This movie does get quite the harsh rap, so, expecting a Nostalgia Critic
Worthy nightmare of terrible filmmaking, I rented it one night and put it on, a big grin on my face as I waited for "WHAT A TWEEST!"
moment that I was so eager to see.
What I got instead of that was a convoluted Post Modern Magik
kind of a tale, one that was convoluted and downright silly, even if the the High Concept
was a promising one. This movie throws all kinds of good ideas against the wall, yet few of them stick.
One Character, A Genre Savvy
Critic, had the potential to be an interesting plot device in this film. He could've guided them through the story, Scream
style, before meeting an ironic and unexpected death - but nope. He just gives a self-aware speech and is killed, leaving me thinking Shamylan knew he was making a mediocre film all along. That the man behind The Sixth Sense
has come to this is gutting, when he has the talent for filmmaking and has lost the grip on character, plot and pretty much everything else.
Another idea, this one more reprehensible, is of Shamylan himself playing a visionary, nay, prophetic writer, destined to save the world. While this idea could've worked, as in New Nightmare
where Wes Craven
played the self-aware writer of a story in a Horror Comedy
, here it's simply Shamylan patting himself on the back. If this were a Satire, it could've worked, but the way Shamylan plays it we just feel like he's become an arrogant Jerk Ass
, and it makes the movie much harder to enjoy.
This movie could've benefited from a Child Protagonist in a Children's Hidden Fantasy world. The more outlandish concepts might fit in better from a Child's P.O.V., turning the movie into a Dr. Seuss-like tale of ridiculous creatures and absurdity, but Shamylan tries to play it straight, and on this level, the story is absurd.
While it's never painful to watch, and sitting through it (for me anyways) made me feel apathetic at worst and in Disbelief at best ("Really? Apes with Mohawks?"), it isn't laughably bad, and it isn't Plan 9 From Outer Space
. It's just a movie with many ambitions, some good ideas, and nowhere near enough focus or development to stand up to a Good Film's Standards, which Shamylan (used to) be capable of.
For the worst, see The Happening
or The Last Airbender
. For Mediocre, well....here you are.