JUNE 5, 2008
Attention casting folks: If your lead actress resembles Angelina Jolie in any way (as the woman in The Entrance does – same lips, very similar eyes), then make sure your male lead in no way resembles Ethan Hawke, for it leads to the viewer making unnecessary comparisons to Taking Lives, one of the absolute worst thrillers of all time. Hell, there’s even a scene in Entrance where Jolie-lite (also a cop) is interrogating a frantic Hawke-lite, much like their simulacrums did in the former film. Gah.
Luckily this movie’s much better than Lives. It’s not great, but it’s a well done low budget film with a plot that is a bit similar to that of the first Saw, but with a religious/supernatural bent. It’s also the 2nd movie in a row to deal with a little boy being molested. Great. But hey, horror movies SHOULD be disturbing on different levels, not just “look how graphic this murder is!”, so I guess that’s, in a twisted way, a good thing. And both molesters were killed horribly, so hurrah!
Speaking of yesterday’s movie, this one was also Lionsgate. And I must give credit where credit is due: It’s an anamorphic transfer! Yay for the Lion! You did it! Wasn’t that easy? Now just do that for ALL of your goddamn movies and I can stop bitching at you for it, and focus on bitching at you for forcing me to watch your goddamn 20 second logo at the top of all your DVDs.
Unlike Saw though, the games the killer plays are not about torture. They are actual games. Bingo, Poker, Musical Chairs... all played by our victims. Loser dies, winner goes on to the next game. It’s kind of funny to see a group of grown men playing musical chairs, and impressive that it’s actually pretty suspenseful to boot. Nice work.
Another thing I’d like to point out that has nothing to do with the movie: lighters. At one point, the main dude lights a cigarette, and his lighter is a metal one with the lid (I don’t smoke so I don’t know what these are called). In real life, I almost never see these. Everyone always has the regular Bic type long thin type with no lid. But in movies, they always have the other kind. Why is that? No matter how much of a low-life the character is supposed to be, they ALWAYS have the more expensive lighters. It bugs me for some reason.
One thing I didn’t care for in the movie is that it is maddeningly vague on certain plot points. The end credits promise 2 more movies, but that’s no excuse for not providing key information for THIS movie, you know, the one you made and possibly might not get to sequelize. I’m all for leaving things for interpretation, but here there is more unanswered than not. Even minor things aren’t resolved, such as the film’s conclusion, which has one character holding another at gunpoint. Come on!
This is addressed in the making of; the director says he wants the audience to decide for themselves. Which, again, is fine, but it should be the exception, not the rule. I would also like to suggest avoiding the making of before you watch the film, as it gives a lot of stuff away. Like Saw, the surprising connections and twists are a big part of what makes the film enjoyable, so I won’t give them away here.
It’s not perfect by any stretch (the woozy acting of one Ron Sauvé in particular is pretty damaging, since he’s an important character with a lot of exposition), but it’s not the usual junk, and it’s nice to see a “Saw ripoff” that rips off the ideas, not the gore/torture.
What say you?