Monday, September 16, 2019

The Reaping

The Reaping (2007)

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Hilary Swank plays Katherine, a former pastor turned university professor who lost her faith and now spends her time debunking seeming religious miracles. She and her assistant Ben (Idris Elba) are summoned to the backwater town of Haven in dickfuck Louisiana, which appears to be experiencing the twelve biblical plagues. The plagues might be tied to a young girl (AnnaSophia Robb) with magic period blood, and/or a Satanic cult. Katherine must face the horrors of her past to unravel the mystery of... the reaping.

  • Atheists in horror movies are always extremely annoying and this movie is no exception (-1)
  • Of all the crazy, backwater towns in dickfuck Louisiana, Haven is the dickfuckiest (-1)
    • And yet, it still makes me miss living in the middle of nowhere (+1)
  • Katherine can somehow just fuck off from her university job to a swamp on a moments notice (-1)
  • The reason given for why the little girl might be causing the plagues to happen is that she may have killed her brother. Katherine never questions why the police weren't immediately involved (-1)
  • The blood river looks pretty cool (+1)
  • This is one of those movies that I was pretty sure I'd seen but figured I'd revisit in case it had gotten better. Throughout the movie I wasn't entirely sure whether I had actually seen it before or not. That means that it was either a) so forgettable that watching it before was partially erased from my mind, or b) so cliched that I got it confused with another similar movie (-1)
  • Hilary Swank and Idris Elba have great onscreen chemistry. This movie was pretty bad but their characters' friendship was really fun (+1)
  • Both Katherine's and Ben's career trajectories are incredibly bizarre (-1)
    • She's a minister/priest/pastor (I don't know the correct nomenclature here) who did humanitarian work in Africa until her husband and daughter were killed. Then, she became a professor of... something? Bible busting? I wasn't really sure what her discipline was supposed to be
    • He's a former gangster, I guess (?) who was nearly killed in a shootout, then went to grad school with Katherine as his supervisor and now works either for or with her in some capacity
  • There's a scene where Katherine explains the scientific explanations for the plagues of Egypt, and how they influenced each other. I don't know how plausible it was, but it was interesting (+1)
  • I got distracted by a video of a fish partway through and possibly missed some pertinent information. It is movie's fault for not holding my attention very well (-1)
  • As mentioned before, period blood is magic in this movie (-1)
    • AnnaSophia Robb's character doesn't even get any magical powers beyond magic period blood (-1)
    • Like, it turns out she's just a regular girl (-1)
  • I enjoy Satanic cult shit for whatever stupid reason (+2)
  • Why is the book of Exodus, and specifically the plagues, the template for every contemporary religious movie? I mean, I guess it's a familiar story, and the twelve plagues are ordered from least to most insane, but like... God did a lot of fucked up shit in the Old Testament, why not check that out once in a while? (-1)
  • Katherine's Catholic priest friend (Stephen Rea) at one point suggests that Satan is making the plagues happen in order to protect the girl, who might be some kind of antichrist. That's stupid, because as far as he knows, the plagues are what is making the villagers go after her (-1)
  • Towards the end of the movie, God starts straight up exploding people which is fucking lit (+1)
  • At the end of the movie, Katherine realizes that she is pregnant, and that the unborn child she is carrying ticks all the boxes of the antichrist prophecy the Satanists were trying to fulfill. She has this horrified look like "oh fuck, I'm gonna have a Satan baby", but, like... get a fuckin abortion, dude. She was ready to kill a twelve year old girl she thought might be the antichrist, getting an abortion shouldn't be that big of a deal to her (-1)
Final Score: -6 

The Reaping doesn't do anything interesting with the bible horror subgenre, and doesn't have any major redeeming qualities as a movie.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Here Alone

Here Alone (2016)


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Some amount of time after zombies... happen, Ann (Lucy Walters) is living alone in a car in the forest. She has a pretty good gig going, living in total seclusion and occasionally leaving her camp to raid houses in the nearby countryside for supplies. Things are going great until Chris (Adam David Thompson) and his step-daughter Olivia (Gina Piersanti) arrive, not only throwing Ann's routine out of whack, but also making her confront the deaths of her husband (Shane West) and baby, causing her to ponder whether she wants to remain... here alone.

  • A good chunk of the movie is just gorgeous shots of what I thought had to be BC but is actually upstate New York. Both the scenery and cinematography are lovely (+2)
  • Ann uses books to try to learn survival skills. Books are our friends after the apocalypse (+1)
  • Here Alone really drives home how interminably boring surviving the zombie apocalypse would actually be (+1)
    • It also makes a point that, no matter how prepared you think you are - for example, Ann's husband thinks he's some kind of survival master and that they're just going to go live off the land - you still might get fucked (+1)
    • It also also makes the point that living of the land is really fucking hard (+1)
  • I liked Ann a lot, she is very clever. Lucy Walters is great, carrying the movie on her own for like twenty minutes. Her character's progression from a naive city girl in flashbacks to a hardened hermit is interesting (+3)
  • The movie builds tension really well, there were several very nerve-wracking scenes (+1)
    • The horror of surviving a zombie scenario with a baby is palpable. Like, you know something is going to go down with the baby because the baby only appears in the flashbacks, but I really didn't want to see anything happen to that baby, ya know? (+2)
  • Chris is kind of a dink, showing up and almost immediately starting to tell Ann what to do (-2)
  • I was more worried than I should have been about the health consequences of the characters possibly drinking lake water (-1)
  • The human drama between the three characters is great and also very stressful (+1)
    • To that point, Olivia ends up being scarier than the zombies, in a lot of ways. She honest to god made me afraid (+3)
  • A lot of the dialogue is really good, with characters talking like actual normal people rather than Movie People (+1)
    • It gets cheesy towards the end though (-1)
    • The acting is good which makes up for it (+1)
  • We don't even see a zombie until about an hour into the movie but it doesn't feel like a drag (+1)
  • This movie is a recipient of the coveted No Phone Award, because I didn't look at my phone through the whole thing (+1)
  • Despite sitting in the woods for who knows how long, the car's battery still somehow works (-1)
Final Score: 15 thumbs up

Here Alone is an engrossing drama about the ugly side of the zombie apocalypse. It's an answer to all of the testosterone fueled, high energy survival movies where the only real threat is running out of bullets. It's an atypical zombie movie, very slow paced and light on gore, so it probably won't do a whole lot for some people. But it's also really interesting and well done, so I'd recommend it if the lack of violence isn't a dealbreaker.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Invitation to Hell

Invitation to Hell (1984)

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In this made-for-TV horror film, a family moves to a new town because the husband/father (Robert Urich) got a job at some big space-tech company. He learns that everyone at the company is obsessed with a local country club, run by Jessica, a glamourous but sinister woman (Susan Lucci). Matt doesn't want to join the club because he's very anticonformist, but his social climber wife, Patricia (Joanna Cassidy), goes ahead and accepts the invitation to hell.

  • The what-the-fuck factor is extremely high in this movie in the first minute (+2)
  • Wes Craven directed this movie? He's known for a handful of movies but directed a whole bunch of weird shit that nobody ever talks about (+1)
  • Despite a strongly weird opening, the movie goes from 60 to 0 in about two minutes (-1)
  • The reason Matt goes to work at the space tech company is to design a fancy spacesuit that is going to be used in the upcoming manned mission to Venus - a detail that doesn't really matter to the movie for the most part. Like... a manned mission to Venus should be a huge fucking deal but nobody really talks about it that much, outside of where it's relevant to the spacesuit design. (-1)
    • Speaking of which, the spacesuit has a built in flamethrower which seems really unnecessary for a couple of reasons. One, have any astronauts actually needed a flamethrower while in space, and would not having a flamethrower literally built into your suit be more dangerous than helpful? Two, the average surface temperature of Venus is 462 degrees Celsius, so if the astronauts encounter something that's not already on fire, chances are it can't be burned (-1)
    • In fact, the only reason that the spacesuit makes any sense is because the surface of Venus and hell apparently have similar properties, which is just super convenient (-1)
  • The villain of the movie is some kind of demon who runs a glorified spa (+1)
  • There's always kids running around Matt and Patricia's house and I was never entirely sure which ones were their's (-1)
  • The spa has a literal door to hell that exudes smoke and the screams of the damned and that door is not behind another locked door (-1)
  • The pacing of the movie is extremely uneven - people start thinking about doing something (like joining the country club without your husband's permission) and then the next scene is them just doing that thing completely unphased by all of it. As sloppy as it is, it really adds to how fucking weird the movie is (+1)
  • The message at the heart of Invitation to Hell is that you should let your wife have a job so she doesn't get bored and do weird shit like selling your kids' souls to the devil (-1)
    • Another major theme is that women asking for what they want are inherently scary and evil (-1)
  • The dog survives! (+1)
  • Once Patricia accepts the invitation to hell, she gives the interior design of their home a classy goth makeover (+1)
  • I love computers in '80s movies because you could straight up type a question in, like "how many employees were promoted in the last year?", and it would spit out an answer that meant something and was organized in a comprehensible way (+1)
  • There's a scene at a halloween party and one of the company higher-ups is casually wearing a Nazi costume which is a big fuckin yikes (-1)
  • The weird dreamy scene where Matt actually goes to hell is well done (+1)
  • Ultimately, I don't understand why Jessica is doing the things that she does - specifically, she is sucking the souls out of people (?), trapping them in a hell dimension, and then putting either a demon or the evil version of that person into their body and letting them roam around. What does she gain by doing this? Is she Satan? (-1)
    • At the end she is defeated by the family, like... being together and loving each other or something? I don't understand why that kills her (-1)
    • But it does make it her explode and that's fuckin awesome (+1)
  • Matt leaves a 2+ million dollar spacesuit in hell (-1)
Final Score: -2 thumbs up

Invitation to Hell is kind of weird but not really very good

Monday, August 19, 2019

White Chamber

White Chamber (2018)

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In the near future, the British government has gone tits up and martial law has been declared, with racism and xenophobia running rampant. The resistance, led by a charismatic and mysterious leader (Oded Fehr), is pushing back harder against the fascist government resulting in attempts to perfect experimental weaponry. Meanwhile, a woman (Shauna Macdonald) wakes up in a white room. She may or may not be tied to a government task force developing new extremes in chemical warfare. An unseen operator uses the room's controls to torture her for information. What she knows is then revealed in a prolonged flashback where an experimental drug is tested on the leader of the revolution.

Merits

  • White Chamber is, at its core, a sci-fi thriller about chemical engineering (+1)
  • Oded Fehr was a babe in The Mummy (1999), and he's still a babe now (+1)
  • The movie contains some genuinely surprising twists that I did not anticipate (+3)
  • White Chamber also contains some interesting ethical commentary, some of which is fairly standard issue - Milgram experiment type stuff, and questions about whether or not a war can be just - but also addresses how political apathy can lead to social breakdown, which is something that I haven't seen touched on a lot in science fiction (+3)
  • Movie contains face-eating action (+1)
Total: +9


Demerits

  • The movie opens with some introductory narration explaining this world's political clusterfuck, and then jumps right ahead to a woman waking up in a strange room with no idea how she got there, which feels a lot like a video game intro. I'm not opposed to that in movies based on video games, but this is one of those "smart" movies (-1)
  • The plot gets the female lead into her underwear in a hurry (-1)
  • The number one biggest issue that I had with this movie is that Oded Fehr is contained in the white chamber for five days and, despite eating on average once per day, never shits or pisses on the floor. At one point he throws up on the floor, and I have to wonder what their plan for cleaning the room is (-2)
  • Actually, that's a lie, the number one biggest issue is that White Chamber very obviously wants to say something about the current political climate, but it's too clean to make that point effectively. The ending leaves the impression that "there are bad people on both sides" but overall the movie downplayed the effects of institutionalized racism and xenophobia by, well, not showing the effects of institutionalized racism and xenophobia. One of the characters (Amrita Acharia) even remarks that, even though she is the type of person (i.e., brown) that xenophobes are targeting, her family were privileged enough not to suffer the effects. It's interesting because people like that do exist, but it also squanders the opportunity to really address what happens to brown people under a white supremacist government. Oded Fehr's character touches on it briefly as well, before turning around and being an evil monster. (-2)
Total: -6

Final Score: 3 thumbs up

White Chamber gets so caught up in trying to be clever (to be fair, it is really clever), that it loses sight of what it's trying to say about the world. It's got some interesting points, but ultimately it's too sterile to elicit any real emotions or strong feelings from me

Monday, August 12, 2019

First Summoning

1st Summoning


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A group of filmmakers are making a documentary about a legendary Satanic ritual supposedly performed in an abandoned factory in rural America every year at midnight on October 6th. They begin by interviewing the townsfolk, who don't seem particularly aware of the ritual. They interview a very weird pastor (Jason MacDonald) and make a whole bunch of really terrible decisions that result in strange things happening. A love triangle between the woman on the crew (Hayley Lovett) and two of the guys (Teddy Cole, Brook Todd) becomes apparent causing a whole lot of drama. Everything comes to a head when they enter the factory and perform the ritual.

Merits

  • The sole highlight of this movie is the one character on the film crew who is not involved in the love triangle (Ace Harney). He is literally the only likable character in the movie, and responsible for the only funny moment in the movie: he finds a Satanic necklace on the floor of the bathroom, says "fuck that" and flushes it down the toilet. Brilliant. (+2)
  • There is one decent scare when a bunch of cultists appear out of nowhere, but they make that horror movie squealing noise for no reason which cheapens it (+0.5)
  • Jason MacDonald is pretty good as the creepy pastor, but his character goes way over the top cheesy-creepy in a short period of time (+0.5)
Total: +3

Demerits
  • I generally don't like found footage horror movies for a lot of reasons, but mainly because they're very difficult to do well. This movie feels like a catalogue of how not to make a good found footage movie, for the following reasons (-1)
    • It includes a bunch of material that nobody in their right mind would a) record, or b) leave in a final edited piece (-1)
    • The audio is mixed so low at some points I had to just take the subtitles' word for it that there was audio. This issue isn't specifically tied to this being a found footage movie, rather it's because this movie is extremely cheap, but those two things go hand in hand anyway (-1)
    • Teddy Cole's character is supposedly an award winning documentary filmmaker but kept fucking around in all of the shots and never once instructed any of the crew to do anything useful (-1)
    • I don't understand why they needed four people on this film shoot. They had two people to film, one person to ask "are you getting this?" every fifteen minutes, and one entirely superfluous person (-1)
    • They weren't getting nearly enough material to make a documentary. For a found footage movie to work, the characters have to either be believable amateurs (in this movie they're not because it opens with some blah blah about the guy's last movie that won something), or it has to be convincing that the footage being captured is going to be used in a real documentary at some point. I can't even imagine what the documentary these people were filming would have even looked like. They have like three interviews, they dick around in the woods for a bit, and then they go to do the ritual. That's like ten minutes tops after editing. If they had been reporters doing a short piece for a slow news day or something, maybe that would have been believable, but I never got the impression that that's what they were doing (-1)
    • At one point, Hayley Lovett's character dons cultist attire in order to blend in and escape, but leaves the camera rolling under her robe. That would probably look super obvious, even if it's a small camera? At some point, you have to abandon the camera and just try to get away. (-1)
    • The glitchy camera effects don't make the movie scarier (-1)
    • Finally, how exactly was this footage found? The conceit is that this is a screener copy of the film, but who edited it? The main guy? Coz he's on camera brutally killing his friends, so I don't see why he would want to release it? (-1)
  • Horror movies don't work without their characters making bad decisions at some point, but the decisions made by the characters in 1st Summoning were overwhelmingly bad. Probably the worst offense was Ace Harney breaking into the pastor's house to get some information and filming the whole time? Like, okay, he brought the camera so he could record what they were looking for instead of outright stealing it, but recording yourself doing a B&E is beyond stupid and risky (-1)
    • In another shockingly bad example of rational thinking, buddy stops trying to escape from cultists to follow a naked dude around through the building. Why? (-1)
  • The whole love triangle thing injects a bunch of artificial drama and isn't even interesting. I don't care about any of the characters, I just wanna see some ritual cult murder (-2)
  • The "twist" is so predictable I had to put scare quotes around the word "twist" (-1)
  • The movie is just really boring (-1)
Total: -15

Final Score: -12 thumbs up

This movie is pretty bad, there aren't really any redeeming features

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Alien: Covenant

Alien: Covenant (2017)


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Either the sixth or eighth film in the Alien franchise, depending on whether or not AVP and AVP2 still count, has the crew of a colonist ship on their way to settle a new planet responding to a distress call in deep space. They go down to the planet and encounter a bunch of monsters and the android from Prometheus (Michael Fassbender).

Just as a sort of disclaimer, I really, really disliked Prometheus, so I was set up to hate this movie from the get-go. I felt bad about that so I went out of my way trying to find things I liked about it. This review is going to be a battle between my lingering ill will towards Prometheus and my guilt. Let's go.

Merits

  • I can't remember if I've already outed myself as a person with a weird, creepy robot fetish, but that's definitely a thing about me. Regular Michael Fassbender can get it, but robot Michael Fassbender can get it even more. What's better than one robot Michael Fassbender? Two robot Michael Fassbenders, which there are in this movie (+2)
  • A small mercy is that the characters in this movie are not scientists so I don't have to die inside every time they walk out onto an alien planet with their helmets off, or go around touching alien vegetation like idiots (+1)
  • There's a whole bunch of really gross stuff that I will list now:
    • Shot of the inside of a dude's ear. This might just be me, but ever since I watched that video of a cricket being removed from a guy's ear canal, I've been disgusted by ears (+1)
    • The aliens in this one are in the process of figuring out the chestbursting thing, so one busts out a guy's back dragging his lungs along with it, and another one comes out through a dude's mouth (+2)
    • There's a scene with so much blood on the floor a person slips in it (+1)
  • I'm pretty sure there was a gay couple in the crew and that's nice (+1)
  • The two robot Michael Fassbenders are also totally gay for each other and I am so here for that. There's a scene where the bad Michael Fassbender teaches the good Michael Fassbender to play the recorder which is as close to a graphic onscreen blow job as a mainstream movie is allowed to get (+2)
  • A neat part where the bad Michael Fassbender shows off all of the different stages in the evolution of the alien. I like monster design (+1)
  • There's a very strong Frankenstein theme going on from the bad Michael Fassbender's role as a twisted creator, to the quoting of Percy Shelley (discussed at length below), to a visual homage to the 1931 film when the first true chestburster is born. (I also suppose that's why Prometheus was called that) I like Frankenstein a lot so I'm into it (+1)
  • The bad Michael Fassbender's sketch book looks like a bunch of HR Giger drawings because of course it does (+1)
  • There's an action scene where the heroine (Katherine Waterston) smacks the shit out of an alien with a remote operated crane that's pretty cool (+1)
Total: +14

Demerits

  • There's this overarching theme of creationism and Christianity in the movie which really sucks. In the opening scene, Weyland (Guy Pearce) states that he can't accept that humans evolved on Earth through random chance. Later, the captain of the Covenant (Billy Crudup) complaining his crew doesn't trust him because of his faith. It seems very out of place in this new, jaded, atheist millennium (-2)
  • Speaking of Weyland, I'm still salty that Lance Henriksen isn't in these movies anymore (-1)
  • James Franco is in the movie for ten seconds for some reason (-1)
  • Michael Fassbender is a wonderful actor, but his American accent is... not good. He sounds like Christian Bale trying to pull off an American accent. I get why he's doing it is so we can tell the good Michael Fassbender (American) from the bad Michael Fassbender (British), which is another problem (-2)
  • The shipful of colonists (just for emphasis, that's 2000 people in cryosleep plus a whole bunch of embryos) are heading to a planet that they are not 100% sure is habitable for people. I wonder who exactly these people are? Are they part of some government incentivized colonization program? Are they one of Weyland-Yutani's "shake and bake" colonies? Are they a religious group? I wanna know what the fuck these people think they're doing (-1)
    • Furthermore, the captain of the ship risks the 2000 sleeping people to respond to a possible distress call that has nothing to do with them, which is stupid and also incredibly contrived. I'm guessing the reason his crew doesn't respect him is not because he is a Christian, but because he's a fucking dumbass (-1)
  • People in horror movies always go really far away to pee, which people in real life absolutely do not do. Granted, the guy who utters the deadly phrase "I gotta take a leak" in this movie was actually going off to blaze it, but still, it's the year 2104, smoke it if you got it bro (-1)
  • Aliens infect people through microbes or spores or dust or something now? Was that a thing in Prometheus? I thought in Prometheus it was a liquid? I got bored when the bad Michael Fassbender was explaining how alien infection works (-1)
    • I had to read the plot synopsis of Prometheus on wikipedia to try to understand what was going on and it explained nothing (-1)
  • The problem with prequels in general is that you already know how they're going to end. This is especially true of horror prequels - you know that the crew of the Covenant is going to get wrecked, so there's no real sense of danger, and no sense in getting attached to the characters. The fun in watching these movies is seeing how the crew gets wrecked by aliens, and it took a really long time to get there (-1)
  • Why, and more importantly how, does bad Michael Fassbender's hair grow? Okay, the why is probably to make him seem more human or whatever, but the how is more perplexing. Does he eat? How can he grow new hair without ingesting new material? What does he eat? Does he just go around eating random shit so he can grow his hair out for aesthetic reasons? What kind of monster? (-1)
  • The reason the good Michael Fassbender finds out that the bad Michael Fassbender is bad is because he misattributes "Ozymandias" to Byron because this movie is about ten miles up its own ass (-1)
    • I mean, it's called "Alien: Covenant" for fuck sake. What the fuck is that? Alien: Contract was a little too on the nose, I guess. Fuck it, I want to see Alien: Convent. Hire me to write that screenplay you assholes (-1)
  • Anyway, it turns out in this movie that the xenomorph was bioengineered by the bad Michael Fassbender from an alien virus. I don't know about you, but for me the alien is more interesting and scary when it's just some naturally occurring deep space monster. Why? Because our own planet is chock full of shit that can kill you in really horrible ways, so why shouldn't space be full of shit that can kill you in even more horrible ways? There's something very narcissistic and disappointing about the alien being effectively created by humans (-1)
  • Also, why do all of the androids in these movies have such a chub on for the alien? (-1)
  • Alien had a bad android, Aliens, Alien 3, and Alien: Resurrection had a good android, Alien: Covenant has both a good android and a bad android. As much as I like watching robots hitting each other, the androids in this movie are identical and more or less evenly matched which is boring and futile (-1)
  • The revelation at the end of the movie that the good Michael Fassbender was actually replaced by the bad Michael Fassbender is the least surprised I've ever been in a movie (-1)
  • Ultimately, this movie is halfway between a straight up gross-out monster movie, and a slow burn meditation on the human condition. If it had committed wholly to either of these it probably would have been pretty interesting, but where it half-asses both of them, it feels, well, half-assed (-1)
Total: -20

Final Score: -6
This movie wasn't as terrible as I was hoping it would be. It was a technically fine film marred by some really stupid creative decisions and thematic compromises. As much as I hate to say it, I would be fine with the whole Alien franchise getting rebooted at this point.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

I Am Mother

I Am Mother (2019)

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After a cataclysmic event wipes out humanity, a robot (Rose Byrne/Luke Hawker) is left alone in a bunker with thousands of human embryos. She raises one human child (Clara Rugaard/Hazel Sandery) as her own daughter, taking care of her and protecting her from the desolate outside world. That goes surprisingly well, until an outside person (Hilary Swank) shows up.

Merits

  • Humanity goes extinct (+1)
  • I really fucking love robots and there's a robot in the movie. Also, the robot is not CG but a guy wearing a suit designed by Weta and I think that's neat (+2)
  • Robot moms are actually a very good idea. What I imagine are the hardest parts of motherhood are incubating a fetus for nine months, and not murdering it during the first year of its life, two problems eliminated by having a robot raise the baby (+1)
  • Both Clara Rugaard as the daughter and Rose Byrne as the voice of the robot are fantastic and play off of each other really well (+1)
  • The writing, pacing, and acting from all three actresses does a great job building suspense and paranoia. Hilary Swank's character and the robot are both excellently manipulative, and their intentions remain ambiguous up until the very end, and even beyond. What exactly either character hoped to achieve is, arguably, open to interpretation (+3)
  • The real human drama of the daughter being trapped between these two enticing and dangerous mother figures is very engaging (+1)
  • The overarching themes about the inherent value of human life are interesting and fairly well explored (+1)
Total: +10


Demerits

  • The kid being raised by a robot sort of reminds me of this really heinous experiment I learned about in first year psychology. The experiment went like this: baby monkeys were taken away from their mothers and raised alone in cages with two surrogate mothers, one made from wire with a bottle of milk attached, and one covered in a soft cloth with no milk. The primary findings of the experiment were that, even though the "wire mother" provided food to the baby monkeys, they actually spent more time on the soft mother. The other thing that happened is that when the monkeys grew up they were completely dysfunctional and couldn't interact properly with other monkeys. Where I'm going with that is, it's surprising to me that the daughter character could function socially when her entire life she had only interacted with a robot and old Tonight Show reruns (-1)
  • In addition to being extremely high functioning socially given her isolation, the daughter is also surprisingly blase about possible contamination given her upbringing. She is told that there is a deadly, deadly virus outside, and initially acts cautious about Hilary Swank, but later throws caution to the wind and touches her stuff. I get that this girl obviously really wanted to interact with another human, but... deadly deadly virus. One could make the argument that because she has never experienced anything from the outside world, she doesn't have a frame of reference for how dangerous it is. But then again, I've never personally experienced the bubonic plague, but I wouldn't touch anybody I thought might have it (-1)
  • Where does the food come from? There's a glimpse of some plants growing in a room at one point, and there's sooooort of an explanation at the end. But... is food brought in from the outside? If so, when does that happen? Or is food grown in the bunker? Doesn't that take a lot of work? Who does the work? (-2)
  • The bleak shots of the outside world, destroyed by human greed, are cool and all, but also kind of derivative. I get it, this is an Australian movie, you guys made Mad Max, well done, Australia (-1)
  • How the hell did a dog survive being stuck inside a shipping container for an unspecified but presumably non-trivial length of time, let alone for a decade and a half following a nuclear fallout? (-1)
  • It's disappointing to me that the daughter didn't just decide to team up with the robot. That's what I would have done. Then again, the whole point of her character is that she's supposed to have superior ethics or something and I'm a piece of shit, and I don't like that this movie made me realize that (-2)
  • Most of the twists are pretty predictable (-1)
  • That said, I wasn't really expecting the ending to turn out the way it did. That's because the characters are pretty much written into a corner and the ending that would have made sense is super depressing. So, the ending, not predictable but still a cop out. (-1)
Total: -10

Final Score: 0 thumbs up or down

Verdict: I Am Mother is a pretty solid little sci-fi horror/thriller, with an all female cast and some interesting ethical questions. It didn't blow my mind, and the plot twists were obvious, but it was definitely the best claustrophobic, paranoid, philosophical robot horror movie ever made.