The Movie Binge



It's easy to understand why so many hack genre fiction writers are into prophecies as a plot device. I mean, it's an incredibly lazy way to string a story together, and you don't have to spend any time thinking about character motivation and plot holes because -- dude! -- it was PROPHESIED, and prophets never get anything wrong! The future is already written by ancient idiots with no grasp of poetry or logic, and we're just going along for the ride, okay? What's harder to comprehend is why audiences go for this sort of thing. Once in a while you just have to deal with prophetic bullshitting in order for a writer to focus on better things such as interesting characters, funny jokes, and subtextual themes (hi Joss Whedon!), but most often, anything involving prophecies is just insultingly stupid, and Skinwalkers is no exception.

Make no mistake, Skinwalkers is a b-movie. In fact, it might be a c- or a d- movie. There are no stars, the acting is uniformly stiff and unbelievable, the special effects are extremely lame and unconvincing, and the writing and film making are on a level far below that of a Lifetime TV movie. No one involved in the film was trying very hard, and it's difficult to understand why the film even exists. Maybe the producers felt as though there weren't enough movies in the world? If the film was even remotely fashionable in terms of content -- ie, something closer to Hostel or Saw -- I'd assume it was just a blatant cash grab, but Skinwalkers is so plodding, gore-less, and devoid of style that it's hard to imagine it doing well in any era.

The most galling thing about Skinwalkers is that the writers decided to make a werewolf movie and refused to engage with the central metaphor that makes werewolves such a potent archetype -- ie, fear of unrepressed sexuality. Instead, they go for a drug metaphor so lame and hysterical that it makes those old "this is your brain on drugs" ads seem extraordinarily subtle. On top of that, you barely see the werewolves, and when you do, they look totally silly and ridiculous, like a substandard Halloween costume from the mall. So basically, if you're into werewolves at all, they've basically fucked it up in any way you could possibly enjoy a werewolf movie. They try to make up for it with lots of guns and motorcycles, but it's just pathetic, really.


I like good fiction

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