The Bleeding House -2011- Last Night -2011-

by George Watches Things

I’m trying to fit all of my 2011 reviews in before the end of the year, so from now on, I’ll be doubling up on them. On the 30th, you can expect my reviews of Attack the Block and Hugo. Check back on the 5th to see my takes on Limitless and X-Men: First Class. And at the end of December/beginning of January, I’ll post my reviews of both Girl with the Dragon Tattoo films.

My review of The Bleeding House:

The girl brings the animal into the house.

Oh, the music. Why?

One word: cliche. Two words: bad acting.

You’ve seen this movie before. It tries to create tension where tension doesn’t exist. A woman spills red paint and (oh my goodness) it looks like blood. They keep teasing the secret until you don’t even care what it is. This movie does nothing new.

The Smiths are the talk of the town. Something happened. Oh, I wonder what it was. We meet the mysterious Nick, a man whose car broke down near their house, just as this family learns that the father didn’t get a job that would take them out-of-state and the teenage girl smooches a baby bird in her hand and the 19-year-old son decided to move out.

What Nick says is funny, but the accent he uses to say it is even funnier. He doesn’t give a bad performance, per se, but it’s not a good one by any stretch of the imagination.

This movie is so obvious in the clunky foreshadowing that it’s funny. You’ll see some quotes in the section below labeled “quotes.” I began hating The Bleeding House (instead of finding it hilariously bad) around the 24th minute. Five minutes later, the “film” takes its first victim.

(Without spoiling too much) Nick is a lot like the Michael Parks character in another horror movie I saw recently, Red State. If you make a mistake, this person will punish you. Only Parks (and the whole film of Red State) delivers, while The Bleeding House does not.

The Bleeding House could have been different. It had all these ideas and themes it could have explored, but it explored none of them. Why was this movie so bleak? Characters disagreeing on the right motive for murder? It had no purpose! It’s an outrage! Please, avoid it if you can.

Unintentionally funny quotes and other notes:

  • “It’s covered in dead things, Gloria.”
  • “You are not allowed to have any living thing in this house… ever!”
  • Nick’s whole family was murdered, so he has decided to go around ridding the world of impure people. The film doesn’t judge him, so I feel I have to: what he is doing is wrong.
  • “Has this couch been reupholstered?”
  • The cops are ridiculously stereotypical.
  • I didn’t understand the philosophical babble Nick was spewing while slitting Margaret’s throat. I can’t believe I just wrote that sentence.
  • I admire Nick’s suit. Great fashion decision, going retro like that!
  • Wow. What an ending.

And now my review of Last Night:

Joanna (Keira Knightley) is married to Michael (Sam Worthington). Michael works with Laura (Eva Mendes). Joanna used to be in a relationship with Alex (Guillaume Canet). The premise for the film is actually a decent one, one I’d like to see done better someday: Michael is away on a work trip with Laura and another person, Alex returned to the states from Paris and takes Joanna to dinner with some of his friends. This is a test to their relationship, especially after Joanna picked a fight with Michael over his flirting with Laura.

Last Night never reaches deep enough, though. Sam Worthington doesn’t help that at all, as he turns in a largely dispassionate performance. The movie dogged him by making him cheat first (oops… spoiler) and cheat “harder.” I really disliked Michael, his character, and I felt sorry for Joanna, who has a shot at what I’d call happiness with Alex. But Michael and Joanna lie to each other again and again, and I couldn’t sympathize with them too much because of that. By the end, I was rooting for Alex and Joanna to get together, if anything.

Alex and Joanna felt real and passionate. Knightley and Guillaume Canet give it their all. But the movie failed to make me care enough for the Joanna-Michael relationship. The characters don’t even care about it. They’re more often sad or mad than happy with each other. The scenes at the dinner that Joanna attends with Alex are fun and light, as are the scenes with the dog. But everything with Worthington and Mendes in it drags.

Last Night ends ambiguously. Does she tell him? Does she not tell him? Honestly, I didn’t care.

Funny quotes and other notes:

  • “You smell the same.” “So do you.”
  • I understand the appeal of a fancy free spirit like Alex, but I don’t see why Michael falls for Laura.

And now other notes regarding the two movies and my blog:

  • I give both ** out of 4, but I clearly preferred Last Night.
  • As of November 28, The Bleeding House is the worst movie (38th best) I’ve seen in 2011, and Last Night is the third worst (36th best).
  • If you see The Bleeding House and are left wanting more, please see Fargo and Pulp Fiction.
  • If you see Last Night and are left wanting more, please see Never Let Me Go and Kramer vs. Kramer.
  • Both of these movies are available now on Netflix Instant.
  • Coming soon: talk of sex in movies (I’ve been dangling that for awhile, but this time I promise to post it), more reviews, and the start of the awards!
  • Have you seen these movies? What do you think?
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