6 January 2014

Suspecting The Worst



If you've not yet seen The Hunt yet then cancel everything and get the fuck to it! It's a genius slab of drama that focuses on the trauma an adult can suffer when accused of introducing a child to his fleshy man-dick. I know the film has been out a little while but due to life’s incessant bullshit, I'd somehow unknowingly avoided it for far too long… however like the irregular schedule of the bastard bus, you wait forever for one pedo-film and then two come along at once. Only a couple of weeks after buzzing off The Hunt, I recently caught up with the pervert-tacular Prisoners. Both films take place during a holiday, begin with a deer hunt and feature the fucktarded consequences of spontaneous vigilantism. The difference between the two is that in The Hunt you know that the accused is innocent of his crime. Prisoners on the other hand is a bit more of a kiddy-fucking free for all.

Prisoners tells the story of two families whose Thanksgiving is ruined when they misplace their daughters like a set of shitty car keys. Luckily though there was a greasy looking critter parked outside their house all that day in a large pedo-mobile who probably knows where they are. One of the missing girls’ dads, played by Hugh Jackman, therefore makes the logical decision to kidnap the oddball and punch the living shite out of him until he talks. I guess he just figured that the chap would be more likely to co-operate if choking on his own teeth and being screamed at by fucking Wolverine. Meanwhile, detective Donnie Darko is on his own mission to find the girls and uncovers so many more pedo-ish suspects that the area starts to resemble a holiday camp for retired BBC presenters. The plot set-up then is simply that there are several potential kidnappers with Jackman's character already having picked his 'molester du jour’ before even glancing at the full menu. What plays out is therefore just a classic game of nonce-roulette in which you take one of several local creeps, crack open their head and then hope to fuck that you had the right one.

You've got to love There's Something About Mary...
On the bright side, there's no doubting that Prisoners is a good film. In fact for the first two-thirds there's an enjoyably suffocating Zodiac-esque feel to the thing as it attempts to establish itself as being both sombre and weighty. Helping this is of course the predictably brilliant acting in which Wolverine and Donnie Darko do their best to inflate their unblinking eyes to blood-shot and bulbous levels of intensity and anguish. Nothing hammers home the serious intentions of a film more than having your two leads stare so hard that their face veins explode in a way that only naturally occurs during anal rape. Although both men are indisputably impressive throughout, I think that for me I was perhaps most impressed by Gyllenhaal. I guess that you kind of expect intensity from Jackman because he's most famous for playing an angry twat with knives up his hands, however Gyllenhaal has had to fight to be taken seriously as an adult against the curse of his annoyingly handsome but boyishly dopey face. Here though he manages to believably play a demented detective so successfully that I almost didn't mind the odd haircut that made it look as though he was being scalp fucked by a tattered doormat.

If they're on one side though then I suppose we should also have a little look at their rivals over on Team Nonce. Sadly though, I kind of think that this is one of the areas that the film kind of lets itself down in as it lazily just reaches into the big bag of pervert clich├ęs. Paul Dano plays one of the twitchy suspects and don't get me wrong- he is as amazing here as he usually is in terms of immersing himself in the role. I don't know what it is about Dano considering I know nothing about his real life but for some reason I really think me and him could one day be friends. Although that might just be because of his mute performance in Little Miss Sunshine and my desire to know somebody who literally has no choice but to listen to my everlasting drivel… However as great a performance as it is, his character couldn't be more classically pedo if he walked around with his cock disguised as a new born puppy. As the other suspects show up they too all have a look about them that's so sinister that you'd be forgiven for an involuntary scream of “FUCK OFF, CREEPER” if you passed them in the street. Films like Hard Candy and The Woodsman went someway to showing that the most dangerous thing about a sex offender is that they don't necessarily look like monsters. They could be anybody, anywhere and at any time, but here with their greasy hair, twitchy energy, bullet proof glasses and the pin-prick, tiny eyes of shrew, they couldn't be anything fucking else.

The other festering cock of a problem is pretty much the entire third act which, in my opinion, kind of undermines everything that had been done over the previous two arse-numbing hours. Like I said, the film has a moodiness to it that suggests a degree of realism and importance however the concluding third just goes a bit fucking mental. I won't spoil the details but it's like the plot slips over and accidental falls tit first into the boring world of the bog-standard thriller- the kind where some dick of a main character starts acting like the worlds thickest plank and walks gormlessly into the gaping, toothy snatch of the villain. Real life is both dull and as predictable as fuck and does not contain as many twists as this story attempts to suggest. If a little girl goes missing then the odds are she's dead- killed by either the school caretaker or her pervy uncle. What starts off as a downbeat, gritty depiction of child abduction concludes with so many bullshit 'surprises' that it's like a weird pedo-sequel to Ocean's Eleven. It's a shame too because everything starts off pretty great, it's just that when it comes time to explaining itself, it kind of starts to fuck up. Maybe if they'd gone for the gothic horror of Silence of the Lambs, the conclusion would have rang slightly more believable. It's like that moment when you ask somebody who’s lying a question and suddenly they get stumped and splutter out some panicked bollocks that sounds so much shitter than the previously prepared story of crap.

Anyone who uses a Blue Shell is a dick.
Still the whole thing is still pretty enjoyable for the most part. It's just such a shame that for a film that's about two and half hours long the story still seems to have bigger, gaping holes than an eighty year old whore. If they could just re-write the end and then squeeze the bagginess out of it then I think you'd end up with a movie worthy of its performances. Although, to give credit where it's due in regards to the end, there is a pretty cool high-speed car scene in the middle of heavy snow as the driver's head-wound gushes blood into their eyes. The film was lit by a cinematographer named Roger Deakins whose work, for those who don't know, is the human equivalent of having your eye gauged out by a golden paintbrush. Everything he works on has his unmistakable stamp of beauty on it and this is no exception. However this speeding car scene near the end is almost painful in its artistic genius. With the snow, the blood and the passing neon signs, there's so much colour being seared into our retinas that everything starts to look like Mario Kart’s Rainbow Road if it had been designed by a psychopath.

Prisoners is a good film that's just nowhere near perfect. If you have a few spare hours and there's nothing else to do then I recommend you give it a go.  On the other hand though, The Hunt almost is perfect and as I said at the start, you should go check that out before it's too late and we're all dead. They're both very enjoyable but if you only get chance to relax to one film about child abuse this year then really, it isn't a hard decision as to which you should go for. I don't regret having paid to watch Prisoners at all but if I'm honest I don't think I'd pay to own it on DVD. If however I was lucky enough to trip over the frozen corpse of a rotten tramp and he had a copy of it in his lethally chilled begging-claw then I would be more than happy to steal it from him and I'd appreciate the repeat viewing. But only under those circumstances.

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