Tuesday, October 18, 2011

2011 October Horror Movie Challenge Movie 44: The Human Centipede: First Sequence

I don't really know what to say about this movie. It's one of those movies where the subject matter is so gross that people pitch a fit about it without even having seen it, and they build the movie up to be the most disgusting thing ever filmed, and then the fans of really disgusting movies go and see it and they think it's boring, because it doesn't live up to the hype, and then some people go and see it and come back preaching about how it's "deeply moving" and it will "affect people emotionally and they can't deny its power" and then other people counter that flowery praise by saying "no, it didn't affect me deeply, it bored the fuck out of me" and people like me sit in the middle of all this controversy and don't know what to believe.

Here's my take: I liked this movie. I liked the two girls who appear at the beginning. Sure, they're kind of twits, but so was I at 22, and it's not like they're all that much more annoying than other horror movie characters, so I don't know why so many people complained about them being annoying. They're not that bad. And then people complained that they whined a lot. Ok, when you get captured by a killer who wants to sew you ass-to-mouth with two other people and turn you into a human centipede, and he drugs you and mutilates you, then you can come to me and brag about how you never whined or cried about it. For me, I didn't find their crying all that excessive. I'd be crying too if I were in that situation. Sure, I wouldn't be in that situation because I'd never go into this creepy asshole's house in the first place, especially after his first question to me when I came to his door was "Are you alone?" but it didn't bother me that these girls cried. I also found it kind of touching when they'd hold hands and try to comfort each other even after creepy freaky guy sews them together. Sue me. I wasn't "deeply emotionally scarred" by it or anything, but I felt bad for these people in this horrible situation.

That's another point I want to address: the gore we see onscreen. It's disgusting to think about what this freak does to these people, but the movie really doesn't "show" us that much gore. We get to see the people sewn together, and picturing what that would be like for them is disturbing, but as for actual gore, I've seen far gorier films. I guess with this movie, the premise either works or it doesn't. Either you get freaked out thinking about how horrible this situation would be, and you feel bad for the characters, and that keeps you interested in the movie even when it gets ridiculous (and believe me, it DOES stretch the limits of disbelief on more than one occasion) or it gets too ridiculous for you and the movie collapses under the weight of everything that doesn't work and you wind up not liking it. I can see how that could happen, too. People complain about the two girls being stupid, but holy batfuck batman, are the COPS in this movie a couple of boneheads. Seriously, they are the ones who piss me off, making some of the dumbest moves I've ever seen characters make onscreen. By the end of the movie I wanted to jump through the screen and kill them myself.

Speaking of the ending, it's really disturbing for me. I could see how for some people it would just be over-the-top and silly, but I'd managed to like the characters even through everything that happened, so I felt bad for their situation and the ending was suitably disturbing for me because of this. Ultimately, I found enough in this movie to enjoy, and I cared about the characters, so I was glad I watched it, even if the idea behind the movie is really gross. I don't get those people who read the description of the movie, knew what it was about, then walked into a screening of their own free will and ended up walking out. I read one review where the reviewer refused to write a review (nice show of dedication to your job there, buddy) and he actually said "I read the description, so I knew what the movie was about, and then I saw what was happening onscreen and I thought 'yep, they really ARE going to show this' and I walked out." I don't get statements like that. This is a movie about a creepy weirdo doctor who's so messed up he thinks he can destroy people's lives by experimenting on human beings and mutilating them and turning them into a grotesque creature...what did you think it was going to be about? Sorry, you don't get any brownie points from me for knowing what a movie is about and then walking out because the movie shows what it says it's going to show (and like I said, the movie isn't even THAT disturbing unless you've connected enough with the characters to care what they're going through onscreen, and if you've done that much, than the movie has some skill and effectiveness to recommend it, or you wouldn't have been affected that way). Right? I mean, if you're affected enough by the movie to walk out of it, then in some ways it must have done its job. If you walk out because you're bored, that's another thing I guess, but none of the early reviews said that; they all talked about having to leave because the movie was so disgusting, and I thought "well...yeah, isn't it supposed to be that way?"

I don't know if I can recommend this movie, because a lot of people I know and respect didn't like it, but I'm used to that. People usually don't like the movies I like anyway. As far as I'm concerned, this movie was worth a watch, so horror fans who can stomach the premise of the movie should at least give it a look before they dismiss it because of all the controversy.

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