Friday, October 24, 2008

AFF '08 Film Review: "The Alphabet Killer" (D)

Ah, yes. The one and only horror movie I saw at this year's Austin Film Festival - of course, with my luck, it was utter crap.

"The Alphabet Killer" is part crime thriller, ridiculous drama, and fucking god-awful horror. It is a genuinely boring, stupid, uninspiring piece of work. I kid you not, I think I fell asleep nearly five times during the movie - I could see people staring at me because my yawns were so loud.

The movie is poorly acted, scripted and directed. If I hadn't been with a friend, I would've walked out possibly in the first five minutes, but I did try to give it some time. One question I couldn't stop thinking about during the entire film: how the hell did they get some of the actors they did to sign on? Was there a collective brainwave of stupidity that forced the actors to sign that contract? Anyway, that doesn't matter. Even with stronger acting, the movie would have still been a lazy mess.

First off, the movie can't decide what it wants to be. It wavers from being truly shitty horror - tossing dead girls into scenes to wander around for a few cheap scares - to dumb drama and even worse crime thriller. You don't necessarily have to make a choice, I suppose, but movies like Silence of the Lambs that combine elements of horror and thriller for truly excellent (or even good) filmmaking come along very rarely. And while I believe that an independent film could do this, it certainly was not what I saw tonight.

Eliza Dushku should stick to anything Joss Whedon writes and that's it. I'm not sure the girl can act as anything other than femme bad-ass. I say that with love, because I honestly do like her. Everyone else in the movie is just forgettable, so I'm just going to ignore them.

And, oh, the ending. That was just ... too awful for words. If you don't have Morgan Freeman in you're movie, you shouldn't be utilizing narration. Period. The end. DON'T DO IT.

I am at a loss to describe the assault on my brain that was "The Alphabet Killer." It wasn't as bad as "Seed," but it comes pretty fucking close. I don't even have the energy to have a longer review.

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