Offering them a ride home was the polite thing to do. It was raining outside, that gentle steady kind where the romantic side of me could see myself sharing an umbrella as we walked down the street. However this was only a first date so I was my more practical self. Leaving the cafe we ran to the car; I had unlocked it remotely so I could run ahead and open the passenger door. As we drove away I became aware of the sound the rain made as it fell onto the car. It sounded like a slightly quick, steady heartbeat waiting in anticipation. With their directions I finally pulled up to the front of their building. This not being my first blind date, I was well aware this point of time could turn awkward if both parties were not on the same page with shaking hands, hugging, kissing or a simple wave of dismissal with the hand. As I was about to say I had a pleasant time they interrupted me, asking where were we going from here. I was perplexed and told them I did not understand what they were asking me. My confusion quickly changed into shock as I was being asked if we were now a couple because they needed to know right now and wanted to know what we were doing next week. The voice in my head was praying they would vacate the car without incident. If you think that was crazy wait until you see what happens in this horror film. JAY Height, played by Maika Monroe (The Guest, Labor Day), woke up to find herself tied to a chair. The boy she had slept with was talking to her, explaining what she had to do to avoid being killed–she had to quickly have sex with someone else. This film festival winning movie had a smartly written script that was original. The thing I liked most about this picture was it being a horror film based on suspense, not gruesome violence with buckets of blood. The actors such as Keir Gilchrist (It’s Kind of a Funny Story, Dead Silence) as Paul and Daniel Zovatto (Laggies, Beneath) as Greg Hannigan were okay, no one really stood out for me. As I sat and watched this film I realized the suspense was really not very suspenseful. I am not an expert in horror movies but it seemed to me as if this picture was a lightweight for this genre. It was a shame since I did give it points for being or at least appearing to be more like an indie film without having the heavy handedness of the film studio’s marketing team, not such a crazy thought.
2 1/3 stars
There was a time when one would see children playing outside. From a group of pretend space explorers to an afternoon tea party on the front lawn, a child’s imagination had no limits. I can remember playing in the alley behind the building I grew up in, with its high 3rd floor. Behind it there was a tall oak tree that I would climb up, to the height of the 2nd floor apartments. There I would sit and be the lookout for evil ghosts coming after my friends playing below in the alley. Today I rarely see children playing outside and I think it is because of all the pressures that are placed on them. With my family and friends who have children, there are so many activities they have signed their kids up for that there is no down time. I understand the thinking behind all these activities; creating opportunities for the child to excel, becoming well rounded, helping them on their path to becoming successful. Imagine the pressures that some children feel these days and may not have the tools to cope. In this poignant film from the writing duo of Ryan Fleck and Anna Buden (Half Nelson, Sugar) the story was about hight school student Craig, played by Keir Gilchrist (A Lobster Tale, Dead Silence). Unable to cope with the pressures placed on him, Craig admitted himself into a psychiatric ward of a hospital. Due to renovations in the juvenile ward, he had to be placed with the adult patients. With fellow patient Bobby, played by Zach Galifianakis (The Campaign, The Hangover franchise) as his guide; Craig discovered a world that appeared to be more normal than the one he left. I thought the topic of mental illness was gently handled in this dramatic comedy. The cast which also included Viola Davis (Beautiful Creatures, Won’t Back Down) as Dr. Eden Minerva and Emma Roberts (Nancy Drew, Hotel for Dogs) as Noelle did a beautiful job with their characters. There was a respect given to their maladies as they tried coping as best as they could. This was a stress free viewing experience, giving me the opportunity to sit back and relax.
2 2/3 stars — DVD