So last night, I went to see "The Exorcism of Emily Rose" with my friend Brandon, who just moved back to Austin from Los Angeles. A few thoughts:
- Jennifer Carpenter, who played the part of Emily, was cast because she has a weird face. I do not know if this casting theory is the truth or not, but the bizarre way that her eyes turn upward at the corners made her look weird even before they put the black contact lenses in.
- Holy crap, is it good to have somebody to go see horror movies with...which is to say, holy crap, is it good to have Brandon back in town.
- The movie is not quite as atrocious as I expected it to be going in. I was expecting a complete train wreck of bad dialogue and pointless sequences where the only scary parts were already revealed in the previews. It actually succeeds in telling a decent story, and has some genuinely tense and creepy moments. Maybe people who don't like or who expect too much from horror films shouldn't review horror films. Except I myself can sometimes be one of those people who perhaps expects too much. But really, is it too much to ask of a horror film that it deliver a few real jolts and a story that isn't totally idiotic? Or if you're going down the idiotic route, is it too much to expect that you'll go totally hogwild with the stupidity? Come to think of it, maybe people who don't like horror movies are the ONLY ones who should review horror films so as to keep the big masses away, and thus allow me to get better service at the Alamo Drafthouse, which is truly the only place to see a movie if you live in Austin.
- It feels weird being entertained when there are thousands of displaced, broke, and hungry people, and grandmothers are getting arrested over sausage. But then you stop and think that every time you're getting entertained somewhere, there are millions all over the world suffering. Kinda makes you feel like a fat rich American bastard.
- Speaking of the Alamo, Brandon informed me that in all the time he lived in L.A., he did not find any similar establishment. For those who don't know, the Alamo is a theater (or chain of them now) where you can go and watch a movie and be served food and drink by waiters throughout. Actual food. Burgers, wings, pizza, salads, sammiches, various desserts, not to mention beer, wine, soda, whatever. An incredibly simple, wildly successful concept, and yet this friend of mine informs me that the city that is, for better or worse, the center of the American film industry, has nothing like it.
- There is a very distinct moment near the end of the movie where all of a sudden, like a slap in the face, I got the distinct feeling that I was being preached at, or rather, that I had been getting preached at through much of the film, and now they were letting me in on it. Something of a celluloid horror parable. Thanks, but no thanks, can you just make her head go all twisty again please?
- You gotta love the formula for horror movie previews. There were two or three before the film, and they all seemed to follow the same pattern. I swear, there's a factory with robots churning these things out.
- When something in a horror movie scares people, they tend to laugh....which is to say, when something in a horror movie scares me, I tend to laugh, and judging by the number of people around me laughing at the same time, I have to assume that they are doing the same thing.
And I think that's it.