Friday, August 12, 2011

The Messengers [2007] Pt.1

A long time ago, I saw a horror movie trailer. Years later, I could only remember one scene from that trailer: a mother is making a bed, she fluffs up the sheet and for a moment a pair of ashen gray legs appears standing under the sheet. That was a great scene. I have no illusions about the quality of the rest of that movie but that was undoubtedly a good scene. Unfortunately, I could remember nothing else about the movie. No actor names, not the year, not the title, nothing. Only that scene. But guess what? Hahaha, I wasn't the only horror fan out there that scene stuck to. A Google search for the unlikely search terms: [legs under bed sheet horror] brought up a Yahoo Answers query as the first result. BAM! The Messengers [2007]. Try it out! I think it's still the first result right now. Man, the internet is amazing.

I Youtube-d The Messengers trailer and it all came rushing back. This time though I recognized some faces. Guess who is in this movie? A pre-Twilight fame Kristen Stewart! Her acting was as wooden as ever but that's not a big problem here because I have no expectations of this movie. No wait, that's not entirely true. I expect this movie to be bad. There, that's better, hahahaha.

The house will be haunted. That's obvious right away, even if you didn't see the trailer. The beginning of the movie offers us a flashback. A mother rushes into a bedroom with her son and thells him to hide under the bed and everything will be alright, etc. Loud footsteps come up the stairs the boy sees his mother thrown across the room, hitting the wall. Of course, the kid is NOT ok sitting in plain sight "under" his bed and he seems to know it. He scrambles out and runs into his sister, they both dash downstairs and the boy hides under a table while his sister gets pushed over the banister. Wait. That isn't entirely true, either. I'm giving you the wrong idea. He crouches under the hall table like it's an earthquake. What he doesn't do is hide. The line of sight between himself and the top of the stairs is uninterrupted. The sister crawls toward him and urges him to run. Dumbass kid scurries around the corner and hides in a cabinet under the kitchen sink. Apparently, Hiding is this child's weak point cuz he ain't good at it. Going outside and hiding in the fields doesn't occur to him. He closes the door and sniffles quite loudly before the menace, I assume it's a demon-possessed father or something, grabs him and disposes of him. And there was much rejoicing. (If you get that reference, you're cool. If not, you are not cool.)

Years later, a new family, the Solomons, move in. The father, Dick, his daughter Sally, and son Tommy- oh sorry. I mean father Roy, mother Denise, daughter Jess and son Ben. The house is located somewhere out in North Dakota on a sunflower farm. It seems Jess did something to cause her parents to lose trust in her, though it isn't revealed til later.
As the family moves in, unpacks boxes and such, we get a good dose of jump scares from innocuous things. You know nothing is going to happen so early but they have to maintain a certain level of tension you know? And to remind you this is, in fact, a horror movie.
That bedsheet scene shows up around this time and I seriously considered calling it done straight away but I can't watch a fragment of a movie. That would be unseemly.
One of the most contrived jump scares comes from an old man who appears without a sound, offering Roy a job at the bank. I don't know about you but when was the last time someone who was looking for you walked up and stood 5 feet from you without making any sound to get your attention beforehand. You'd think the old man tried to scare Roy intentionally.
Weird noises and bangs abound, some aggressive crows (dare I say....angry birds?) harass Roy and his seeds, etc. A laborer, John, shows up and gets work helping out around the farm. The only thing that actually earns its creepy points is a ghost of the previous family's son who crawls on the ceiling. Only  Ben sees him, and for some reason he isn't frightened. This is ridiculous. I don't want to hear anything about how innocent he is. The ghost is pale, moves in a stop-motion fashion, and looks like it's rotting. If this kid isn't scared it is because he lacks self-preservation instincts.
It's a reflection in a spoon.

One day Roy cuts his hand on the tractor and needs to go to the hospital. This gives us another opportunity for the mother to hint that she doesn't trust Jess to drive nor to watch over Ben while they are gone. Eventually, Roy convinces Denise to drive him to the hospital and leave Ben in Jess's care. Too bad. While the folks are out the house ghosts decide to fuck with her a little bit. They smash lamps and shatter the banister, throw chairs around, knock shelves and china off the walls, make screaming noises, etc. While all this happens Ben calmly follows a wind-up toy around the house. It leads Jess to the basement staircase where pale rotting hands drag her backwards into the darkness, all the while Ben watches her placidly. What a dumbass kid. Not to mention an Oscar-winning actor, for sure.

Alright guys, that's it for now. (___- -)=3