I want to give this movie some credit: while a lot of found footage movies are incredibly cheap, The Monster Project had a budget for its monsters. I've absolutely seen worse effects in other movies, and the creatures here didn't look like ass. The problem is that this movie is really, really proud of its monsters. It takes every opportunity--once things kick off at the halfway point--to show you them in action. But that becomes a problem, because the more you see clear shots of a creature, the less frightening it becomes. We become inured to it and can grow bored with it. And I know this feels more like a third paragraph thing rather than an intro, but I wanted to get that out of the way first.
Have you ever seen the music video for "Fantasy" by DyE? If you haven't, here's a link. He's a French electropop artist and the song is pretty good! But the main reason I want you to see it is because it has a twist. A very... Lovecraftian twist. What starts out seemingly normal night suddenly becomes a nightmare involving realities beyond mortal comprehension. And I bring this up because that's basically the plot of The Void, too.
By my counting, Mummy Mondays should've ended on June 1st. This is assuming that coronavirus didn't upend just about everything, Movie Night was still meeting regularly, and that we wouldn't've missed a week. But coronavirus did happen and it took me months before I decided to finish up this series by myself. It's been a weird trip full of bad sequels and rare good moments, but with Mr. Tom Cruise's 2017 The Mummy, we can finally put this monster back in its tomb.
So a friend of mine enjoys a theory about The Blair Witch Project that says there was nothing supernatural in the movie at all; Josh and Mike were faking everything to fuck with Heather. While I can see someone having that galaxy brain take, I'm personally not a fan. Not that I'm opposed to fakeouts like that! It's just that when a movie intentionally goes for a twist like that it has to be done with care, otherwise you get something shitty like The Turning. Why bring this up when I'm going to be talking about yet another Mothman movie? Well...
Mr. James Mangold did such a good job on The Wolverine, why wouldn't 20th Century Fox give him another shot? And what a shot this is! The second R-rated X-Men movie after Deadpool, Logan goes in a slightly different direction to justify the rating: instead of cartoonish violence, Logan shows how ugly fighting to the death can be. And a bunch of "fucks," but that's a side benefit.
From an very, very outside perspective, I can kind of see the appeal of a cult. The world is especially shitty right now, and in my mind I don’t see it getting significantly better any time soon. A little too dark to start this post? Well I just recently got out of COVID-19 quarantine and then went right back to the filthy world of retail. If someone were to come to me and say that following them would make everything better… well, okay, I wouldn’t believe them because that sounds culty as fuck, but I’d be a little bit tempted.
Is it really so hard to do the barest minimum of research, filmmakers? I get that a good number of you are godless heathens (no judgment from me), but if you’re going to reference The Bible, is it so hard to open the book to the table of contents and see that it’s ACTUALLY The Book of Revelation, NOT Revelations? Singular, not plural? I know it’s a real petty point, especially one to start on, but whenever I see a demon hunter or a cult leader make such an easy mistake, it sort of takes me out of the moment.
I’ve watched a fair amount of movies. I’d even go as far as to say “a lot.” Every week my friends and I gather and watch three (or so) as part of our Movie Night, I’ve been hitting up my local theater every week to see more current movies, and then I’ll sometimes watch something on Netflix in my free time. That adds up over the weeks, months, and years (Movie Night is over a decade old). So when I say that I’ve seen Phoenix Forgotten before, I don’t mean that literally, but instead that it reminds me of three other found footage movies: one I love, one I’m still ambivalent on, and one I hate.