(uh great I need a serious writing warm-up for a script, so here it goes)
Shutter Island. Hurts. This could have been a 5 star movie for me. But, I don’t know… BITCHING–heavy post ahead, close browser now!
Quick introduction: It’s not really a horror movie, more a mysterious mindfuck. Leonardo is a marshall, investigating the case of an escaped mental patient on an asylum island, 1954. I don’t want to spoil anything (because I got spoiler’d when I checked out the Youtube comments of the trailer, something you should NEVER DO). But I hope it’s not a spoiler if I say there is something to spoil.
OK, maybe we have another case of my pet topic – Expectations – because I had them. The trailer was outstanding, the mood and setting dark and mysterious like the things I like the most (Gabriel Knight, Angel Heart…). It felt relevant to the game “Asylum” we are helping with sound-wise. Can a movie only disappoint me when I expect so much? Maybe.
Yes it’s good. So what do I complain about?
It is not “a work of art”. It could have easily been.
Why? Because when I watched it again, it should have made perfect and complete sense. Like “Fight Club”, one of my all time favs. For me it’s harder to accept an “almost brilliant” movie than a weak one. It seems like they almost avoided all the possibilities, all the little symbolic moments and scenes you could have made.
Watching it twice, I counted 8 little clues I missed the first time around, and my internal love meter went up (not what you think you naughty bastard). But these were all in the first third of the movie. Then, it actually got worse. Knowing the end, it should all have made artistic sense. Like a good Agatha Christie novel (of which I have read 50). “Knowing the murderer”, so to speak, it all should be completely clear, how could I have missed it.Do you know that smile on your face when you see how you were tricked and fooled, the little telltale signs you missed the 1st time? They are there! But almost all at the beginning. Then nothing. Then one or two in your face ones, extremely watered down by obvious misinformation (a no no). A sign of a bad mystery writer.
I don’t want to spoil, but let’s dance around it. Imagine the crime author giving you a perfect alibi for one suspect, presented in a way which is absolutely fool-proof, then later the story tells you the alibi was false. You read the alibi scene again, and it is not presented vaguely, it does not appear in a new light, it is obvious misinformation to make the riddle harder to solve. For example, there is solid and perfect proof that the suspect must be male and over 30, and the author presents 100 witnesses for that, God steps down and says Aye, and the surprising resolution is: the suspect was a female dog. You read the book again, and it does NOT make sense at all in 10 scenes. It could have been very artfully done, in no scene we said it’s a human, but no, it is shoehorned, there is a man on the cover with an 80ies haircut and a bloody knife. That’s exactly how I feel.
Sorry, back to the movie, there is a scene which supposedly “really” happened, not imagined, which the movie claims gives away the truth, yes it does, but before and after that moment in the same scene it doesn’t, it claims the opposite.
Again we are at logic, another of my reoccuring rants. For me, there must be a completely solid logical foundation under any adventure or mysterious movie like this one. So why is the 2nd half so weird. It doesn’t feel true knowing the end. Even though in an asylum insanity is obviously a theme, and hallucinations, I am not buying the movie’s resolution completely.
It might be that the novel the movie is based upon is perfect. It might be that the screenplay is perfect, and for the sake of a good shot, smooth cutting or a nice actor performance, the inner harmony and symmetry had to take a step back. Many people think that way. Creative license my arse. Story reigns supreme. Then female nude scenes, then nothing, then the rest of the movie.
What are we left with? A movie which gave me 10 ideas of scenes which would have made it awesome. I need a spoiler button on this damn site to discuss my spoiler-heavy ideas with you. Scenes which could have been read in two ways, like Sixth Sense or Fight Club. It could have been a masterpiece you want to see 10 times. But, I think it is… (swallows) a good movie. Nothing more. AND I CAN’T MAKE THE MOVIE IN MY HEAD because it would be too similar! The chance to make this movie in perfect is gone.
Bashing over? Naaa. MUSIC. What the fuck? This movie has no composer. Being a composer, I can only hate the fact like cashiers hate self serve cash registers. The music editor has simply chosen orchestral pieces by mostly temporary composers and arranged them. It is inconsistent, and sometimes quite out of place. Bohoo. There are some great pieces in there, of course, and it is definitely not you normal heartless horror score, but hey, modern classical music composers, don’t crap where I work, OK? Ohhh god I hate when THEY come over into our country, taking our jobs, stealing our daughters, those filthy modern classical guys.
AHHH stop before I forget it, I can copy this from half of my reviews, stop hurting children! What’s wrong with you? There is horror without threatening babies or killing children, OK? Can’t we please stop that? What the fuck? They ban our video games for nothing, but every movie which is rated R18 thinks it’s a matter of good taste to hit a baby in the face? Can you imagine boxers taking a break to torture little children, because otherwise it’s not violent enough? Did Hitchcock sneak up on you in the cinema to stick scissors into your eye, because otherwise you would not be frightened enough?
I don’t find it funny, interesting or necessary. It’s very important in “Shutter Island”, I understand that, exceptional permissiom granted. But see “1408”. A perfectly cool, dark, creepy movie and then we need to cut to a little girl dying of cancer. Now I am having fun. Fuckers.
I think it’s tasteless. I need to distant myself from the movie in those scenes, as I am a father which is like emotional surgery, and I hence get ripped right out of the suspense of disbelief. There are a few things which are taboo, things I don’t want to be “entertained” with, that is dying children, rape, and doing taxes.