Sunday, May 7, 2017

Pet (2016)

Were you wondering what happened to Dominic Monaghan after Lost?  Well, fear not, Pet has the answer for you!  Monaghan plays Seth, an awkward guy that works at an animal shelter.  One day, on his bus commute, he spots Holly (Ksenia Solo), who he went to high school with.  He becomes infatuated with her, visiting her at work, sending flowers, and following her on a visit to her ex-boyfriend.

When he discovers an abandoned area of the animal shelter, he sets to building a steel cage, with the intention of imprisoning Holly.  What starts out as the typical obsessed guy locks up unsuspecting girl story takes an interesting turn.  As it so happens, Holly is not really as innocent as she first seems to be.

While it would seem that Seth has the upper hand in the relationship, as time goes on, the two begin to test each other.  As Seth's performance slips at work, his connection to the shelter is in jeopardy.  Not to mention that he's not doing such a great job at keeping his basement visits discreet.

Honestly this movie was just kind of unbelievable.  The whole snatching a girl and locking her up thing has obviously been done before, but her backstory, and his obsession with "saving" her was just too far-fetched.  Not to mention the ongoing love diatribes...and body part requests? (wtf.)  And then for him to make the "sacrifice"? No one loves a crazy bitch that much.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Hostel Part II (2007)

How is it that I've never reviewed this one?  Hostel was THE movie, right?   I have this awesome memory of an entire theater of people SCREAMING at the part when Pax was driving the car near the end (no spoilers, I guess?)  The original move was one of the pioneers of torture porn, and with that sub-genre in full swing, everyone was thirsty for new movies and sequels of beloved favorites.

Hostel 2 picks up where Hostel left off, with a bleeding Pax traveling on a train from Slovakia.  As the sole survivor of this whole ordeal, he's terrified of being found by Elite Hunting and hides out at a remote house with his girlfriend.  Unfortunately, his fears are well-founded.  Meanwhile, in Italy, three young women Beth (Lauren German), Whitney (Bijou Phillips), and Lorna (Heather Matarazzo) are enjoying a semester abroad, with plans for a weekend in Prague.  Whitney and Beth are close friends, while Lorna is kind of a tagalong.  They run into Axelle, a model from their drawing class, who encourages them to join her on a spa trip in Slovakia instead of staying in Prague.  

The girls end up staying at the infamous hostel, and are having a blast at the nearby harvest festival.  Unbeknownst to them, they've already been purchased by rich torturer/murderers, who are at the same festival, preparing for their imminent deaths.  The torture scenes in Hostel were so shocking (especially at the time), that its a tough one to follow up.  But in the sequel, we're treated to vampire-wannabes, alpha males with circular saws, cannibals, and wife haters with dorky glasses.  And some very realistic dick-slicing.  

This is one of these situations where there's really no way to top the original, especially because the "twist" has already been played, but this is still a good sequel.  The subject of women rather than men is a good angle, although, as a feminist always looking to smash the patriarchy, there was something extra special about seeing men victimized in the original film.