April 2, 2015



Fuck my uncle.

Here’s ANIMAL, a movie about a couple of man-sized turkey monsters that can manage to take down fully grown, beefy men but can’t seem to move a small wooden dresser barricading the doorway to a broken down, rotted and secluded cabin. Hiding inside said cabin are seven characters who, I suppose, if you mashed them all together would have at least one half of a fully formed personality. The reason they’re all in the cabin is simple. Five friends – hunky Matt, his African American outdoorsy girlfriend Alissa, her white step brother Jeff, their shrieking stereotyped gay friend Sean and doe-eyed, supple breasted Mandy – are out for a hike when they come under attack from the titular animal. After Jeff is chewed up and spit out, the four remaining idiots find refuge in that dilapidated cabin with Vicky, her husband Carl and a raving sociopath named Douglas, all previous victims of a monster – I’m sorry, an “animal” – attack.

All of that happens within the first thirty minutes and thank fucking god for that. Up until that point, the entire film was nothing more than five preppy assholes bitching about everything, arguing constantly with one another about blah blah blah. You would think the film would kick into high gear at that point, right? Wrong. Once the characters reach the cabin, the arguing subsides for a little bit, but it’s replaced with endless scenes of people sitting in rooms, wandering through rooms, sitting on the floor, standing in the corner and basically doing anything but trying to escape. Every once and awhile, the monster – I mean, the “animal” – comes snooping around, occasionally shoving a claw or two through a slightly opened doorway or through one of the innumerable holes in the wall.

This is one of those movies that makes you feel like an astrophysicist. Every single decision these people make is excruciatingly stupid. We know the monster hates fire (because all monsters hate fire) so why doesn’t anyone think to make a single torch? Even better, why not carry the damn baseball bat or fireplace poker with you while you’re wandering in the basement or heading out into the woods? If you had a choice between carrying a flashlight in two hands or carrying a flashlight AND a baseball bat, which would you choose?

The entire film (which had 15 producers and two writers, by the way) is filled with individual moments of idiocy so severe you would probably be doing it a favor by sticking it in a burlap sack and drowning it in a river. I can swallow much of the nonsense the horror genre throws at me but ANIMAL pushed me to my absolute limit. It’s like every bad idea the genre ever entertained rolled into one. Near the end of the film, Mandy grabs weeping, shell shocked Allisa’s arm, screams “we got to move! Now!” and then proceeds to drag her through the woods. Literally ten feet later, Mandy trips and falls. When Allisa tries to help her up, Mandy starts crying and says “I can’t, I can’t”. LITERALLY TEN FEET LATER. That’s how utterly bullshit this film is. It cannot even maintain a single character’s motivations for five seconds. It’s that bad.

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