Sunday, February 21, 2010
For the second time this month, I've had my world rocked by a film in which no clear cut answers or resolutions are given by film's end. Mr. Brad McHargue over at I Love Horror was right. Take notes. And pay attention to everything.
A single mother (played by the teeth sweatingly hot Melissa George) is shown in the intro of our film, packing up for a presumed trip. She's interrupted when her son spills finger paint on the kitchen floor. As she scrubs, her frustration with him is well worn on her face and you get the feeling that he's not your average kid. She's startled by a ring at the door and when she answers it, no one is there. After she finishes cleaning, she continues to pack up, throwing a bag into the back of her car. She arrives at a boat dock to meet up with her fellow travelers, clearly rattled by something that occurred on the way there. When she's asked about her son, she states that he's at school. But its Saturday.
She's led to the boat which is being captained by a friend of hers and along with him, are four other people: the brother of the captain, a young couple and a gal brought along by the couple in the hopes that both her and the captain will hit it off. Whispers abound regarding the wherebouts of the son and when its explained that he's autistic, the notion of him being at school on a Saturday makes a little more sense. He is a special needs child afterall.
Well into their excursion on the high seas, a weird occurance takes place. The wind that was carrying them has stopped dead, their boat no longer moving. Even stranger, a dark cloud seems to come out of nowhere and as the captain radios for help, a muffled distressed call intermingles with his plea to the coast guard. The radio transmission breaks up and the oncoming storm hits the ship, rocking and capsizing it. All are soon accounted for except for the girl who was brought along for the captain.
Standing atop of their overturned boat, a large ocean liner is spotted. They board the boat only to find that no one appears to be on it. They walk through the long corridors and come upon an intersection of the passageways which contains a picture of the ship and its name. As they continue on, they enter a ballroom, complete with a food spread nicely laid out and untouched. Tables are adorned with cloths and numbers designate potentially assigned seating. Someone at some point, was here. Continuing on through the meandering corridors, they come upon a room, the faucet running inside the bathroom. They enter it and head to the bathroom, finding a note written in blood on the mirror: 'Go To The Theater.' And from this point on, its all downhill.
I'm going to try and be as simple about the rest of the film as I can. Because to discuss about what specifically happens from this point on, undoubtedly, it will make your head hurt. A cycle of events occur with our stressed out single mother, her doppelganger and a mysterious figure wearing a burlap sack over his head and toting a shotgun. Each member of our sailing party gets killed and a veritable Groundhog's Day occurs when the last one is taken care of. The cycle stops when she figures out the pattern and breaks it. When she does, she finds herself back at home. Only when she arrives, she comes face to face with the version of herself whom we think she has come to hate the most (a ticked off mother who takes out her frustrations of constantly caring for a special needs child on the child himself). She heads to the tool shed, finds a hammer and brutally beats and kills the doppelganger version of herself which is presumably loathed.
I may have lost you at this point and I no doubt almost lost this review entirely as I just deleted a previous paragraph in my attempts to further explain things. This is really a movie that needs to be seen and you will likely come to your own interpretation. For me, this woman was in a constant struggle with different versions of herself and the trip out to sea (and her subsequent return home) made her confront them. Although not outright called a schizophrenic, her manic personality is commented on at various points in the film. Even crazier yet, my theory might be negated by the ending which I won't even bother going into because to do so would A) ruin the experience for you and B) make my head hurt even more.
This film is everything a good horror movie should be: shocking, terrifying, riveting and completely engrossing. The times when the group is wandering through the ship and its corridors, is very reminiscent of The Shining's Overlook Hotel and its long hallways. And a few scenes in particular are some of the most original and horrifying that I've ever seen. An absolutely brilliant film. Check it out, ASAP.
Cortez the Killer