When The One I Love was getting set for release, its star, Elisabeth Moss, was making the rounds of the talk show circuit. I caught one of her appearances, I forget which show, and she was cagey about the plot. She was concerned about giving away the big spoiler in the film. The trailer, having gone through the hands of a marketing department, does everything short of spoiling the big reveal. In the trailer, a troubled couple, Ethan and Sophie (Mark Duplass and Moss), take a weekend retreat to one of those gorgeous houses that so many dream of, and only a few have. There's a guest house on property, and something weird is going on inside. Throughout the trailer, the idea that something is going on inside that house is pounded home again and again and again. Okay, we get it! There's a unique plot twist ahead and you don't want to tell us potential viewers what it is, but calling so much attention to it makes you seem desperate for viewers. I hate the trailer for this movie. It crows at the audience like a child on a diving board, calling out for mom or dad to watch the sick cannonball they're about to do. Just jump in the pool, kid. Mommy's having a grownup conversation.
This past week, prosecutors in St. Louis County, Missouri, failed to secure a grand jury indictment against Darren Wilson, the Ferguson police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown. In Cleveland, newly released surveillance video captured by a nearby camera shows police officers fatally shooting twelve-year-old Tamir Rice. The video differs from accounts the officers gave of the shooting. In New York City, a rookie police officer shot and killed unarmed Akai Gurley in a darkened housing project stairwell. In Utah, it was reported that police in the state kill more people than gang violence. In defiance of federal law, many police departments fail to report statistics on officer-involved shootings to the Department of Justice. Meanwhile, in Rialto, California, complaints against the police force have decreased by 88%, and instances of police using force against suspects has decreased by 60%, all in the three years since the city required its officers to wear cameras on their bodies.
I have not voted today, nor do I plan to. Back in September, I wrote about how, because of the anxiety it was causing, I had gone on a news embargo. The only news that I got of the outside world and its politics came from seeing random headlines that happened to be on websites I visited. I ignored the local papers on the rack at the corner bodega, and chucked the copies of the Times delivered to my door every weekend, still wrapped in plastic, straight into the bin. Bookmarks for news sites on my computer were ignored. Since then, I've slowly been able to reintegrate myself with current events, but only in an uncommitted fashion. Because I care so much about what happens in this country and the world, I cannot care about it. Put another way, I was damaging my psyche to such an extent by investing myself emotionally in politics that the only way I can feel comfortable being up to date is by being a dispassionate observer.
Woe be to the viewer when a film series becomes tired. At first there was innovation, followed by repetition. Afterwards comes mediocrity, before, finally, the series descends into total and utter garbage. Such is the case with the last film in this year's Horrorshow, Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers. From the opening scene through denouement, the sixth entry in the Halloween franchise is a tedious affair. So tedious, in fact, that I was worried I wouldn't be able to pay enough attention to this movie to write about it. It was a close call. More than once while I was watching a text message would come in or I would want to look up a member of the cast or crew on the internet, and any deviation in my focus threatened to derail my comprehension of on screen events. How could I possibly write a review of this dog if I couldn't remember what I just saw? I've stopped watching films after fifteen or twenty minutes and still written reviews, but the difference between those films and this one is that, although I only spent a short time with those films, I was able to keep my focus. Halloween 6 was a struggle from beginning to end.
Clive Barker has a sick little mind. There's no other explanation. His idea of a dimension of pure pleasure becomes twisted into a place of unending pain, and thus are birthed the Cenobites, cinema's most inventive sadomasochistic villains.