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"Amusement" Reviews/Discussion - 2011 Horror Challenge: Day 29

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"Amusement" Reviews/Discussion - 2011 Horror Challenge: Day 29

Old 09-25-11, 05:27 PM
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"Amusement" Reviews/Discussion - 2011 Horror Challenge: Day 29

Amusement (2008)

Selected by terrycloth



These "October Horror Movie Challenge" threads are for the discussion of the films in the 31 FILM SUBSET.


The plan is for everyone to watch this film on the October day in the thread title, and to start discussing it the morning of the following day.
You may start discussion early if you want, but the preferred plan is for this to be as much of a group exercise as possible, with all of us viewing it "together" and discussing after.

Of course, you are totally encouraged to participate in these threads even if you haven't watched the movie on the designated day.
Even if you haven't watched it in years, or are not participating in the Horror Challenge, please feel free to chime in.

Spoiler tags are unnecessary in here, so if you have yet to see the film BEWARE OF SPOILERS.


Old 10-29-11, 02:39 AM
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Re: "Amusement" Reviews/Discussion - 2011 Horror Challenge: Day 29

If you put your brain on hold for an hour and a half, you just might enjoy certain aspects of this film. The things that it gets right, it gets very, very right. For starters, the film looks absolutely amazing. I guess that production budgets go farther in Hungary (where Amusement was shot) than they do in the States, but even taking that into account, this is one mighty fine-looking film (and the run-down pension in the third segment is just about the creepiest-looking place that I've ever seen). Another thing that I liked about it is that it's an anthology film...but it's not. The story structure was intriguing, with three seemingly-unrelated stories getting tied together in the fourth story. I also thought that all three lead actresses were gorgeous. As for the things that Amusement gets wrong, the most egregious of its errors is that it doesn't even try to be logical. As you're watching, there's a goodly bit of directorial sleight-of-hand going on that keeps you from questioning the logic of the film, but after it's over, you'll probably find yourself thinking back over it and going "Now wait a minute...." For instance, ask yourself how and why the trauma specialist lady was there to talk to one of the characters. There's also the problem that the villain, besides having the ultra-stupid name of "The Laugh," is operating from a totally unbelievable motive. I really can't believe that an adult could be driven to such incredible lengths to get revenge simply because three girls were disapproving of his "art" project when they were all ten years old. Another thing that I really hated was the narration at the end of the film. It's okay for a film to have narration--I'm not knocking the use of it in general; however, to go eighty minutes without it and suddenly use it to wrap up a film is irritating and condescending. Even with the faults that it has, I still found myself, almost against my will, enjoying Amusement, and I'll probably watch it again in the future, just to check out that pension again.
Old 10-29-11, 06:57 AM
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Re: "Amusement" Reviews/Discussion - 2011 Horror Challenge: Day 29

Rbrown nailed it. There's no convincing motive and the visceral splatter seems too obnoxious coming across as nonsensically gory for cheap shocks but ineffective due to awkward set-up heavily cloning better films. Although it seems like someone's idea of unsettling what twisted logic could there be in stuffing people into a barb wire mattress? Instead of scary it comes across as stretched. Some of the gags are fun (even if you've seen Saw or It menacing puppet clowns are still creepy) but altogether a forgettable movie with one of the worst villians in horror history. Was it really necessary to built a persona and backstory for The Laugh? Without the origin material or villain development the movie might have been more effective. The ending is abrupt.
Old 10-29-11, 09:13 AM
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Re: "Amusement" Reviews/Discussion - 2011 Horror Challenge: Day 29

I guess it's appropriate to follow-up the best film of the subset, Burn Witch Burn, with the worst.

Looks pretty, and a couple of decent scenes, but it's just silly and unoriginal overall.
Old 10-29-11, 11:09 AM
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Re: "Amusement" Reviews/Discussion - 2011 Horror Challenge: Day 29

I watched this movie based on many recommendations awhile back, and found it to just be as bland as a piece of paper. I struggle to remember anything about it now, and it wasn't really that long ago since I watched it. I could revisit it to give it another chance, but I probably won't.
Old 10-30-11, 03:35 AM
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Re: "Amusement" Reviews/Discussion - 2011 Horror Challenge: Day 29

I found this to be actually good. You get suspense, blood, guts and a few surprises. The opening had me fooled. Tha'ts what lured me in. Then the setting with clown in the room was great. I liked it for the most part.
Old 10-30-11, 10:54 AM
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Re: "Amusement" Reviews/Discussion - 2011 Horror Challenge: Day 29

I was getting bored and then started thinking about other things. The next thing I know, the story's changing on me left and right. I start off with the convoy, then the next thing I know it's the babysitter tale with the clown. Boom, then it's some girl looking for her friend. Oh, there was the school project thrown in there at some point for a couple minutes.

On the plus side, it was well made.
Old 10-30-11, 11:17 AM
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Re: "Amusement" Reviews/Discussion - 2011 Horror Challenge: Day 29

Originally Posted by DEEveeDEE3
I found this to be actually good. You get suspense, blood, guts and a few surprises. The opening had me fooled. Tha'ts what lured me in. Then the setting with clown in the room was great. I liked it for the most part.
That's how I felt. While each part had its flaws, I enjoyed watching them come together. I didn't take it so much as one guy doing all this elaborate stuff to get back at girls for not liking his art project when they were 10, I saw it as a mentally unstable kid who wanted to impress people so he made gruesome "projects," first with animals and then as he got older he started experimenting on people. I kind of figured he had a crush on the main girl, Tabitha, so he rounded up her friends in order to freak her out and get to her in the end. I'm not saying it's the most logical premise or anything, but a lot of horror movies have people stalking adults to get back at them for some incident in childhood/high school, so I just saw this movie fitting in with that tradition.

I also thought the part with the trauma specialist lady was kind of cool. I just saw it as another kidnapping and manipulation from the killer; he kidnapped the lady because she was another person he thought had wronged him, and he worked her into his fantasy world in order to further disorient Tabitha and make her think everything is ok until she realizes this is just another one of his games. I thought the whole sequence was kind of dreamlike, like maybe they were both drugged and weren't sure what was going on but he wanted to set Tabitha at ease and then freak her out all over again when she realized what was really happening. Sure it's kind of silly and elaborate, but a lot of horror movies have these elaborate revenge plots cooked up by people who are several cans short of a six pack, so I'm used to it. I know it's not great cinema or anything, but I didn't see it being all that much more far fetched than a lot of other movies I enjoy. Plus I love the lead actress, Katheryn Winnick from all her other little roles in TV shows and movies I enjoyed. I didn't think the acting was bad from any of the leading ladies. The killer was kinda bad, but not so much that it bothered me too much.

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