I really wish I had better things to say about this film. Made in Austin, Texas by local filmmaking brothers David
and Nathan Zellner
,the film focuses on a man obsessing over finding his missing cat, it sounds like the sort of thing I’d normally fall madly in love with. Only, that ‘Made in Austin’ label lately has become associated with mixed feelings for me lately. Yes, I’m one of those ‘WTF mumblecore
’ guys. “Goliath”
is definitely, one of those.
plays Sir Everydouche
, a guy with a job that he hates and isn’t respected at, a wife whose left him and a lifestyle that is next to non-existent. Everything gets worse and worse for him and it’s clear that it’s mainly because he’s a dick; not your usual enormous iconic movie assface, but more like a real-life one, snide and judgmental with nothing good to say about anything or anyone except for his beloved missing cat, Goliath
. His search for the animal becomes an obsessive one but is obviously a psychological parallel for him losing his wife...a loss which no amount of xeroxed pictures on telephone poles or psychotic stalking of the neighborhood ex-sex offender can help him with.
Despite a convincing performance from writer/director/actor Zellner
, there’s not enough going on here to hold interest, or a character worth following even if there was. Unlikable in every detail, it’s hard to feel anything for him except hope that he’ll get so distracted by the loss of his furry friend that he’ll forget to scare the living hell out of his ex-wife. Attempts to achieve humor through excruciatingly extended shots are outrageously
unsuccessful, calling attention only to your watch to see how much more of the film is left. I hate to tell you...lots more is left. Lots more. “Goliath”
has a very dark and cynical sense of humor that is so minimalist, it’s barely detectable as an attempt at humor at all. I very much hate to say it, but this is a SKIP
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When Malena (Ruth Diaz)
and Pablo (Javier Pereira)
visit the hospital to pull life support on their dying father, they decide to take his old car and drive together across the country to the old family home. Along the way, Pablo
discovers an old journal hidden in the car’s wheel well. It seems to be the diary of a murderer which details a brutal killing of a family in a hotel not far from where they are. So what do they do? To be fair, it’s exactly what I would...find the hotel, get a room for the night, poke around. I’m one of those dumb people in horror movies, apparently. They end up witnessing and being involved in what seems to be either a ghostly recreation of the killings or
someone reenacting them over again. The truth, as the changing bloody Polaroids in Pablo
’s discovered diary show, is something altogether different and one that changes their past and
their future. Ooh, mysterious-back-cover-of-the-DVD-sounding-blurb. It’s hard not to say too much so I gotta leave you off with a vague, annoying line like "one that changes their past and their future". Sorry. You'll thank me for being elusive after you watch the film yourself. And you should.
is a Spanish political horror by director Paco Cabezas
in the tradition of Guillermo del Toro
’s “The Devil’s Backbone”
or “Pan’s Labyrinth”
but one that doesn’t quite have his level of finish or visual imagination. Which isn’t to say bad things about it at all, because “The Appeared”
is a surprising, smart, and original film but one that’s reach exceeds the director’s grasp at points. While the political themes in del Toro
’s films fit comfortably within their genre affectations, here, the overtones end up dominating and only sort-of explaining the spooky events in almost a disappointing way, and certainly in one that doesn't tie things together that neatly. Why is all this happening? Dunno. You know...evil. Kinda sucks and has a way of hanging around. Always leaves its underwear on the floor and drinks the last beer.
While I found the last reel to be a bit disappointing, most of the movie is really involving and fascinating with a neat conceit for telling a ghost/horror film, although one whose continuity and reasons get lost in the director’s goal to remind his audience of historical events. There’s some strong performances and one really effectively creepy centerpiece of an effects scene along with a story that most definitely will keep you guessing. It’s not quite an owner
but you’re definitely gonna want to RENT
this and decide for yourself.
Click Here to Buy The Appeared