Saturday, 17 November 2018

THE INTERIOR

CONTAINS .... I DON'T KNOW, SPOILERS?

It's hard to know how to respond that's nominally a horror movie yet spends the first third of its running time as a quirky modern urban loser comedy (that isn't funny, though I'm guessing it's supposed to me on a wry deadpan level) and then spends the remaining 50 minutes or so following aforementioned urban loser on a steadily more hellish camping trip (that also isn't funny, though I'm guessing it's supposed to be on a dumb-idiot-having-a-lousy-time level) into the woods that may or may not contain something evil lurking in the darkness (which isn't scary, though I'm guessing it's supposed to be on a something-evil-lurking-in-the-darkness level).

Frustrated with modern life in an advertising agency working for a useless boss who understandably rejects his commercials idea involving holograms of Stalin and Charlton Heston playing shuffleboard, James quits and starts working for a cleaning service. That doesn't work out, so he breaks up with his girlfriend (in an unbroken three-minute static shot of him looking out of the back window, her looking off to the right with her back to him) and heads off into the woods. But is he alone? Is the occasionally glimpsed guy in the red jacket just another camper? Is he something more sinister? Is it a Don't Look Now reference? Who or what is prowling around outside his tent in the middle of the night?

Part of my problem with rubbish horror movies has always been that I'm a sucker for an enticing pullquote, and the trailer for The Interior includes a caption from Montreal-based web magazine Forget The Box claiming this is "scarier than ANY [his caps] studio horror film of the past decade". Sold! Look, opinions and all that, but it just isn't. It's not even the scariest wandering-around-in-the-woods movie, whether from a major studio or micro independent: even the found footage ones (and they're among the absolute worst, truly the Cillit Bang adverts of horror cinema) can occasionally rustle up a bit of creepiness or dread amongst the babbling and seizure visuals, which is a hell of a lot more than The Interior manages.

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