THIS IS THE NEXT ONE IN THE ALPHABET I REALLY REALLY PROMISE THIS TIME MOSTLY.
And for those of you who enjoy a good creepy-as-fuck retelling of a traditionally creepy-as-fuck story, you may actually enjoy Alyce Kills. And I know what you’re thinking. How could the director of Zombie Strippers! outdo such a masterpiece? But stay with me.
Alyce Kills is a version of Alice in Wonderland in which the descent into madness trends less towards hallucinations of smiley purple cats who just don’t give any fucks about how you’re getting home and more towards drugs, prostitution, and then murdering and dismembering whoever comes to your doorstep. (So basically she’s a street-smart female protagonist who don’t need no man – Disney, take note. This is your next Brave.) (Okay I never saw Brave.) The first half hour of the film is basically a cathartic girl’s night out between Alyce and her best friend Carol Lewis GET IT who are both working dumb middle management-type jobs or something, I’m not really sure what people who have to wear skirt suits and button-downs do. After an uncomfortable company party they get crazy high CAROL LEWIS GET IT and head to the top of the building where Alyce accidentally pushes Carol off the roof and she ends up nearly brain dead in a coma.
Talk about COMING DOWN, EH?
HER NAME IS CAROL LEWIS YOU GUYS DO YOU GET IT.
And this totally breaks Alyce’s fragile little middle management brains and eventually the title of the movie happens. And it is AWESOME. I have great personal affection for slow-moving horror, dark versions of fairytales, and the careful combination of terror and humor, and this film has all three. The deep fucked-up-edness of Alyce Kills is pretty solid and even when the movie lags from time to time (the Mad Hatter character is a drug dealer and BOY does he like to wax philosophical for fucking ever) (don’t worry, the Dormouse still just crashes on the couch and mumbles incoherently, as dormice are wont) the acting, especially on Alyce’s part, is good enough that you’re willing to just kind of watch people do very little for a while. Which is fine, because the next thing that happens will probably be AWESOME and full of body parts. This film really hits all my ooey gooey horror sweet spots and I dun dug it, and I think you will too.
Or maybe you won’t, because you’re one of the whiny imdb people who hates everything. Well fuck you then. I hope nothing is ever good enough for you and that you die in a pile of puppies and kittens that JUST AREN’T SOFT ENOUGH.
EDIT: THIS FILM GETS……..FOUR AND A HALF HORRORS.
Motherfucker, I forgot to review the damn movie. WHAT EVEN IS THIS BLOG ANYMORE. Many thanks to faithful reader Veronica who reminded me of how this is supposed to go so that I could panic and throw up a last-minute edit. I need a drink. Goddammit, blogging is hard.
This is supposed to go between All the Boys Love Mandy Lane and Alien Origin. It was taken off Netflix and I forgot about it.
The title of this blog is a joke.
Okay whatever, ALIEN ABDUCTION, GUESS WHAT THIS WILL BE ABOUT.
I HOPE IT’S FOUND FOOTAGE.
Alien Abduction is a found footage film about an alien abduction, because art is dead and everyone is a goddamn screenwriter. And it’s a good thing I remember this one, because googling “alien abduction movie” will apparently come up with half the titles on Netflix.
This movie isn’t actually as terrible as it should be. The acting isn’t awful and the plot could be worse. It’s vaguely scary from time to time. It’s just yet another found footage film about a family going fucking camping to connect with each other AGAIN (did anyone’s family ACTUALLY do this??? Do I know a bunch of people who are all normal and well-adjusted because of all the time they spent on long road trips into the woods to go share an eight by eight nylon dome with a handful of sweaty and unshowered people whose connections to you are mostly genetic and obligatory in nature? Please tell me if this was your life. Explain to me how eight hours of trying to pee in a jar in the backseat of a minivan before you and the rest of your parents’ spawn were dragged out to go dangle string at fish and not get eaten by bears made for a healthy family dynamic. MY dysfunctional family stayed at home to not get eaten by bears JUST LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE. AND I AM CLEARLY FINE.)
And of course they get lost in the woods and there are aliens in the woods because this is why you don’t go into the woods ever no matter what. Jesus christ.
There are two things that stick out about this movie and only one of them is good. The good thing the filmmakers did here was come up with a somewhat convincing reason for the found footage to have been recorded in the first place, which is where a lot of these things fall down. No one films their family vacations anymore, unless you’re making a vine, which you are probably doing because the best part of your camping trip is the technology you brought with you because OF COURSE IT IS, everything else just wants to bite you or shit on you. In fact, no one wanders around with a dedicated video recorder for ANY REASON unless there is some specific circumstance that calls for it, which a lot of filmmakers in this genre tend to forget. They’ll just have people taking hours of videos of themselves and their friends FOR TEH LOLS, except no one does that in increments longer than 30 seconds because I’m not willing to watch a youtube video for much longer than that and neither are you.
In this case, the found footage was filmed by the autistic younger son of the family, who uses a video camera as a medium for connecting with the world. He panics whenever it’s taken away from him and he spends long periods of time filming nothing more than flowers moving in the wind or his own sneakers or a blank sky because that is how a child with autism who finds comfort and some sense of clarity through using a video camera might film things. It also means that you’re not necessarily looking at the scary thing that’s happening, which makes the scary thing that much scarier. That’s all it takes to put a twist on the found footage genre, guys. It’s not that hard. These guys even did it in such a way that they didn’t even have to pay the kid that much because he doesn’t even have any lines. And when you’re already using the character of a special needs child as a cheap device to save on filming costs, that’s when you know you’re bound for Hollywood.
The other thing they did was so stupid I’m surprised it wasn’t the shitty lovechild of an Asylum picture and a Syfy original. The film opens with a camera tumbling out of what seems like an alien spaceship, through space, through the Earth’s atmosphere, through the sky, landing on the ground, and flickering static as it sits on the road next to the woods. This is where the footage was supposed to have been found.
First of all, gravity in space. Ask Neil DeGrasse Tyson how that works.
Second of all, a shitty camcorder that had been tossed around by an eight year-old its entire life is expected to survive not only the extreme heat and velocity of an uncontrolled atmospheric reentry, but ALSO the 62 miles between the outer atmosphere and the Earth’s surface, then hit CONCRETE, and not only was the camera intact, BUT THE FOOTAGE WAS AS WELL.
Also, why the hell was there a camcorder-sized hole in the spaceship in the first place??? Do these aliens have no need of any particular gas or pressure levels in their environment so they can just open up the window and toss out all their useless human paraphernalia like so many crumpled up Big Mac wrappers? And if these things are so powerful that they literally don’t even need ANY SORT OF ATMOSPHERE TO SURVIVE then why do they even bother being the least bit sneaky about stealing people and their stupid cameras from Earth? They can just stomp around and take shit because THEY DON’T EVEN NEED ANY KIND OF AIR AND CAN SURVIVE IN ANY TEMPERATURE OR ATMOSPHERIC PRESSURE. They probably don’t even need their own organs at that point. They’d just wander around grabbing people and the military would shoot them in the face but JOKE’S ON YOU I DON’T NEED A FACE.
This falling camera bit is not only the first thing you see in the movie, it’s also the last shot used as well, thus creating a shitty bookend of whatthefuckery that made me hate this movie just because WHY. The rest of it was pretty much “not bad” verging on “pretty okay,” but all I ever think about is that stupid falling camera thing because GOD DAMN IS IT STUPID.
Fucking Alien Abduction. You were almost actively good. Ugh.
But now you’re only….TWO AND A HALF HORRORS.
PS: also it occurs to me that both Alien Abduction and Alien Origins should have gone before All Cheerleaders Die AND All the Boys Love Mandy Lane……ugh……jesus christ I have no business writing this thing….
Every once in a while, a movie comes around that has so little impact on me that I have to double-check Netflix to make sure I actually watched it. Almost Human is one of those movies.
I even noticed that I had stopped watching the movie a little over eight minutes from the ending and thought “maybe that’s why I’ve forgotten it; I didn’t watch the dramatic conclusion!” And then I hit play and it turns out this movie inexplicably has eight full minutes of credits. Eight minutes-worth of people participated in the creation of a film that was so dull that it put me off blogging for almost three weeks purely because I had nothing to say about it. Somebody’s most prominent IMDB credit is a film that is only being written about because I have to in order to get to the next film which is likely either flamboyantly terrible enough or genuinely creepy enough to have remembered at least the title and the experience of having sat near my laptop for the two hours during which it passed across the screen.
Which brings us to the best characteristic of Almost Human: it is a time machine. The experience of watching this film will pass two hours of time so uneventfully that the viewer will only return to reality once the credits begin, having effectively been in a mental hibernation for the duration of the film. You will have no memory of having slogged through the complete averageness that is Almost Human. You will only know that you now exist two hours into the future. Drawbacks: it is a time machine that only goes forward, and only for two hours at a time. And the process of moving forward during that time is fairly painful, even if the credits will trigger the wiping of this experience from your memory. I give it….THREE TIMES.
As for the movie itself, I literally had to read pages of IMDB reviews to even jog my memory as to what the fuck happens in this thing. I remember something about a blue light and something about a beardy guy stomping through the woods killing people. As it turns out, the blue light was aliens and the beardy guy was an abductee, who is now….stomping through the woods killing people…because…..aliens….I couldn’t even read the entire IMDB reviews you guys. It’s that mediocre. It was reviewed as being 80s b-movie bloody (which you think I would have remembered, but apparently even THAT can be fucked up to the point of anonymity) and as having some not great acting and not much plot. And it’s about alien abduction, which is apparently half the A section of Netflix Horror. There.
I give it…..TWO HORRORS. I guess. Probably.
ADDENDUM: Unless……what if this movie so brilliantly mirrors the feeling of having been abducted by aliens that the very ACT OF WATCHING IT allows you to feel as if you have had some sort of terrible experience that you wish you could remember, but was deleted from your brain somehow. The makers of Almost Human have somehow crafted a film that puts you through a couple hours of pain and confusion only to remove the memory of having seen it at all, leaving you with the buried knowledge that SOMETHING HAPPENED, knowledge that can only reappear months later, when something forces the fragments of the event to resurface in your memory. WHAT IF ALMOST HUMAN WAS WRITTEN BY GOVERNMENT AGENTS AS A MEANS TO TEST OUT THE MEMORY-WIPING AND TIME-BENDING POTENTIAL OF A NEW MEDIUM FOR MASS CONTROL, IN ORDER TO DELETE ANY FUTURE ALIEN CONTACT FROM THE MINDS OF THE PAWNS AT THEIR DISPOSAL. WHAT IF ALMOST HUMAN IS A DOCUMENTARY THAT USES THE POWER OF TRUTH TO OVERWHELM THE WEAKENED PSYCHE OF THE AVERAGE CITIZEN INTO SUBSERVIENCE AND DENIAL.