S.G. Browne

Movie Review Monday: Stupid Movie People

I don’t normally blog about films or books that I don’t enjoy because I know what it’s like to hear bad reviews. But if there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s stupid movie people. So I felt like I had to speak up.

Now I realize that in some films people do stupid things because they’re stupid. That’s just the human condition. We do stupid things. We cheat on our spouses. We drink too much at parties. We believe politicians actually care about doing what’s best for the country rather than what’s best for their political party.

So I’m fine when people do stupid things in movies because that’s what reasonable humans do. But there’s a difference between doing something stupid in a movie and being a stupid movie person. A stupid movie person does something unreasonable that no one with any intelligence or common sense would do.

In the supernatural horror film Insidious, there’s a moment early on when the married couple, Josh and Renai Lambert, are talking in bed late at night while their son, Dalton, sleeps in an unexplained coma in one of the bedrooms. His brother, Foster,  doesn’t want to sleep in the same room as Dalton anymore because, as he explains to his mom, it creeps him out when Dalton gets up in the middle of the night and walks around.

(The fact that his mother doesn’t follow this up with something like: WHAT? HOW COULD THAT BE POSSIBLE? or YOU MUST BE IMAGINING THINGS bothers me, but that’s another issue.)

So while their infant daughter and sons are sleeping, one naturally and one not so much, there comes a knock on the front door downstairs. Once. Twice. Three times. Josh goes downstairs in his pajamas to investigate and turns on the outside light, which flickers and goes out. Unable to see who is outside, and hearing no response from whoever knocked on the door when he calls out to them, he does what any sensible husband and father of three would do: he opens the door.

But wait, it gets worse.

Josh checks the front porch, then closes the door, chains it, and turns on the house alarm. Moments later, when the couple’s infant daughter starts crying, Rose gets out of bed and goes in to check on her, only to start screaming when she sees a man behind her daughter’s crib. Josh runs upstairs to see what’s wrong, Rose insists that she saw someone standing in the room even though no one’s there. Then the house alarm goes off.

Good stuff. Except for the fact that these are stupid movie people. Or at least Josh is.

After telling Rose to take their daughter and son and go into Dalton’s room and lock the door, he goes downstairs to find the front door wide open and the chain dangling on the doorjamb.

Yes, this is a movie, but if this is real life, if this is you or me or Rain Man, we turn around and run back up the stairs into the bedroom and call 911 on the cell phone. Or we take our family and get the hell out of the house. Instead, Josh walks downstairs, closes the front door, then proceeds to search the downstairs with a fireplace poker or some kind of weapon, leaving his wife and children unattended and vulnerable upstairs.

While the film does a good job of building up the suspense, I didn’t care about Josh anymore because he was too stupid to deserve to survive the rest of the film. It didn’t help that the next day no one talks about the incident. No one calls the police. And then Josh stays at work/school grading papers late into the evening, leaving his wife and children at home alone after a traumatic evening. Yeah, like that’s going to happen. I smell a divorce. The incident felt like something that needed to be addressed but instead the main characters just ignored it. To me that’s either bad writing, bad editing, or both.

In The Big Lebowski The Dude abides, but when it comes to stupid movie people, I am most definitely not The Dude. Not if you want me to care about the characters.

And I won’t even mention the fact that the demon looks like a Cirque du Soleil reject.

Oh wait, I just did.

Filed under: Movie Review Mondays,Movies and Books — Tags: — S.G. Browne @ 2:50 pm