27 January 2014

Two Hours of Guilt

Horror movies don't horrify me for the most part because they're bland and shit and I tend to find myself relating to the killer. I think these days the studios generally care more about cheap shocks than actual scares and so spend less time creating relatable characters and more time deciding how many ways there are to stab a person in the tits. Instead of ‘characters’ we now have these airheaded mongtards that say and do things so stupid that you want them to get their face ripped off just to shut them the fuck up. To change the subject slightly there are also period films which I have issues with because they can also be a bit po-faced and worthy. I'll honestly watch any film with an open mind but if it involves a Queen who died over a hundred years ago then the odds are it's going to be a proper bitch to get through. Just three hours of people staring out of a window whilst contemplating their duty and whinging like the boring twats that they are. However I'm pleased to announce that in an effort to address both these issues, a character driven horror/period film has just been released which is set during the ever so cheerful period of the slave trade. If you're white and fancy feeling guilty as fuck for a couple of hours then I can't recommend 12 Years a Slave strongly enough.

Okay, so to summarise.. the film is set in America before their civil war and so at a time when owning people was a perfectly acceptable past-time. Solomon Northup is a free black chap just living his life and indulging in his basic human rights as though he thinks we're all allowed to be equal. Well as nice a thought as this is, he quickly ends up with egg on his face as he wakes up one morning to find himself chained to a floor after an evening out on the piss with two shady gents. Don't you just hate it when you treat yourself to one night of getting rat arsed with strangers and then before you know it you've been stripped and sold into slavery just because you had the God damn nerve to be black... It's happened to the best of us I guess! Anyway, from this point on Solomon finds himself being thrown from pillar to whipping post by his various masters who bat him back and forth like a dark ping-pong ball during a bigots game of wiff-waff. With his owners varying in unkindness on 'The Great Twat-ometer Of Evil' and over the course of twelve years Solomon patiently waits for an opportunity to escape as though all the horrendous abuse isn't quite his idea of a good time. I won't ruin what happens by saying whether or not he does manage to get away in the end and so to find out, you'll either have to watch the film or read the book that it's based on which was written by the man himself several years later... Or you could just work it out from that I suppose.

I can whip you or we can watch Jonah Hex.. you choose!
Anywho, so obviously this movie probably wouldn't technically be labelled as a horror film but after enduring it for two hours it really fucking should be. Like I said, it takes a lot to horrify me but the graphic depiction of how we crackers used to treat black people really was nothing short of demented. It's one thing to know that people used to get whipped but it's another to see it happen to a young woman whose only crime was being owned by a wealthy-but-mental knobend. Seeing pieces of her back flick off was absolutely horrendous as she screamed for death in an unforgiving sequence that was so much more powerful than any mere history book could possibly ever get across to me... and not just because I don't read history books. If this film has a purpose beyond simply re-telling the story of Solomon Northup it's also to remind our species of just how cruel we can be and have been to anybody we outnumber. In fact, the movie was so miserable in its depiction of our inhumanity that it reminded me of one of those dystopian sci-fi films in which society has gone to shit and we're all rounded up and tortured by either broken, naked robots or damned dirty apes. Except instead of being completely fictitious, this is a true story, has already happened and the evil cunts were us.

The treatment of the slaves is shown in all its mad bastard grimness with the owners and traders beating down on their hostages with more force and fury than a teenaged boy at a regional wank-a-thon. When I first got my dog she used to shit in the house and so to stop her doing it I was told to shove her nose into the mess. However because I'm not a psychopath I couldn't do that and so instead next time she took a kitchen dump I pointed it out to her and then flicked her on the nose. That was seven years ago and I still feel guilty about it now even though all she did was look at me with mild curiosity and briefly wondered why I'd just been such a bell-end to her. My point is that I really regret something my dog would have forgotten about a minute later and so how in God's name could those owners treat the slaves with such violence and so little empathy? Maybe this is one aspect that 12 Years A Slave doesn't really delve into as it seems more concerned with what happened than why it happened. Of his various owners, Solomon finds himself belonging to Benedict Cumberbatch who is depicted as being fairly sane however even he at his kindest still owns people and so is complicit to the cruelty being inflicted throughout the system. The basic equation to work it out is simply One person + People owned = One ignorant fucknugget. Although no reason for how we can be so horrible is suggested beyond a mass mental illness of the collective honky mind, though religion seems to be a common defence for it. Cumberbatch and Solomon's next owner Fassbender both quote the Bible as a way of justifying their own dickishness because if God says it's right then it damn well must be. To be honest, it'd be easy to blame God for allowing the slave trade to happen considering he's omnipotent but as he's also a fictional character that's been spunked into the world by our paranoid minds, I guess we're still at least a little responsible.

What do you mean Brad Pitt is in this film?!
These reasons above are why I think 12 Years a Slave is a pretty mental horror film and obviously also a great period piece. Somebody else could have made this as a bland, watered down slab of Oscar bait rather than the traumatic slice of shitty life that it is and so let’s all be grateful that Lee Daniel's and Oprah Winfrey were busy. Although that's not to say that it won't necessarily win any Oscars by the way, just that if it does it'll be by being true to itself and not because it was already lubed up and gaping for the voters pleasure. It's directed by Steve 'not that one' McQueen, who has brought the same kind of unflinching tone over from his previous films however this time adding the odd flash of influence from Terrence Malick. In case you've not seen a Malick film, this basically means that every time something interesting happens then you cut to a shot of some grass for ten minutes to highlight how important everything is. His previous film Shame very nearly put me off ever jizzing again and so if you've ever dreamed of legally being somebodies bitch then maybe give this one a bit of a miss. Everything about his direction here is pretty spot-on from the framing to the pacing to the performances with a hanging scene being a particularly great way of demonstrating the nonchalant horror of the time. In fact despite the hanging scene lasting a good few minutes, the film affected me so strongly that I'm not even going to make a David Carradine wanking joke about it... which is a shame because I have a good one too. However as well as direction, the other thing that makes this film so powerful is of course the cast who are all pretty much perfect. Chiwetel Ejiofor is brilliant, Fassbender is excellent, Cumberbatch is great and Brad Pitt... well he definitely turned up... so fuck it- lets stick Pitt’s face on the poster!

Anyway to wrap all this up I suppose I can't stress enough how important this film is and how much you should see it. I had a snack to eat during it and I have honestly never felt more awful in my life for chowing down on a chocolate flake as some starving black guy got branded by an evil land baron. I'd been waiting for the one moment I could have it but in the end I had to just eat before my treat melted. The whole situation was a real tragedy. Once a year we hold a minute’s silence for those who have died during all the wars however after seeing 12 Years a Slave I think we should start having one days silence a month to repent for our bastard ancestors actions during this unforgivable shit stain on history. Although having said that, I suppose it does seem to be coming kind of common place at the minute to make films about slavery. I won't bother comparing 12 Years a Slave to Django Unchained though because so many other people already have, this blog is already way to long and I'm dying for a piss right now. To summarise- they're completely different to each other. There was also Lincoln which came out recently but although I haven't seen it, I think I might have to if only to try and restore any faith in our horrible, horrible species. I used to worry about the inevitable expansion of the Sun one day destroying everything humanity has worked towards however now I worry that by the time it happens we nasty cunts might have worked out a way of surviving. See this film and feel the guilt!


20 January 2014

FatMan and Robbing

I've recently been reading a lot about the psychologist Carl Jung partly because understanding his theories makes me feel smart but mostly because I enjoyed Michael Fassbender's performance of him in A Dangerous Method. Anyway, Jung came up with this idea of us all having a persona which acts as a kind of mask by which we present ourselves to the world. On the one hand we have this persona to highlight the aspects of ourselves that we think are great but on the other we use it to avoid others from finding out about the bits of us that are actually kind of shit. Some people might want to seem more relaxed or ‘hip’ than they really are whereas others just don't want to be suspected for killing all those prostitutes that they keep dead in the cellar. Facebook is a great way in which we can do this nowadays as we spend hours crafting the idealised version of ourselves for our friends to accept. We delete the crap photos where we look ugly, whilst using, as profile pictures, any in which we're stood next to a fat person or ideally anybody with something as uncouth as a hunchback.

We have an idea in our head of who we'd like to be seen to be, and so I suppose any time we're presented with options relating to our presentation then we go for the ones that support that image. A perfect way of figuring out what a person is about might be their clothes, the way they've decorated their house or even the style of their hair for example. Personally I have a ponytail which suggests that I like people to think that I'm laid back whilst at the same time suggesting a hatred of conformity... because a ponytail is an act of rebellion that's only slightly less clichéd than getting a shit tattoo of a skull and listening to heavy metal music. Although that is true, the other reason is that after years of battling with my shorter, sticky up hair, I eventually gave up and disowned the fucker... He does what he wants and I won't question it so long as he leaves me alone in return. Turns out that what my hair wants to do when left to its own devices is grow. Who'd have thought it?

Batman, Mystique, Hawkeye, Lois Lane.. and introducing Bradley Cooper as 'Pubehead'..
I mention all of this because it seems that hair is the key to understanding the film American Hustle or to give it its original and far superior title... American Bullshit. Taking place in the late 70's and early 80's, the movie tells the story of a fat balding con-man played by Christian Bale who, along with his partner Amy Adams, is forced into becoming a mole for the FBI. In fact there's a good few scenes near the start where those two get to know each other by having fun and dicking about which is kind of like the shittest Justice League movie you could possibly imagine! This film is directed by David O'Russell who, some people will remember as the director of Three Kings, The Fighter and Silver Linings Playbook and who others won't remember as the director of I Heart Huckabees. In case none of that rings any bells though then he's also the guy that got into a proper tussle with George Clooney on one set and was filmed losing his shit with Lily Tomlin on another. In regards to the Lily Tomlin one I suggest you check it out on YouTube if you haven't already just to see how blindly mad one human can possibly get... also it's fucking hilarious to see him storming in and out of various set doors as though it's a chase scene in a Scooby Doo cartoon whilst the elderly actress that he's screaming at remains fairly chilled out. If we're going back to Jung's theory of personas then it seems David O'Russell has worked pretty hard at presenting himself to the world as a massive angry twat.

Anyway I said that hair was the key to understanding this film and it is, with each character sporting head pubes so awful that the shamed barber responsible should be forced to fall on his scissors. Christian Bale has gone for the classic look of having a bald head on top but with long hair around the sides to comb over after hiding the naked scalp below a scraggily glued on merkin. However despite being proper ridiculous, it really just serves to show us who the character is as the film opens with a long sequence in which Bale lovingly and meticulously crafts it from scratch. It's hard to create but shows that he's a man who'll put in the time and patience for just a little dignity. It also shows a more human side to him as we see a misjudged attempt at hiding vulnerability by accidentally drawing attention to it. His hair really has its cake and eats it by partly helping to endear him to us but also getting laughs out of how much of a knob it makes him look. This is true of pretty much everybody else too with Bradley Cooper’s tightly wound perm being representative of his tightly wound and slightly manic personality. I suppose that for both Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence who are both kind of fighting for Bale’s attention... well, their hair is like a peacocks feathers getting bigger and bigger as one tries to intimidate the other whilst keeping the eye of their mate on them. As well as these world class actors, the comedian Louis CK turns up as a fat, balding man with a ginger goatee... Amazing how chameleonic some people can be.

However not only does the hair tell you about the characters, it is so over the top and eye-catching that it draws your attention to just how fucking superficial everything is. Like any movie about money that's set near the end of the 70's and definitely the 80's, American Hustle also shows off the excess of those slightly tacky decades. For anybody who flashed their cash, films like this, Wall Street and American Psycho revel in their depiction of double crossing arseholes who hide their two faces behind either shoulder pads and beehives or pinstripe suits and offensively un-erotic porno tache's. This superficial streak is only emphasised by the films plot which is about a group of people who make a living from conning people into believing that they're people that they're not. I've never used the word 'people' more in my life than that previous sentence. Considering this was during crime’s tutorial decades where there was no internet to quickly Google for bullshit, assuming false identities was simply a case of coming up with a character, dressing up and again... presenting the correct persona. For the sake of this blog alone, I am so fucking glad that I read that shit by Jung.  

"It smells funny.. Like my fingers are here to fucking amuse you?"
However this idea of presenting a false persona through superficial details not only exists within the plot of American Hustle but actually within the DNA of the movie itself. The film has long swooping camera movements, cool edits, a heavy reliance on voice-overs and a great soundtrack. It also examines both morally grey characters, the corruption of the American Dream and also puts more emphasis on people's relationships than the actual plot. Just short of shagging Liza Minnelli, doing too much cocaine and almost dying of asthma, American Hustle seems desperate to convince us all that it is the work of Martin Scorsese. On top of that, there's a scene here that seems to take place in the same restaurant as the Goodfellas, 'Funny how? scene' and a fight between Bale and Lawrence that to anybody with blurred vision is kind of like the fight between De Niro and Sharon Stone in Casino. In fact the only thing it lacked to make it feel completely like a Scorsese film is the appearance of De Niro as a violent Mobster and then bam! About half way in.. Spoiler Alert... De Niro shows up as a violent mobster.

However, rather than feel like a Scorsese rip-off the film gets away with it because firstly, the whole thing is about depicting fake identities through surface details and secondly, it's just so much damn fun. Although at the very worst it did make me desperate to catch up with The Wolf of Wall Street. I can say with some certainty that so far this is definitely my favourite film of 2014 which is only partly down to the fact that it's the only one I've seen so far. However, even if that wasn't the case there's surely no way that anybody couldn't enjoy the scene where Lawrence is going apeshit to the song Live and Let Die and dancing like a pisshead with a power cable up her arse. To conclude, if you've not seen American Hustle then I recommend you go and check it out because it's funnier than most comedies and features great performances from everybody... Particularly Amy Adams who seems to be playing three characters at once- she's an English woman, an American Woman and a woman who can't decide if she's the English or American one. I'm not sure what Jung would say about the persona she puts out considering she's confused by it herself although I might have to read on and find out. In fact I only read the book once and there's a good chance that I might have gotten all this persona bullshit wrong. I'm pretty sure I haven't but... fuck.. I'll go re-read it. Hope you enjoy and see you next week motherfuckers!


13 January 2014

Spring Break Is The American Dream?

In all honesty I have no real idea what a Spring Break actually is and from what little I do know, I suspect I'd completely fucking hate it. I think it's like a big beach party in America where all the newly legal teens migrate to in order to get off their tits and bone each other.. but I'm no expert. In England the weather doesn't really permit us to strip off outside and even if it did, our fun would no doubt be spoilt by a hosepipe ban or an unchecked sex offender. To be honest with you, I'm only twenty-five now but I think that mentally I've been Arthur Dent since probably about birth. If I ended up at one of those teeny beach raves I wouldn't be joining in because it just seems a bit too vacuous and tribalistic for me. Kind of like if MTV had been involved in the last days of Rome. Instead I'd probably just be stood clothed on a nearby jetty, enjoying a nice cup of tea, as the youths frolic in the water and I wait to see if a rogue speed boat ploughs through and kills them all. It seems that it's the kind of place where nubile airheads go to do something 'crazy' as though the word 'crazy' really means exciting! But it doesn't mean exciting... It means completely fucking retarded.

With that in mind, the chances of me being able to relate to any single character in the film Spring Breakers seemed about as likely as those types of people giving any kind of shit about me. I know that we're all human but with their impulsive, extraverted nature and my crippling sense of cynicism, I refuse to believe that we're actually the same species. That being said, a movie doesn't necessarily need a sympathetic or relatable lead character if it has a particularly gripping style or story to pull you in. I mean, believe it or not but even at my age I still haven't been raped or even raped anybody in a quiet country house but that doesn't mean I can't love Straw Dogs. However the story of Spring Breakers begins with a group of young, shallow, tarts desperate to go to this ‘Spring Break’ event thing so that they can whip out their titties and start shoving some boys up themselves. Initially they don't have enough cash for the trip but by combining their five brain cells, they decide to just steal the money from some other people... which they do. After a few days of partying they end up in jail having been charged with the crime of being an irritating, coke snorting herd of slags. Lucky for them though, they've caught the eye of a dreadlocked freak named Alien who bails them out and takes them under his wing. There isn't a character here that doesn't represent everything that I hate about the world... To quote my hero Morrissey, “Come! Come! Come - nuclear bomb!”

I wonder what could be popular about this boobs.. I mean... film..
The film was written and directed by Harmony Korine whose previous efforts include Trash Humpers, Mister Lonely and the legendary Gummo. I actually saw Gummo for the first time last year and was shocked by how much I loved it. I'd been promised a film in which, “some weirdo's have a fight with a chair”, and so I was prepared for some morally dubious piece of shit in which disabled people are exploited for giggles... like they are on The X-Factor, however what I got instead was a beautifully shot and dreamlike film in which a town of impoverished hicks crack on with their simple lives of skinny dipping, theft and chubby-whoring. Obviously I enjoyed the chair fighting stuff too but there's no way that I can't love any film that concludes with a Roy Orbison song as some kid in bunny ears runs towards the camera whilst holding a dead cat. As a result of my love for Gummo I was looking forward to Spring Breakers. Also after the tragic death of the year 2013, people began including this film quite frequently in their top ten lists... So I was kind of excited.   

To anybody watching this film, my advice would be not to have the high expectations that I did and then afterwards wait at least a day before making any decision on it. You know when you eat some burgers that are so old that they've turned slightly green and, true story, you have to give it twenty-four hours to see if you shit yourself to death?… Well that's kind of what the movie is like. It needs time to sink in but when it does you'll either have had a good time or a really fucking terrible one. After much mulling over though, I can thankfully conclude that eventually I thought it was great! It's no Gummo but it's certainly fucking something... I think the main problem is that it depicts this stupid event as a kind of Mecca for knobheads but then doesn't seem to have an obvious opinion on it. I mean I think it's a satire because there's a voiceover in which the girls claim to be having such an enlightening time as a montage shows them pissing in the street but then maybe I'm just seeing that angle due to my own prejudice? I imagine that the kind of smooth skinned braindead fucktards that the movie depicts could probably watch Spring Breakers and take it completely at face value... as though it's a full-blown tribute to their shallow, unimportant and shit lives.

I think that for me the key to deciding how I felt was a scene near the end in which the twattish looking Alien plays the piano whilst his gang of trollops prance around him. They ask him to play something that will show his emotional side and so to prove how tender he can be he plays a song by Britney Fucking Spears. The scene then transcends into something bizarre as though Britney's music is the path to their enlightenment … As though her songs have any kind of meaning at all, let alone a deeper one. I mean, we do all remember who Britney is right? The talentless skank that went mad, shaved off her hair and then made a career out of flashing her gash. I mean I know there are scumbag members of the paparazzi lying in the gutter to get the flange-shot but she could still wear some fucking underwear. Have you seen her vagina? It's like Mother Theresa’s wrinkled arse hole... All rank and gross like a dying Sarlacc as it strains painfully for one last gasp of life. From this alone I had to conclude that the film was taking the piss because surely nobody could seriously treat Britney as some kind of white-trash deity? Surely they couldn't? Jesus- I hope it's taking the piss!

Well he looks like a lovely chap...
The other thing that deserves praise is this Alien character that I keep referring to or to be more specific, James Franco's performance as him. Franco is almost unrecognisable in this role having hidden himself beneath a head of hair that resembles the Predator's pubes and a set of gold teeth that suggests he's sucked off King Midas. Alien is a gangster but his heart is in the right place even if his brain isn't...  He's one of those morons that watches Scarface and idolises the career path having clearly not watched the end and seen that.. spoiler alert... Tony Montana doesn't end up as a rich and happy old man. Also I heard Franco say “y'all” so many times in Spring Breakers that I now have a permanent twitch in my eye that I'm sure suggests the phrase has become a trigger for me to go on a kill rampage. It's a great performance and one that is rightly gaining praise from most who see it however it does seem to have rubbed one chap up the wrong way. In July 2013 a rapper named Riff Raff sued the makers of this film claiming that the character of Alien had clearly been based on him and that he had not been paid or received credit for this. Beyond the fact that I'm pretty sure you don't need a person’s permission to portray them in a film I thought I'd Google him anyway and to be fair he has a point....When I first saw a picture of Riff Raff I was struck by two thoughts, the first was “Jesus he looks the spitting image of Franco's Alien” and the second was “Fuck me this guy looks like such a cunt”.

Franco's performance was great but nothing probably helped it more than surrounding him with an ensemble of dull actresses and characters that were completely devoid of any personality. It was the acting equivalent of standing next to the town munter just so that you can look better in a photograph. However with my reading of the film, these boring girls are intentionally this way to highlight the kind of insufferable dullards who enjoy this crap lifestyle. Again I'm pretty sure that some real life fucknuts could watch this and relate to the irritating skin-puppets on screen, however as much as I get this message, it's still pretty hard to sit with them for ninety minutes and so, for me, the other appeal of Spring Breakers was also in its style. Although to be fair, even that's garish and crass with all the colours set to eye raping levels of intensity. Remember when people first got dodgy copies of Photoshop and suddenly everybody thought they were a photographer because they could take a shit picture and then crank the curves and colour saturation up to such an extent that it looked like they'd been caught in a nuclear blast? Well that's kind of the look the film is going for too although again I'm hoping that this is another example of demonstrating the shallowness of this whole event.

To kind of conclude, there was some controversy after the film was released with some people claiming that its depiction of females was sexist but with others defending this saying that it was actually empowering for them. For me though the films refusal to have an obvious stance on its subject kind of results in it having its cake and eating it. On the one hand yeah these girls become tooled up bitches who take what they want and ultimately answer to nobody but on the other hand they do it with their arse out and their tits bouncing. I do recommend this film but if you watch it and decide that you need to go to a beach rave, I don't think that we can ever be friends again.


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 clichés. 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.