Saturday, October 6, 2012

Rosewood Lane

Noted boyfucker Victor Salva directs this tale of a radio psychologist (Rose McGowen, looking great except for whatever the fuck happened to her face) who moves into the home of her father, who recently died in an accident. Only soon she comes to suspect that this "accident" was in the fact the work of a supernatural paperboy with black eyes who likes to recite nursery rhymes and stalk and torment the residents of the neighborhood. (?)

I'm pretty sure Rosewood Lane is terrible movie, but I kind of liked it. I can't remember the last time I saw a horror movie with a premise this unabashedly stupid, and yet Salva (who showed real horror movie chops in his excellent Jeepers Creepers) manages to wring some genuine fun and excitement out of the whole retarded thing. Seemingly silly ideas for suspense scenes, say someone reaching through a cat door to bring the cat in, unaware that the killer is standing outside, actually generates some playful tension. Salva's script is dumb beyond all belief, but he knows how to make a horror movie work.

I mean, just re-read my first paragraph again. The villain is a teenage paperboy (who looks like he's 30, of course) who is also some sort of seemingly unkillable monster beast. How do you even pitch that premise? And it's not even like the film seriously toys with the idea that McGowen is crazy or paranoid; it's clear early on the villain is a demonic paperboy. He rides around on a bike and tries to sell subscriptions and everything.

Thematically, the movie is a damn mess. McGowen's character is a shrink, and there's a lot of talk about her abusive childhood, and a traumatic experience in her boyfriend's past that lead to his claustrophobia, but if any of this turns into a coherent statement about psychic scars or psychoanalysis, I missed it. I guess the paperboy sorta tries to exploit this once or twice (maybe?) but that doesn't really end up going anywhere.

Also, I'm pretty sure we never find out the fate of one of the major characters. We can assume they died, I suppose, but it would have been nice if they explicated it.

Still, I had a decent amount of fun watching it. The set pieces and reasonably well crafted, the vibe is right, the cast is good. And I guess there is a sort of "I can't believe what I'm watching" element to the story that amused me as well.

Rating: C+ (?)

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