got on top.
I cannot stress enough how poor this movie is: it makes me yearn for the bland, painful nonsense of Ghostbusters 2, and that is something I thought would never happen. For this alone, everyone involved in this movie should be fed parts of themselves before being encased in concrete for the sake of the world. In fact, whenever I refer to this dross as a “movie” or a “film” please feel free to replace those words with the sound of a cat vomiting.
For the love of humanity: do not buy this “movie”; do not watch this “movie”. Above all: DO NOT WATCH THIS MOVIE.
My girlfriend just read this back to me, and noted that “This isn’t a review, it’s just a way for you to articulate pain.” And she’s right. The film gave me pain. Pain in every fibre of my being. Remember, I watched this shit so you don’t have to.