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Halloween has always been my favorite holiday. So, since 2011, I have spent the entire month of October every year reviewing a horror movie each day. I've changed formats many times over the years, and in the past few years, I've even been joined by my wife Solee, as well as the occasional guest. We've got text, drawings, video reviews, audio reviews... we got it all! Wanna check out our reviews? Look below, or use the menu to the left to dig deeper!
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  Belittling Horror Excessively: Spider Forest 10:53 PM -- Mon October 24, 2011  

This is a movie review... I will not outright spoil things, but if you want to really experience a movie fresh and clean, there is information below that will dirty you up! So beware of mild semi-spoilers.

Synopsis: Er, I'm not really sure. There's this forest, and a guy stumbles across some bodies in a house in it, then gets beaten down by another guy, then stumbles out into the street where a car hits him. Confusion, altered realities, and marginally successful recuperation from cranial damage ensue!

Scariness Type: There is gore, even one of those lovely (and so realistic) fountains of spraying blood. Mostly though, this is a very confusing mystery, not anything trying to scare you at all.

Rating: 2/5 Hand Scythes. Believe it or not, the same rating scale is appropriate twice in a row.

My Take: I can't do the Good Stuff and Bad Stuff and all that this time... I'm just too confused. The first hour of this movie was completely disconnected, all strange events that didn't seem to fit with the introduction. It was flashbacks within flashbacks within stories being told within flashforwards (I don't think it really had that many layers at once, but it did have all of those things). It wasn't until more than halfway through that the threads start pulling together. Thankfully, they did pull together, and it all manages to make a sort of cohesive sense (well, sort of), even if I don't entirely understand the conclusion. It's doing a certain type of story, that I've seen more than once before, but the end result just doesn't click together for me this time. I know when you mess with time and ghosts (which, I believe we've discussed, are essentially the same thing!), that you can be left with things that the viewers watch, but they didn't officially happen in the final outcome. We have that here, but also some arbitrary changes that seem meaningless.

I have an interpretation of this movie, and if you don't want to be spoiled, skip to the next paragraph. Ready? Okay, I'm not actually going to tell you anything, I'm just going to say that this is the same story as the movie Stay in several ways. So if you haven't seen that, I have spoiled nothing, but if you have seen either this or that, I've spoiled the other. I liked that movie, it fit together nicely and didn't leave me so confused. Hooray for movies made for dumb Americans!

So anyway, yeah! I don't really stand too strongly by my rating. There was a lot of complexity here (and a foreign language to deal with, and making dinner, and my cats interrupting me like five times to deal with their issues, and two phone calls), and I'm afraid that I'm rating it lower than it deserves. It's a fun and complex idea, so if it really does all come together in a good way for people who are smart enough to get it, then it deserves a much higher rating. But part of my low rating is also because it takes forever to get going. I was interested in all the threads they were dangling and the hope of getting to tie them together later, but it just felt like an awful lot of backstory and setup before anything really happened. That may have been the interruptions talking though, so again, not too sure of my rating.

Hmm, to help me write this, I scanned some Netflix reviews just now and I see a common theme in them that helps explain the confusion: it's repeatedly referred to as being in the tradition of David Lynch. There you go. Confusion is to be expected. Although to my credit, I clearly understood things a lot more than some of these reviewers... wow. One of them is particularly amusing, but I guess you'd have to watch the movie to appreciate it.

Tomorrow's movie is nice simple American fare that's made for idiots like I like it! It's The Skeleton Key, in which a hospice worker finds a key that unlocks some kind of secrets. Fingers crossed for some sort of scares. Come on movies! I can take it!
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