REVIEW: I DON’T FEEL AT HOME IN THE WORLD ANYMORE

CAST

Melanie Lynskey (Heavenly Creatures)
Elijah Wood (Lord of The Rings)
Gary Anthony Williams (The Internship)
Jane Levy (Don’t Breathe)
Devon Gaye (Dexter)
Jeb Berrier (Grimm)
Christine Woods (Flashforward)
Lee Eddy (Day 5)
Robert Longstreet (Take Shelter)
Michelle Moreno (No Postage Necessary)
Jana Lee Hamblin (Portlandia)

I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore (which honestly needs a new title) stars the endlessly charming Melanie Lynskey  as Ruth, a woman who is fed up with people being assholes. It’s that simple. One day, she comes home to find that her house has been broken into, with the thieves having stolen her laptop, a set of silver she inherited from her grandmother, and some prescription medication for depression and anxiety. When it becomes clear that the police are basically doing nothing to help her, she decides to take matters into her own hands.

Ruth doesn’t go on this adventure alone though. You see, one of the assholes that Ruth was fed up with was Tony (Elijah Wood), a guy who lives in her neighborhood and constantly lets his dog shit in her yard without cleaning it up. This is a guy with tinted prescription sunglasses, a rat tail, and a keen interest in martial arts weapons. But with no one else willing to help her, Tony is all she has. So off they go, tracking down the shady criminals who stole all of Ruth’s stuff. What follows is darkly funny thriller in the same vein of the Coen Brothers, with flairs of The Big Lebowski and Fargo, and an array of violence that is on par with Saulnier’s Blue Ruin and Green Room. The odd humor mixed with the surprisingly brutal violence creates an interesting dichotomy that is never boring, though it is occasionally jarring. The film as a whole is not quite as polished or refined as the grim but amusing thrillers of Joel & Ethan Coen, but the combination of comedy and brutality is clearly intentional and purposeful, even if it doesn’t always mesh well.What makes the film work better than it otherwise might be is the eclectic cast. Melanie Lynskey is always outstanding, and this movie is no exception. The turn of Ruth from jaded nurse to vigilante seems like an outlandish one, but Lysnkey brings such a genuine performance to the table that the movie never feels overtly goofy. Elijah Wood as her peculiar sidekick is quite the scene stealer, coming through with some impressive physical comedy to accompany his masterful characterization of Tony. And the three criminals played by Devon Graye, Jane Levy and David Yow are endlessly creepy without becoming caricatures.

I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore acts as a parable that beckons for people to just stop being so shitty to each other. But it also cautions us to think harder about how we choose to deal with toxic people who would treat us so poorly. And if society’s perpetual carelessness for how we treat each other results in the same kind of brutally, bloody climax on display in this movie, we should probably heed Macon Blair’s warning.

Advertisements

31 DAYS OF HORROR REVIEW: DON’T BREATHE

CAST

Jane Levy (Evil Dead 2013)
Stephen Lang (Avatar)
Dylan Minnette (Goosebumps)
Dabiel Zovatto (It Follows)

Rocky, Alex, and Money are three Detroit delinquents who make a living by breaking into homes secured by Alex’s father’s security company and selling the items they take. However, the person buying the stolen goods from Money doesn’t give them a fair price, and not nearly enough to fund Rocky’s dream of moving to California with her little sister Diddy to escape their neglectful mother and her alcoholic boyfriend. Money receives a tip that an Army veteran living in an abandoned Detroit neighborhood has $300,000 in cash in his house, given as a settlement after a wealthy young woman, Cindy Roberts, killed his daughter in a car accident. The three stake out the house and discover that the man is in fact blind. After some deliberation, they decide to break into the house at night.That night, the three approach the house and drug the Blind Man’s dog. Finding all the entrances locked, Rocky enters the house through a small window and lets the other two in. The group searches the house for the money but are unable to find it; assuming it is behind a locked door, Money shoots the lock. The noise wakes up the Blind Man, who subdues Money and murders him with his own gun. Rocky hides in a closet, where she witnesses the Blind Man open a safe to check on his money. After he leaves, Alex finds Rocky in the closet, and the two open the safe and take the money. Meanwhile, the Blind Man finds Money’s and Rocky’s shoes downstairs, and realizes that Money was not the only intruder.Rocky and Alex evade the Blind Man and find a door leading to the basement. There, they are surprised by a restrained, gagged woman in a homemade padded cell. She shows them a newspaper article mentioning Cindy and the car accident; they realize that she is Cindy, held captive by the Blind Man. They free her and run for the storm cellar door, only to be surprised by the Blind Man, who mistakenly shoots and kills Cindy with Money’s gun. Rocky and Alex flee into the cellar while the Blind Man, enraged at Cindy’s death, shuts off the lights. After a struggle, Alex knocks out the Blind Man, and Rocky follows him back upstairs.After blocking the basement door, they encounter the Blind Man’s Dog, who has recovered from being drugged. Alex and Rocky are unable to unlock the front door in time before the dog attacks them, and so they flee into the upstairs bedroom, where they find themselves trapped by the barred windows. Rocky escapes the room through a ventilation duct, while the dog breaks into the bedroom and attacks Alex, who falls out of a window onto a skylight and briefly falls unconscious. When Alex awakens, the Blind Man shoots out the skylight and later manages to corner Alex in his utility room, where he appears to kill him with a pair of pruning shears. Meanwhile, the dog pursues Rocky through the vents, and she is eventually captured by the Blind Man. She wakes up restrained in the basement, where the Blind Man reveals that Cindy was carrying his child in order to replace the one she killed. He then prepares to artificially inseminate Rocky with a turkey baster, but then it is revealed that the Blind Man accidentally stabbed Money’s corpse with the shears as opposed to his intended victim of a passed out Alex, who has now become conscious and manages to save Rocky and handcuff the Blind Man.Rocky and Alex are unable to call the police, as their blood is all over the house, so they try to leave through the front door, but the Blind Man breaks free and shoots Alex dead. Rocky flees, but is pursued by the dog. She manages to trap the dog in her car trunk, but is recaptured by the Blind Man and dragged back to his house. Inside, Rocky disorients the Blind Man by setting off his house’s loud alarm system, then beats him with a crowbar and knocks him into the basement; he inadvertently shoots himself as he falls. Believing him dead, Rocky escapes before the police arrive.With the money, Rocky prepares to leave Detroit with Diddy on a train to Los Angeles. Before boarding the train, she sees a news report stating that the Blind Man killed two intruders (Alex and Money) in his house and is in stable condition at the hospital, but did not report Rocky or the stolen money.Don’t breathe is a gripping survival – horror which conjures its scares not only with jumpscares but within its atmosphere as well as its villain. The suspense and tension is sure to leave you struggling to breathe.

31 DAYS OF HORROR REVIEW: EVIL DEAD (2013)

CAST

Jane Levy (Suburgatory)
Shiloh Fernandez (Red Riding Hood)
Lou Taylor Pucci (Fast Food Nation)
Jessica Lucas (Gotham)
Elizabeth Blackmore (Teh Vampire Diaries)
Jim McLarty (Power Rangers Operation Overdrive)
Bruce Campbell (Maniac Cop)

In the woods, several men pursue and capture an injured girl. The girl, who turns out to be possessed by a demon, is brought into a cabin’s cellar and tied up. Her father sets her on fire and shoots her in the head.

David (Shiloh Fernandez) and his girlfriend Natalie (Elizabeth Blackmore) meet up at a cabin in the woods with his younger sister Mia (Jane Levy). Along with them are their friends Eric (Lou Taylor Pucci) and Olivia (Jessica Lucas) and David’s dog. They plan to stay in the cabin until Mia overcomes her heroin addiction. It is later revealed that David moved to another city years before, leaving Mia to take care of their dying mother. Eric remarks how David has grown distant over the years, but Olivia notes that their old friend is back and trying to make a change.

The group discover the cellar, where they see rotting animal corpses, a shotgun, and a book entitled Naturom Demonto. Eric, having some knowledge of witchcraft practices, begins studying the book. Despite the written warnings, he reads aloud an incantation, awakening a malevolent force. It rushes towards the cabin and into Mia, who is standing outside alone. Mia begins seeing someone in the woods and asks the group to leave. They refuse, believing that she is suffering from withdrawal. Mia steals the car keys and drives away, but a mysterious girl causes her to crash the car. As Mia walks back to the cabin, she is frightened by a ghostly shape and becomes entangled by the branches of a tree. The girl, who looks like a demonic form of Mia, releases black tar-like vines from her mouth. The vines crawl inside Mia, beginning her possession. David and Olivia find Mia and take her back to the cabin, ignoring her warning. David finds his dog killed and dumped under the shed, and confronts Mia. In the bathroom, he sees her scalding herself in the shower. David tries to drive her to a hospital, but heavy rains caused a flood, blocking the way out.

That night, the possessed Mia wounds David, threatens the group with death, and falls to the floor unconscious. When Olivia retrieves the gun, Mia overpowers her and vomits blood on her face. Mia is then locked in the cellar. Olivia goes to the bathroom to clean herself, and becomes possessed. Eric checks on her and sees her cutting into her cheek with a mirror shard, another scene from the book. Olivia attacks and wounds Eric, who grabs a broken piece of the toilet and bludgeons her to death.

In the shed, while David tends to Eric’s wounds, Eric tells David of what he learned from the book. According to the book, a demon called the Taker of Souls must consume five souls in order to unleash a being called the Abomination. Mia lures Natalie into the cellar and violates her, before Natalie is saved by David. Natalie cleans the bite wound inflicted by Mia and sees an infection spreading from it. As it quickly crawls up her arm, she tries to stop it by cutting the arm off. Eric explains to David that Mia must be “purified” either by live burial, dismemberment, or burning. The purification will end her possession. As they debate, Natalie becomes possessed and attacks the two. David shoots Natalie’s other arm off with the shotgun. The demon leaves her body and Natalie bleeds to death, confused, in David’s arms.

David plans to burn down the cabin with Mia in it. Mia starts singing their mother’s lullaby, and David changes his mind and decides to bury her instead. He digs a grave, then enters the cellar to subdue his sister. Mia ambushes him and attempts to drown him. Eric intervenes and knocks Mia out, but not before suffering a fatal stab wound in the process. Before Eric dies, he and David reconcile. David sedates Mia, puts her in the grave and buries her. After she loses consciousness, he digs her up and uses an improvised defibrillator to revive her. The demon is exorcised and her self-inflicted wounds are healed, and the two reconcile. As David enters the cabin to retrieve the car keys, the possessed Eric stabs him in the neck. Before dying, David locks Mia outside and shoots a nearby gasoline can, killing Eric and himself.

With five souls now claimed, the Abomination rises from the ground as blood rains from the sky. As Mia fights the Abomination, she severs her own hand in the process, before she cuts the Abomination in half with a chainsaw. Its corpse sinks into the ground and the blood rain stops. Sunlight begins to shine through the forest as Mia, hardened by the events of the night, walks away into the forest. Unbeknownst to her, the Naturom Demonto lies on the ground nearby and slams shut on its own.

In a post-credits scene, an older Ash Williams says “Groovy” and looks at the camera.Exposition at its most blatant and unapologetic is demonstrated, within 5 minutes you are told exactly who everyone is in relation to one another and what you need to know about them. Doing this in any other film always feels forced and clunky but it works in Evil Dead, we just don’t care about how long they’ve been friends or the fact that one of them is a high school teacher and thats why he loves old books. It get’s all that necessary information out of the way so we can dive into the horror and trust me, once the horror actually starts there’s not a second of a breather.