Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Year in Review - 5 Most Divisive Movies of 2021

According to: Selina
5Skinwalker: The Howl of the Rougarou (2021)

Reviewed on: September 10, 2021
Genre: Documentary
Rated: Unrated
Length: 70 minutes
Selina’s Rating: 1
Cat’s Rating: 3
Difference: 2
IMDb Blurb: For centuries, stories have persisted throughout the southern swamps of something truly otherworldly: a terrifying, hirsute creature known by locals as the Rougarou. These legends predate the first immigrant settlers who made their way into the murky waters and dark forests of the south, yet the Rougarou has only recently made its way into pop culture via appearances in horror films, a regional festival and even a roller coaster ride.
It's almost unfair of us to paint this film as divisive. There’s a reason that Trust the Dice rarely covers a documentary.
I find most documentaries to be boring, monotone, and hard to concentrate on. If my husband puts one on, I’m likely asleep within the first fifteen minutes. I love learning, but I have an auditory processing issue that stems from my ADHD, so learning through lecture simply doesn’t work for me. If I am interested in learning about something, I have to read it.
Skinwalker: The Howl of the Rougarou was chosen for the schedule because it had some content that appealed to both me and Cat. I have always been interested in the mythology/legends of werewolves, and Cat is fascinated by subjects that explore Louisiana in any way. I thought having that innate interest would alter what lens I viewed the documentary through.
Cat seemed to enjoy the majority of it, though she had some issues with the transitions. I, however, simply couldn’t concentrate on it at all. Watching it, for me, was like sitting through a boring 8am history course in college.
Some films just don’t have a chance from the start. In this case, none of it was the fault of the creative team or the finished product.
4False Positive (2021)

Reviewed on: June 25, 2021
Genre: Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Rated: R
Length: 92 minutes
Selina’s Rating: 1
Cat’s Rating: 3
Difference: 2
IMDb Blurb: As if getting pregnant weren't complicated enough, Lucy sets out to uncover the unsettling truth about her fertility doctor.
I’ll admit that not much stuck with me from False Positive. The ending still sticks out in my mind a bit, but that’s all. If anything, the only thing that comes to mind when I think back to this film is a feeling: anger.
I don’t mind triggering subjects in film. In a lot of cases, I think watching a film showcasing something traumatizing could be cathartic. It can offer a viewpoint that is otherwise obscured to a victim, or it can offer up a revenge fantasy in a world where justice isn’t always in reach.
I’ve been a victim of violence in the past, and I can’t tell you how much a love a revenge story now.
That said, it needs to be done right. I did not believe False Positive had good intentions where the triggering scenes were concerned. I found them gratuitous and utilized for nothing more than shock value.
Cat, however, saw some benefit in what False Positive was selling.
Although she was not available to review it when I did, she watched it later. She lauded the acting and, despite admitting the ending was exceptionally bleak, believed the rest of the film did what it set out to do.
Different people with different experiences will always see things from different perspectives. In this case, Cat’s ability to see art through an optimistic perspective allowed her to absorb things about False Positive that I just couldn’t see.
3The Reckoning (2021)

Reviewed on: May 10, 2021
Genre: Action, Thriller
Rated: Unrated
Length: 110 minutes
Selina’s Rating: 2
Cat’s Rating: 4
Difference: 2
IMDb Blurb: Evelyn, a young widow haunted by the recent suicide of her husband Joseph, is falsely accused of being a witch by her landlord after she rejects his advances.
The Reckoning did not stick with me at all. I had to pull it up on Shudder just to remember what it was. Even then, very little of my memory was triggered.
I thought it was way too melodramatic and so much of it was just unnecessary. There was a scene used as flashbacks over-and-over again. Repeating the same flashback with no alterations – especially one that’s relatively pointless to begin with – is just inexcusable to me.
I also felt like the story was a bit too convoluted to end as neatly as it did.
Cat was satisfied with how The Reckoning played out, though. She wasn’t in love with the fact that it was advertised as a supernatural story, since that was never a factor, but she otherwise saw it as a strong film.
The acting and settings allowed her to see The Reckoning as a movie that was not only worth watching, but one that was worth picking up a Shudder subscription for.
There were no huge differences that caused our varied responses to this film. She simply saw things differently. The things that caused me to roll my eyes, didn’t leave an impression on her at all. The things that stood out as exceptional to her, didn’t impress me.
Which of us did you side with?
2 Stay Out of the Fucking Attic (2021)

Reviewed on: March 10, 2021
Genre: Horror
Rated: Unrated
Length: 80 minutes
Selina’s Rating: 1
Cat’s Rating: 3.5
Difference: 2.5
IMDb Blurb: A group of ex-cons-turned-movers are convinced by their creepy client to pull an all-nighter. As the night progresses, they uncover the horrors that exist inside his old Victorian mansion.
It is my firm belief that awful historical figures like Josef Mengele should never be forgotten. As important as it is to remember the people who made a good difference, it’s more important to protect our futures from the kind of people that set out to destroy it. As a result, I think having horror stories and legends about them is fine.
Much like having triggering subjects, though, plots need to use those historical figures correctly. I was insistent that Stay out of the Fucking Attic did not do that. In fact, I thought it made Mengele less scary – which I find borderline offensive.
Cat doesn’t have the same hang-up that I do. So, she was able to watch Stay Out of the Fucking Attic with less expectations.
She had some issues with the dialogue, but otherwise got caught up in the building tension. She admitted that not everyone would be able to tolerate the amount of body horror involved, but otherwise thought it was a decent offering from Shudder.
Our different cultural backgrounds and ethical beliefs can be a huge factor in how we view art.
1Thunder Force (2021)

Reviewed on: April 9, 2021
Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy
Rated: PG-13
Length: 106 minutes
Selina’s Rating: 1.5
Cat’s Rating: 4
Difference: 2.5
IMDb Blurb: In a world where supervillains are commonplace, two estranged childhood best friends reunite after one devises a treatment that gives them powers to protect their city.
Thunder Force was a huge mess in my eyes. It was super basic and full of cringe. I also thought the trailer lied to the audience. I’m guessing it was made before post-production had wrapped and they wound up changing things, but I found the distance between what was shown and what happened, to be unacceptable.
The bottom line was that I just didn’t find it funny.
Cat’s sense of humor is skewed in a different direction, though. Everything hit the right spots for her. She found it funny, she loved the action, and she thought the friendship between the main leads worked.
Everyone has a different sense of humor. What I might find obnoxious, someone else might find outstandingly hilarious. It’s all subjective.

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