The Horrors of Netflix

Netflix has without a doubt been the worst thing that has ever happened to my productivity – I procrastinate on procrastination because of my netflix subscription. Rather than watching any of the dubiously worthy titles on my horror list, I instead choose to sit around genre-searching on the site. I’ve watched two horror films lately that feel as if they were made in the 1990s when they were actually made in the 2000s. Hardly a comment on the films as such – I was dating them based off of the highly selective criteria of “I would have watched this kind of film at a sleep-over as a pre-teen”.

Fear Dot Com

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This film left me incredibly confused. I’m still not entirely sure if I know what the plot was or what actually happened. In fact, I had to google the plot synopsis afterwards just to clear up the fine details (I think I know what happened now. I think.)

This film felt a little bit like a couple of different storylines had been blitzed into one, which was what left me with my confusion – we had a psychopath live-streaming his murders online, and then we had a vengeful ghost killing people who watched it. With the way the film was edited together, it took me far too long to work out what was happening and who was doing what.

The film also presented us with a gloriously inaccurate image of the way that the internet works, which is always something to behold – the internet of cinematic, fictional universes looks nothing like the plain-old google we have in the real world, because it doesn’t need to be remotely functional. Nobody needs to use these webpages, so they look graphic and flung-together without any thought for functionality. If any of those sites appeared on your browser you’d back-page the hell out of there, not even for snuff reasons (hopefully for snuff reasons) but because the pop-ups and auto-playing music are annoying.

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A confusing film, but I know I would have enjoyed it at a mid-teens sleepover, so it probably hits all the buttons it’s supposed to hit – unfortunately that’s still not enough to win it a higher rating from me.

[1/5]

Open Graves

I watched this purely for Eliza Dushku. At least I’m honest about my motivations. She’s amazing and her role as Faith on Buffy the Vampire Slayer was the first time I remember having a crush on a lady: she is therefore highly influential in my life, and I will watch any number of terrible things for her.

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But.

This film is definitely not good.

Having said that, I don’t think it’s as terrible as Fear Dot Com, so coming hot on the heels of that Netflix treasure it already had an advantage.

The plot revolves around a group of characters who start to play a board game, only to discover that they each start dying like their pieces died off in the game. It’s the love child of Final Destination and Jumanji, except it’s not as fun as either of those films. While that sounds like a match made in heaven, it unfortunately doesn’t work too well in practice – maybe jiggling the way the plot worked around a bit more might have helped, and interlacing the playing of the game with the rest of the plot.

But, hey, this film had Eliza Dushku being awesome (I was also half-convinced for most of the film that she was pulling the strings behind the scenes, and I refuse to let go of this belief regardless of what the narrative tells me) so I can’t complain too much. It did exactly what I wanted it to: provided me with a new opportunity to swoon over that her.

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[2/5]

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