Monday, February 26, 2007

The Irrefutable Truth About Demons

Film society started for the year tonight with this movie shot in Wellington in 2001. Somehow I had never heard of it, so had no idea of its reputation. When I got there, my friends were all "well' no matter how bad it is, its only 90 minutes". My initial reaction when it was over was, "I mean this in a good way, but that movie was complete nonsense", which is interesting on a couple of levels. First, because it is almost directly what I have now read Chris Knox as saying (his take is actually " This is also a stupid movie but stupid in a good way"). Second - how can a movie be nonsense "in a good way"?

Well, the story is the main problem with it - the writer doesn't seem to have known quite where he was going with it - in fact he says as much on the movie website:
I wanted this movie to be seen by people who would come out going, "Yeah, demons are real" or at least consider the possibility that there might be other ways of looking at the universe and reality rather than just our logical western point of view. But then I also wanted those very same people to sit down and have a beer with someone else who goes, "No no no, it's about a guy going crazy, being driven crazy by this cult.
The title promises some sort of "irrefutable truth" but we are left not knowing what is "true". Harry is an anthropologists, with a special interest in cults. He may or may not come across and defeat the Black Lodge cult, which is most notable for the amount of rubbish it professes to believe in. This cult may or may not have access to dark powers, and half a dozen reptilian demons. If we had had the cult/demon story, we could have had a serviceable horror. On the other hand, he might simply be having lots of bad nightmares or, as his girlfriend may or may not have said to him (she is supposedly dead at this time), he's been whacked out on drugs for the last six months. Again that might have been the writer's plan, as he demonstrates a keen interest in both drug use (one story is that a six day magic mushroom inspired high inspired the movie) and mental illness - but if that's the line taken by the movie, then there would be no cult, just his imagination going crazy. The problem is that the film seems to want us to believe both in cults and demons on the one hand, and going crazy on the other.

But the thing I really liked about this film was its visual aspect - not the hackneyed demon worshipers and the like, but the glorious footage of a Wellington I have never seen, all dark and mysterious, full of crazy people, including the wonderful Katie Holmes playing Harry's self proclaimed saviour.



Blogger santha said...

Official Burt Young Website Launch!

The official website of Burt Young has been launched. Burt Young, the Academy Award nominated actor and maverick artist, has launched a wonderful display of paintings. The website is a literal library describing milestones, film and art. He can be browsed at:

9:39 PM  

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