Saturday, October 10, 2015

31 Days of Halloween 2015: Double Dose of Little Blighters

Cooties, 2014, Jonathan Milott, Cary Murnion -- download
Ich Seh, Ich Seh, Severin Fiala, Veronika Franz -- download

Marmy wanted to catch up to the pure idea of doing 31 movies during the month. Even if I had already filled my own quota with the two TV shows, I was happy either way. So we grabbed two that have been doing the blog circuit, one an Austrian creepy thriller and the other a comedy zombie romp.  Both focus on kids, so consider this our Child Free entry for the month.  *evil grin*

I am not sure why but Ich Seh, Ich Seh gets called Goodnight Mommy in its English release, which is not even a straight translation. I guess the reference to a child's song would not carry any weight in North America, but I still hate when they do that. If its a phrase that doesn't translate into English, then sure, but if the words have meaning, use em.

The movie takes place in the countryside, in an old wood near a lake next too which stands a modern house marking wealthy inhabitants. Twin boys run around, playing by themselves in the woods and lake with no supervision. Mommy is returning home soon, from her surgery in the city. To begin with, the weirdness of them being left alone while mom is away is somewhat jarring, and never explained. It establishes the off kilter place we are presented, and lends itself to our sharing the same belief as the kids -- that the woman all wrapped in plastic surgery bandages might not be their mother. The other weirdness, is that mom only ever addresses one child at a time, and poor Lukas is ignored.

**SPOILER**

It took Marmy about 10 minutes to guess the twist but I was of the idea it was supposed to be telegraphed to the audience -- Lukas is dead; he drowned in the lake. I wanted the movie to be more about how things will progress, and not the sixth sense of only one of the children being alive. Is Mommy their mommy? What the hell happened? Why did she go away? Why were they unsupervised? Why, if she is their real mother, is she so fucking strange?

Alas, the movie indeed seemed focused on the twist, and really, the only way I could explain to myself the oddness of all the dealings and circumstances was that we are seeing entirely through Elias's eyes -- he doesn't understand what has been going on, having been a bit broken since his brother's death. It does explain how the boys end up being quite the horrible little things, doing nasty things to Mommy, when they cannot get her to prove she is their mother. That they would even torture a strange pretending to be their mother, says a lot of about these/this boy(s).

Creepy little fuckers.

Speaking of little fuckers, Cooties is really about how bad kids can get. OK ok, only how bad they can get if infected by some sort of zombie virus. The movie begins with a vegan propaganda film about chicken nuggets being processed. OK ok, maybe not so much propaganda as reality, but the added disturbing bit is something green dripping in and becoming a nugget on its way to a kids cafeteria, to be bitten into by the 'cootie girl'. Dash dash dot dot, she wished she had her cootie shot.

Fort Chicken produces mounds of chicken nuggets. Clint (Elijah Wood) as recently moved back to work on his novel, but really, has just failed at getting away from his hometown. Fate finds teaching at the elementary school where he went. And where his teen crush (Alison Pill) works along with her PE boyfriend (Rainn Wilson) and the other oddballs on the faculty.

The story quickly progresses as cootie girl infects the rest of her class and they all become ravenous monsters that eat most of the staff and leave the rest of the run. Jokes and blood spills forth as all the cliches are broadcast and despite a recognizable capable cast, the plot is humdrum run of the mill by the numbers. As expected as I am to use catch phrases and overused writing idioms, the movie jumps on the expected bits of humour.  Its not offensive or tiresome, except when it wants to be, but there was nothing really new or particularly well done.  All acceptable, popcorn and chuckles.

I did chuckle at the scene where they comment on the montage gearing up scene, before the launched into it. But that was only because all the video games I have been playing, that involve slaughtering zombies, have had their full share of McGyver'd weapons.