Friday, October 12, 2012

Horribly funny: Exclusive press screening leaves columnist laughing in the face of danger

By Kelsey Mejlaender, Copy Editor

With Halloween just around the corner, a horror film seemed like the perfect way to spend an evening. The Tacoma Film Festival, which ran from Oct. 4-11, gave the Australian movie “Crawl” its Washington state premiere last week. I was invited to preview the film.

Horror, however, never made an appearance, allowing hilarity to steal the stage instead.
The film focuses on waitress Marilyn Burns, portrayed by actress Lauren Dillon. Burns is taken hostage in her home by a killer, played by George Shevtsov, who has a love for cowboy hats. She’s waiting for her boyfriend to visit at the time, not knowing his car has broken down. The villain is a contract killer who accidentally hits the stranded boyfriend with his car and later kills him.

The murderer then becomes obsessed with finding a new ride, since the accident totaled his car. He breaks into Marilyn’s house looking for keys to her motorbike.
The film was confusing because few of the killer’s actions add up and the premise is heavily based on coincidence and chance.

The story is set in Australia, so there were at least some cool accents, even if it did make a couple of the characters’ mumblings even more incoherent.

As is typical in horror films, Marilyn’s house is in the middle of nowhere, so she can’t run to the neighbors for help.

The deadliest feature of this film was its pacing. It was a bit like watching a movie in slow motion. In this regard, the film was aptly named. Other than that, the title “Crawl” made little sense, as there were only a few “crawling” scenes, none of which mattered and seemed like they were included simply to justify the name.

A running theme of the film was 'pointless things happen.' Many of the movie’s scenes were superfluous, adding nothing to plot or character development, both of which could’ve used a boost.

In one case, Marilyn’s friend  drops a cake off at her house, not knowing Marilyn has already been taken hostage. The cake is later stepped on — and that’s it. The friend isn’t captured, doesn’t realize Marilyn’s stuck in her house with a mediocre murderer, nor does the cake trip up that murderer later. It’s just a cheap trick to try and build suspense that left me annoyed.
The main character was no help to the film either.

Though the stupidity of characters is pretty much a requirement of the horror genre at this point, Marilyn Burns seemed particularly dim.

She has a gun upstairs in a drawer, a fact she seems to forget as she creeps around her house at a snail’s pace thinking she heard something. This might be forgivable, except it happens twice, so you’d think she’d be smart enough to grab the gun the second time around.

Even the villain lacked brains, not to mention any facial expression. A stone-faced killer could be terrifying, but this guy just looked like he had one too many shots of Botox.

To top it all off, the music was rather ridiculous. It pretty much consisted of three chords that were played over and over again.

This movie’s a laugh to see with friends when you’re in the mood to chat more than watch. But don’t trap yourself in a theater to see this one. That would be the real horror experience.