Shhhh (2018) starring James Henderson, Tiana Cara and Peter Stickles. Directed by Jason Rutherford.
I haven’t been to the cinema since 2007. If there’s one thing I hate more than the general public, it’s the general public in a cinema. Annoying teenagers who can’t shut the fuck up, people on the spectrum who don’t realize crunching their way through a huge bag of Doritos is so fucking annoying for everyone else, cell phones constantly delivering an endless fucking barrage of notifications, people getting up to use the bathroom, people coughing, people sneezing, people clearing their throats, people kicking the back of your seat (whether by accident or not), people returning from the bathroom, people who show up late, people who show up late and ask their friends what they’ve missed – FUCK! Just people, basically.
When I heard about Shhhh! It spoke to me immediately. A guy and his mother enjoy going to their local cinema on an almost nightly basis and of course, the pair’s viewing is plagued by the aforementioned problems. The good news is, most of those people wind up dead the next day (including a heavily pregnant woman in one of the greatest forced-baby-removal scenes since, well since I don’t know what).
And so we enter the world of Harris, a guy who works in a video store and is working on his screenplay. Harris is also troubled by dreams of his abusive father which cause him to pee his pants. Harris meets a girl who seems way too interested in Harris and it’s revealed she too is a fellow aspiring screenwriter.
Well, the film basically follows Harris on his trips to the cinema, either with his mom or the girl (simply known as ‘neighbour’). Of course every time his enjoyment of the film is ruined in one fashion or another, only for the next scene to be of the offending person being dispatched in a gruesome way. Well sooner or later, Harris starts to doubt his sanity and questions whether he himself is actually involved in the murders.
Also included in the story are a pair of rather unconvincing detectives on the case of the murders, throw in a subplot involving a stolen screenplay and that’s pretty much it. Harris is a weird, but likeable character who basically lives out the fantasies of every cinema goer who has had their film experience spoiled by people who lack, as the film puts it, theatre etiquette.
The film is low budget, the acting isn’t great and the story (especially the ‘twist’ at the end) isn’t the most original, but goddammit, for some reason I liked this movie plus there’s a short appearance by Lloyd Kaufman so that’s enough for me. It’s just weird. In one scene the detectives are interviewing a former babysitter of one of the victims (Why? The victim was in her twenties.) who for no apparent reason, has full Freddy Krueger burns. As soft, emotional, Twin Peaks type music plays in the background, the babysitter rocks back and forth screaming, ‘No! No! No!’ until one of the detectives snaps, ‘Shut the fuck up!’ ending the scene abruptly. As I said, the film is weird.
This is one of those strange, low budget movies like Bad Milo that sits in your collection because, despite its acting and budgetary limitations, you just like it.
Steve Barnard lurks in the Stygian swamps of South America. He divides his time between scouring ancient jungles for the lost City of the Monkey Children and watching horror movies. Literally any horror movie he can get his hands on. Especially Japanese ones.