The Graveyard (2006)

NOVEMBER 19, 2008


Well, so far I am 0-2 on Fearnet choices (not counting a viewing of Midnight Meat Train, which is airing “exclusive” prior to its DVD release). Granted, I don’t expect the greatest movies of all time (ones I haven’t seen, at that) to be airing for free, buried in the Time Warner cable menus, but I see some other decent stuff in there, like Friday the 13th Part VI (my favorite of the series, in fact) and The Eye 2, so why the fuck do I keep watching shit like Leprechaun in the Hood and now The Graveyard, which managed to be one of dullest slasher movies I’ve ever seen?

The most brilliant thing about Scream is that they pretty much tell you right off the bat that Billy is the killer, but you spend the entire movie saying “No way, it can’t be that obvious, it has to be so and so”. Apparently, screenwriter Michael Furst didn’t take any cues from that movie, or any other good slashers, since HIS killer is possibly the most obvious in movie history. The whole movie’s a sort of Prom Night ripoff in Friday the 13th’s setting, with a prank going wrong and then everyone going back to the camp (inexplicably located next to a graveyard) 5 years later for a reunion. So who is the killer? The guy who took the blame for the death and just got out of prison? The creepy friend who harbors an unrequited crush on one of the girls? Maybe the jilted girlfriend who decided to join the party at the last minute? Of course not. None of those would be viable choices, because it’s just lazy red herring screenwriting at its “finest” on display. And thus, anyone who has ever seen a single horror movie in his life (you might not even need that much to qualify) would instantly know that the killer is the “cook” who has been hired to “take care” of the group while they are camping.

Allow me to point out a few things here:

1. We have to believe that a bunch of grown men and women in the woods would need to hire a guy to cook for them in the first place.
2. The killer’s plan involves killing the real cook – so not only is the whole idiotic “cook” notion not even made up (they could have just run into the guy there and he could have said he was the owner’s son or some shit), it would only work if no one ever actually saw what he looked like. And, presumably, the killer would have to know how to cook better than any of them to sell his ruse.
3. Even if for some reason the killer’s identity wasn’t glaringly obvious, they actually show the real cook being killed! The LEAST they could have done is just have someone find the body late in the film and discover that their “cook” wasn’t who he said he was.

But of course, if the movie was set up like that, we’d lose on what may be the LEAST plausible thing in the entire movie: the requisite scene where an innocent group member is blamed for a killing by the town sheriff. Sheriff puts the guy in cuffs and calls in his ID. His dispatcher, almost instantly, comes back with the fact that the guy is on parole, and the crime was manslaughter. Yet, dispatcher DOESN’T have the date of parole (which would prove his innocence, since the cook was killed like 3 days ago, even though we saw it happen earlier that day; this particular plot hole is one that I just ignored for the sake of making fun of other stuff), nor the nature of his “crime” (i.e. an accidental death). Why would whatever info the dispatcher got that included his crime and parole status skip over that other stuff? Oh, to provide “tension!” Fuck you, movie.

Another nonsensical blunder of this setup is that the guy kills everyone off in the first hour, and since we know the guy in jail is innocent, this doesn’t even leave any other suspects. Yet there’s about 10-15 min worth of padding until he finally reveals himself as the killer to our Final Girl. If nothing else, a whodunit movie lives and dies on its ability to keep at least two options available up until the actual reveal (best way is to have actual killer kill the other possible suspect).

Let’s see, what else sucked... the direction was terrible, and I later learned that the director was the same soulless asshat responsible for A Dead Calling: one Michael Feifer. Since the movie is filmed entirely at Sable Ranch and it makes absolutely no sense for any of the group to go there again, I am guessing that, like the other movie, he simply had the location and jotted down a story that would fit there on a pizza box. I swear, I have to start remembering these assholes’ names so I know to avoid their other garbage.

And the ways that Feifer/Furst kept the movie “moving” insulted not just my intelligence, but the intelligence of the Hungry Man Meal I was eating at the time; like when one of the girls’ ex girlfriend (hey-o!) shows up to give the “you belong to me!” template speech of crazy girlfriend characters. She literally pops in out of nowhere, gets told to go home, and is then killed. Of course, since I already knew the guy’s identity, this also made zero sense, because he’s with the other girls at the time in the middle of the woods. So in order for him to go kill the lesbian chick, he has to leave our hero girls alone for like 20 minutes to pull it off (this assumes he had his lame costume on him, if not, he’d need probably another 10 to go back to his cabin and get it). These type of plot holes aren’t uncommon in whodunit slashers, but usually you don’t notice them AS THEY ARE OCCURRING. Again, this is what happens when you all but name the killer character “The Killer”.

Also, the movie kills some time (for an 80 minute movie with credits, there’s a shitload of padding) by having the parolee play a prank on the others with the help of one of the other guys. Asshole, you just got out of jail after 5 years because your boring ass pranks got someone killed! Plus, it’s hinted that the guys set it up WHILE HE WAS STILL IN JAIL! Jesus fucking Christ, the more I think about this movie, the fucking stupider it seems.

The gore sucks too. And there’s occasional nudity, but not from co-star Trish Coren, who is the only person in the movie that I recognized (she was in Boo and Headless Horseman), so that was a letdown too. The movie even stops cold to have her and her ex start to fool around (more padding that makes no sense at all), but then they get interrupted right as she’s about to disrobe. All this for a character introduced as a slut. Way to piss me off even more.

Anyone want to guess who distributed this horseshit? It rhymes with Brian’s Hate.


What say you?

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