Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Netflix grab-bag review: Confined

Starring Emma Caulfied and some other people, Confined is about a woman who moves to the suburbs to de-stress from getting laid off, only to discover that her neighbor is a dangerous old kidnapper with a secret in his basement. Apparently this was based off a true story, which is weird because it is wildly unrealistic.

This review contains spoilers, but that's okay because so does the movie. Even though the bad guy isn't on the cover - wait, hangon, can I just take a minute to bitch about this cover? Okay, here it is.

That's a movie cover from 2010. The age when everyone's nine-year old can operate Photoshop. Or read a one-sentence synopsis in order to decide what to put on a cover. Why are there THREE images of her husband looking boring? Why is the primary image of the main character cut off at the chin and highly unflattering? Why isn't the bad guy on here? It's not like he's a mystery, he's the second character shown and he's shown literally committing a crime within the first three minutes. My best summary for this movie if I had only seen the cover would have been "slightly awkward triplets force a woman and her daughter to stay at home a lot."

Anyway, the movie wasn't much better than its outfit. Sooooo many thriller cliches that I can't list them all. But I'll try: questionable psychological stability of main character (whyyy won't they believe her? IS she imagining it? Who can tell?), caring yet cowardly husband, creepily nimble old man bad guy, cops who don't care because it's such a tight-knit community that nurtures and harbors its psychos rather than arrests them, generic ringtones and generally unhelpful technology, annoyingly supportive aiding-and-abetting spouse of killer, etc...

If you do watch this movie, you'll find yourself saying "Hey, that happened in..." or "Ooh this reminds me of..." quite frequently. Not because it's a tribute or a remake or anything, it's just that overdone. Disturbia was better. Remember Disturbia? Shia Leboof's shitty remake of Rear Window? At least that was slightly suspenseful and had some interesting characters. Of course, that was big budget and high profile, so it had no excuse to be shitty. People should just stop trying to channel Hitchcock if they're gonna cock it up.

You know what it's like? When you go to some gift shop in a tourist town somewhere and you're really really thirsty, but all they have is a cooler full of "Popsi," so you crack a familiar blue can open and take a big swig to discover the taste of desperation. It's not satisfying, it's not fooling anyone, and it only half-heartedly copies the big guys in order to capitalize on their success by slipping under the radar.

This movie was never meant to make money. They gave it a generic title, cast no one attention-getting (sorry Emma, I love you!), and stuck it on Lifetime to rot forever like the little girl in the basement.

Oops. Sorry, spoiled it.




Last words: Here's my message to all future B-movie makers. You have no excuse anymore! People are making better films on Youtube with their camera phones for 0% of your budget. Spend 500 bucks and hire a desperate film student with some time on his or her hands, and fire your overpaid committee writers. This country is literally dripping with uselessly talented young people who want to get famous. Exploit them!

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