Year of Release: 2010
Genre: Horror / Action
IMDB Rating: 3.1 / 10
Level of Awful: Medium
Breast-O-Meter: 2 /5
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
It’s movies like this that make you lose faith in the whole premise of film making. I mean, you want to believe that film makers are trying their best to put out high quality, original movies, and then this rather blatant Saw ripoff comes along and makes you question everything. Yeah, we all know that none of that’s true, but Elimination isn’t even subtle in what it’s trying to piggy back on. Granted, it has some of the cheapest CGI I’ve ever seen in a film and each and every actor could’ve easily been outperformed by a paperclip (which unintentionally gives it its entertainment value), but I spent my whole time sitting in front of the TV just waiting for someone to say “I want to play a game.” But I guess this is what you get from a movie that has unnecessary breasts thrown in front of the camera before the 1 minute mark has even been passed.
As I’m sure we’re all painfully aware, we live in the age of reality television, and the Good Lord knows that they’ll stick a camera in front of anyone and follow them around. Everyone wants to be famous, right? Well, so does our bunch of generic clichés (and there’s a lot of them – latino, latina, jock, bitch blonde, bitch blonde’s caring boyfriend, street thug, smart hot girl in a cardigan etc.). They’re all about to audition for a brand new online reality show called Spotlight. They don’t really know what it’s all about or where it’s being filmed, but there’s a $1 million dollar prize at the end of it for the winner, so I suppose the finer details might not be at the forefront of their tiny minds.
After getting together in a parking lot and meeting one of Spotlight‘s crew members, the gang is bundled into an unmarked van, stripped of their cellphones, drugged, and taken to an unknown location in the middle of the desert. None of them seem to find any of this particularly disconcerting, so they all make their way through to the audition room. Here they meet Jigsa… I mean the Executive Producer… via a live stream. He explains to them that the game they’re about to play might be a tad bit more extreme than they were planning on, and that it may or may not cater to an audience who likes watching snuff but doesn’t want to call it that. You see, Spotlight involves the gang running through various zones in an attempt to make it to the end. They’ll be pursued by a psychotic clown and an Amazonian warrior (who, again, has two breasts) who will try to brutally murder them. Since none of this is entirely above-board the kids can’t really back out on contractual technicalities, so it’s off into the labyrinth of doom for them.
Whilst the pseudo-Amazon and the clown provide some real-life threats, there are also stock dangers like machine guns, giant blades, giant furnaces and oversized food blenders to watch out for. To balance out the rather steep danger curve, the zones also have several hidden immunity statues, granting the holder 15 minutes where the clown and Amazon can’t kill them. Also, if a spotlight appears, anyone who stands in it is also safe from the executioners. But whilst the executioners and the oversized food blender are certainly areas of concern for the group, their greatest threat will be one another. Only one person can make it to the final zone and win the $1 million prize, so every clichéd character is going to underwhelmingly bring out their worst character traits in an attempt to make it out alive. If you’re like me, dear reader, by the time it comes to the final showdown, you too will be rooting for the oversized food blender.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- It’s never a bad idea to give your cellphone to a creepy old man and climb into his unmarked van.
- Kids these days are incredibly whiny about being drugged and taken places against their will.
- It takes years of Tae Bo training to effectively kick a man in the balls.
- Research indicates that modern killers don’t really concern themselves with their victims’ comfort when building their killing contraptions.
- Rampaging murderers are easily thwarted by an empty cardboard box.
- Even murderers edit their footage to make their shows more dramatic and increase their ratings.
- Even psychotic executioners are part of a union.
- Psychotically deadly situations really bring out some people’s inner narcissist.
Year of Release: 2011
Genre: Horror / Thriller / Drama / Sci-Fi / Mystery
IMDB Rating: 3.5 / 10
Level of Awful: High
Breast-O-Meter: 0 /5
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Good God I love movies that fail as epically as this one did! Rarely does one find a movie that attempts to mash together as many genres as The Collapsed did, but in its attempt to be a horror-thriller-drama-sci-fi-mystery ultimate combo, it proved that it couldn’t pull even one of those elements off. I’m not a movie snob (as this site will well attest to), but I do believe that if you’re going to make an end of the world movie, you can only really go one of two ways: option one is to have a big budget so you can make it really convincing or, option two, you make it cheesy enough to distract the audience from the lack of budget. Here, The Collapsed does it wrong again: it wants to be a very serious end of the world movie, but with no budget for the necessary mayhem and destruction. Couple all of this with several attempts on behalf of the director to make the film look artsy and all you’re left with are 82 minutes of unrelenting pain and mind-numbing boredom.
So it’s the end of the world; how it’s the end of the world you’re never going to find out, but ‘the government’, ‘conspiracy’, ‘weapons we’ve never even heard of’ and ‘the horror’ are all phrases being thrown around by survivors of this invisible apocalypse. Our story follows dad Scott, mom Emily, and siblings Aaron and Rebecca as they attempt to find safety and supplies in amongst the few apartment fires and the occasional cannibal that are ravaging their generic movie city. Dad has the strangest accent I’ve ever heard come out of a human being (although I imagine it’s quite similar to how a Swedish person imitating a Canadian accent would sound), but despite this inherent flaw in his being he’s decided that the only way he’s gonna keep his family alive is to make a break for the wilderness. Because nothing bad ever happens when you run off into the woods in a horror movie.
Getting to the wilderness, however, is going to require that the family does a little road trip. This is set up in such a way that it’s as painful to watch as it would be to do an actual road trip with your own family. Thrown in for not-so-good measure is a half-baked plot point about Scott and Emily’s other son, who apparently has gone missing. He’ll be thrown into conversation every now and then, but since we never see him it doesn’t really matter. Along the way the family discovers an abandoned little shop and decide to stop in and pick up some supplies; this is when things start to go very badly for them. While they’re doing a little shopping and Mom’s taking a bath in a sink, a group of heavily armed men wearing gas masks arrive as well. Making a very slow and blundering escape, the group makes for the surrounding woods, hoping it will provide them with a little safety and respite.
Naturally, the woods offer no protection whatsoever. Our family is still pursued by various groups of crazies, supplies are running low, and there are strange sounds and voices coming from the trees. To judge by the musical score, they’re also being relentlessly pursued by a group of poorly trained trumpeters and cellists, but that’s a separate issue entirely. As members of the family are slowly picked off by the different forces out to get them, Swedish-Canadian Dad needs to think of the best way to keep what remains of his family alive until they can escape this wilderness and find the supposedly safer wilderness he has in mind. Of course, not all enemies out to get you are necessarily mortal with a corporeal form…
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Just because it’s the end of the world, it doesn’t mean we can’t have manners.
- Just because it’s the end of the world, it doesn’t mean that feminine hygiene should be any less of a priority.
- Just because it’s the end of the world, it doesn’t mean the risks of teenage smoking should be taken any less seriously.
- Just because it’s the end of the world, it doesn’t mean that grave-digging techniques should suffer.
- Just because it’s the end of the world, it doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate an old-fashioned rifle that doesn’t blow up in your hand.
- Just because it’s the end of the world, it doesn’t mean that revenge still isn’t a dish best served cold.
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