11 November 2007

Running Scared

This movie is off the fucking hook. It is crazy.

Goddamnit. I watch action movies because I want some goddamn escapism, not because I want to be confronted with the evil in the world, ok? I want bad guys to be bad, yes, but I don't want them to synecdochally refer to truly horrific things in the world that are actually happening. If you show me a truly appalling scene of a guy beaten his wife, or abusing children, it doesn't make me wanna stand up and cheer when he gets capped, it just depresses the hell out of me. wtf.

This movie is bad. The acting sucks, the dialogue is weak, and it resorts to incredibly cheap tricks to manipulate the emotions of the viewer in a totally mindless way. Yes, visually, it's well done. There are a few really excellent scenes. But it's also incredibly brutal and upsetting. For no good reason. The movie isn't showing me these horrible things in order to reflect on them or make some kind of statement about them. It's doing it for cheap thrills and heightened emotion. I resent that.

The thing is, on the one hand, this movie wants to be a badass action flick. And when it's doing that, it does it well. It's a bit on the brutal side, but that's not unreasonable. But why does it need to drag children into it? It is not uncommon to have kids serve as a motivating factor in action movies - usually a kid has been kidnapped and it's up to the hero to save him/her. Fair enough. The horror of people abusing children is always in the background, but it's sort of left there unexplored, rather than built up. Which is just dandy, because, as I said above, I'm not trying to think about the horrible things people do to children. It's not a happy topic.

What I'm so pissed off about is a sequence in this movie that features this totally outrageous plot twist - this kid, fleeing his abusive male guardian, gets into a random van. Surprise! Turns out owners of said van are super fucked up pedophiliac murderers. The whole segment is completely unnecessary to the plot, but it is truly horrific. It's terrifying, and upsetting, and really just awful. Why put the viewer through that? Why? I can't forgive the filmmakers for that scene.

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