THE STALKER (October 18th)


YOU'VE GOT RED ON YOU TAKES PART IN THE 31 DAYS OF HALLOWEEN CHALLENGE; WATCHING ONE HORROR MOVIE A DAY THROUGHOUT OCTOBER. SOME OF THEM OLD, SOME OF THEM NEW, SOME OF THEM HAVE JUST BEEN ON OUR SHELVES FOR YEARS GATHERING DUST, STILL IN CELLOPHANE...

I was short of time today so when I stumbled across a film called The Stalker on Amazon Prime that was an hour long, it just felt right. Usually I will have a look at the general noise around a film if I have never heard of it. The cold hard truth is that there are a lot of films out there and a decent amount of them are just not very good. Life is too short to sit through too many crappy movies at the end of the day. But I didn't with this one...


The film opens from the POV of a man being fired by his shitty boss, who has created an accusation of sexual misconduct just so he can get shot of him. The reasons for this are purely financial. The shitty boss wants to use the fired dudes salary to bump up his own bonus so he can treat his family and buy a new car. Goddamn capitalism. We then flashforward to a year on where we rejoin the shitty boss in his current abode where he lives with his wife and two teenage sons. When the wife gets home after a self defence class (bet that'll come in handy later!), she finds some flowers that someone has sent her. She assumed they are from her husband but they're not. In fact, we learn that the wife has been harassed by a stalker for a while now (I wonder who it could be?) and although her husband, the shitty boss, tries to placate her, she is on edge. So much so that when the metreman is going about his business reading their metre, she thinks he's the stalker and shoots him dead. She and her husband then agree to put the body in the boot and take the kids up to their second house by the lake (of course they've got a fucking second home) and just let it all blow over. However, the stalker has other ideas...



Yeah, I should have checked the internet for a consensus on this one. Because if I had, I would have discovered that most people thought it sucked. Instead, I had to sit through 60 minutes of sub-par film-making to find this out myself. Where to even begin with this movie? The tagline promised a 'thrill ride' that would take me back to the 'classic films of the genre'. Instead it made me just will the thing to be over. In fact, if I had some more wiggle room time-wise, I'd have turned it off after about ten minutes. The thing is, it's not that it's absolutely terrible (I've seen worse films) it's just that every single element of the film is just not up to scratch. The plot is stale. The storytelling is awful. The actors are meh. The characters are personality vacuums. The script – and I include the dialogue and structure and everything in between, is really poor. Characters make decisions that are just plain stupid and there are scenes that are completely and utterly void of purpose or interest. The direction is barely adequate and the ending is preposterous. But worst of all, there is zero tension. No suspense. Even the 'kills' are tepid and poorly shot. There's also something weird going on with the casting. One of the kids who is apparently a teenager, looks about 28. His mum is no older than 40. It's really weird.


As we haven't seen the face of The Stalker (we just saw from his POV at the beginning of the movie) a lot of the film is dedicated to introducing possible suspects and it's painful to watch at times. Is it the weird pizza delivery driver who is clearly too overweight to be our guy? Or is it the guy who drops in to install broadband about two thirds of the way through and who keeps stroking a photo of the shitty boss' wife? Well when the real killer does appear on screen, it's pretty obvious. Errghh. Honestly, I don't know whether to feel annoyed at the fact I watched it or relieved it was only an hour long. I've enjoyed pretty much every film so far during this challenge so I suppose I am due a dud. And it honestly pains me to say this stuff because I genuinely don't like giving negative reviews. I'm sure all the people who worked on The Stalker were fully invested and put a lot of time and energy (and money) into it. But it doesn't change the fact that the end product is one of the blandest, most derivative and boring slasher films I've seen for a long time. And the slasher bar is notoriously not the highest.


Mental note: Check Letterboxd / IMDB / Rotten Tomatoes before you pick your next film!

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