Wednesday, October 22, 2008


My downstairs neighbor is a nice guy who loans me movies he's rented before they're due back at the video store. This week, he rented The Happening.

I know you've heard how shitty it is. All I'm gonna say is, you have no idea how shitty it is until you actually sit through it. It is indescribably shitty. It's like the exact reverse of "The Entertainment" from Infinite Jest: You pop it in and then you sit there, paralyzed by the utter sucking void, the total lack of entertainment. It's not even a bad you can really laugh at. It's just vaguely depressing. It makes you regret the existence of the human creative impulse.

(Note: His taste isn't always bad. Last week, he loaned me Street Kings, the latest James Ellroy hate-valentine to the LAPD. That one was pretty good - maybe better than the overrated Training Day, if not as good as the underrated Dark Blue. But even with some extra aging-bully weight on him, Keanu Reeves is no Kurt Russell.)

When I returned The Happening to him, I loaned him two DVDs from my own collection: the recent two-disc edition of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, and John Carpenter's Prince Of Darkness, which I maintain is one of the hidden gems in his catalog, and one of the scariest movies of the '80s.

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