Synopsis: A guy becomes obsessed with a girl, steals her stuff, stalks her for a few days, and locks her in a cage. She turns out to be crazy and then takes revenge by not only locking him up but dressing him up like her best friend that she murdered. Yeah, I don’t know…
Year Released: 2016
Director: Carles Torrens
Dude 1: “Let’s get a really pathetic character to fall head over heels for a closeted murderer. He’ll stalk her and follow her around, learning her darkest secrets, then trap her and try to fix her.”
Dude 2: “Won’t she just kill him before he can nab her?”
Dude 1: “Nah, we’ll glaze over that part.”
Favorite Death: There are only two deaths in this movie. Lexi (the dog) and Nate. I don’t really have a favorite. This category exists for those Final Desination wannabes that have weird death scenes involving umbrellas. Therefore, this movie doesn’t really qualify.
Funniest Part: When Seth is bringing Holly into the dungeon, he passes by Nate, the night shift security desk-guy. At one point, the camera pans out so you can see how tall Nate is compared to Seth. I thought that was hilarious and would later be used when Nate discovered Holly and beat Seth to a pulp. However, that didn’t happen and made me sad.
What they did right: A lot, actually. Most importantly, when the movie revealed Holly’s roommate wasn’t real. Just as I was thinking about why her roommate wasn’t calling the cops to come find her, the movie told us why. This lined up perfectly and was even used as a turning point to let us know we couldn’t trust Holly
Special effects and lighting: Pretty decent. The lighting was nice, eerie and not too dark. Special effects were okay, a bit cheesy, but overall not bad. The most unbelievable part is when Holly lost a nail. It just fell right off with no problem. That was a bit much and was only included to garner sympathy. She doesn’t refer to it again and it somehow never gets infected. This also happens with a nose/face injury. There are never any signs to indicate slamming her face into a metal cage harmed her face in any way.
What I thought would happen: I assumed the movie would be relatively similar up until the point we found out she was actually a serial killer. Aside from that twist, I thought when he was taken into the office to be reprimanded, he would end up getting fired. This happens right after Holly threatens to kill herself. Before he left her, she said something along the lines of “if I die, your life is ruined too.” I thought maybe he would end up getting fired and have to leave the premises, she would kill herself, and get what she deserved. But nope. I actually liked how this one ended.
I’m going to keep the snark short this week. This movie was pretty good. It set up the characters well and I was engaged with it for the majority of the time. I didn’t see the twist coming and the story itself was well written.
I thought the selection of actors was weird though. In this movie, you’ll find one half of Merry/Pippin from Lord of the Rings (I can never remember which is which) and Sam from iCarly. Interesting choices.
I do have some issues though. Mainly, why Holly didn’t kill Seth before he was able to capture her. She’s this badass manipulative killer that has some mental issues but overall has her head on her shoulders. She knows how to hide bodies and get away with just about everything, so why, when she knew she was being followed, did she keep Seth alive?
Knowing she would eventually use her wits to get out of her cage and do the same to him, she may have done it intentionally. However, that doesn’t explain the ending at all.
In the end, we see Holly retreat into a dungeon of her own, only to see she’s dressed Seth up as her best friend and locked him in a cage. This is a pretty decent plot hole because while we don’t see him die, he’s severely injured (slashed across the neck). Throughout the whole movie, Holly’s moves are methodical and measured. If she really wanted to keep Seth as her pet, she wouldn’t have slashed his neck. She would have stabbed him somewhere non-lethal.
Another issue I had was that the movie made us feel bad for almost every character. We feel bad for Holly because she’s captured and a tortured soul. We feel sorry for Seth because he has no friends and ends up in a cage as a pet of his own, tortured by the love he has for Holly. We even feel sorry for Holly’s friend that doesn’t exist because she’s the moral side of Holly eeking out through the grime of her insanity.
I didn’t like this trope at all. While I understand it was the intention of the movie to make me feel bad about Seth, we can’t live our lives thinking that stalking people on social media is a normal way to get to know someone.
Besides, the movie does a really poor job of setting up that he’s the “bad guy” so we never really think to be more than a little creeped out by him. The spookiest part was when he captured Holly. He put a lot of thought into taking her when she was vulnerable. We see how small he is compared to Nate and that he has a soft spot for dogs (although we’re led to believe he mercilessly put down the dog he was closest to). Finally, he’s pathetic because he gets beat up by not only Holly’s ex but Holly.
Finally, I really liked that Holly was a smart female lead. She kicked ass, didn’t take Seth’s social-media researched bait, and didn’t hesitate when under stress. However, we later learn she’s a cold-blooded killer. This makes me mad because the reason she was smart and badass was because she was a killer and had no empathy. This makes it seem like if she was a normal girl that thought on her feet (and wasn’t a killer) had something really wrong with her. That ties into a lot of victim blaming stuff I won’t get into, but suffice it to say it was not my favorite part of the movie.
Overall the movie was good, had a good plot, was well written, and fairly well acted. I just didn’t like a lot of the deeper stuff the movie was about.
To be honest with you, I wanted to stop watching this halfway through. Once I realized how pathetic Seth was, I wanted to see why he decided to capture her and what his intentions were once he had her. I wasn’t disappointed, but this is one of those movies I would stop watching because it’s “too good” to tear apart. Sorry if that made this review boring, I’ll do better next time.
Last Week’s Review: Let Me In
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