SEPTEMBER 6, 2007
Not that my genre classifications are in any way definitive, but I think the one for Slasher is pretty accurate. That said, The Toybox, described as a slasher on the back of the DVD, is NOT A FUCKING SLASHER MOVIE. Assholes. Just because some folks die (mostly offscreen, for the record), doesn’t make it a slasher movie. I don’t know what the hell it is, but it’s not a slasher.
It’s also not very good. There’s some good, even great ideas presented here, but they are horribly botched by the Peter Jackson wannabe camerawork, nonsensical plotting/structure, and giant plot holes. For example, at one point the main character is seen fading into invisibility as she walks from one house to another. Why? We never know. There are some occasional hints that she has magical powers, but if that’s true or not is never made clear. There’s also a scene where a guy types some quote on Microsoft Word for some reason, then reads it himself, which suddenly gives him an idea. What? Imagine writing down “I need pie" for no real reason, and then looking at it and saying “Hey, I need pie too!” and then running off to the store for some. That’s about as much sense as it makes.
The film also opens with a child’s game that neither makes sense, nor does it seem like a game any kid would find interesting. It’s called “Freddy’s Gone Missing”, and apparently the object of the game is to hide your pet mouse while the other kid covers his/her eyes. Then, once they open them, you say “Freddy’s Gone Missing!”, and the other kid goes “Where?” and then… you show them. Why have them cover their eyes if you immediately say where the goddamn thing is? How is that fun? Then, naturally, the stupid kid puts the mouse in the blender and then turns it on for some reason. Nice.
The rest of the movie combines the “dysfunctional family at the holidays” plot with the “brother is possessed by the spirit of an old legend, one that involves him anonymously sending his father pictures of clowns in the mail and quoting Black Sabbath” plot. In theory, fine, but while the movie begins quite good, it eventually just spins off the rails, to the point where it’s not only unclear as to what is going on, but also what the point is of anything that happens. It takes a certain kind of talent to tell a story that involves a masturbating grandfather, a mother who seduces her daughter’s boyfriend, a magic amulet, and occasional hints at a brother’s lust for his own sister, and yet make a film so dreadfully uninvolving. I wouldn’t even mention that the eponymous toybox never really figures into the plot, at least in any way that I can understand, but I just did.
The DVD’s mastering is equally inept: as the DVD starts there’s a trailer for a movie that looks just as pointless, only you can’t skip it. There’s also some inappropriate early 80’s new wave-y style music playing over the menu, and the commentary track (the discs only extra) is hidden in the setup page. What if someone had a regular TV with no surround sound – they’d have no reason to enter the setup menu, and thus would miss the commentary. Idiotic.
At least it’s anamorphic.
What say you?