A few weeks ago, when we went to see Scott Pilgrim, they ran a trailer which has since hit television. The corresponding movie is to be released on 9/17.
The trailer spoke to the cheese-nouveau quality of the movie: a bunch of people are trapped in an elevator who are (as made PAINFULLY obvious) all from different ethnic and social backgrounds when the lights go out and something crazy happens to (and this is just an assumption based on the overt stereotypes) the rich white girl with daddy issues. This, according to the trailer, makes everyone suspicious of the (again, stereotypical) olive-skinned, nervous-looking middle-easterner who, in the beginning of the trailer, makes you think he is up to something severe.
The shabby-yet-buff white guy who, keeping with the stereotypes, is probably some sort of off-duty or undercover cop (or former military) gets into a confrontation with the middle-eastern fellow about the injuries of the rich white girl. Of course, large black security guard tries to break things up while crazy old cat lady clutches her handbag in that charming old-person fashion with a very strained look on her face.
The trailer goes on to show off its supernatural elements and blah blah blah… seriously, it looks like any other horror/thriller that’s come around within the last decade or so. (not) Surprisingly, the elevator can’t be accessed from the outside or escaped from by its passengers. Also (not) surprisingly, the security camera feeds are having some issues and even, at one point, shows all passengers DEAD on the floor for a split second, much to the shock and awe of the security guards watching the monitor. Yawn.
The premise, I’ll admit, was mildly interesting. It almost seemed like, despite all the stereotypical elements in the trailer, it could be a decent psychological thriller. One that would hit home with claustrophobics, acrophobics, and agoraphobics alike. Probably not something I would see in the theater, but maybe something I’d watch once it hit the pay channels.
We were already laughing and playing with what the title would be. Sawlevator, Hellevator, etc… Then came the real fun.
As the “floating words” section of the trailer started, the screen announced that this movie was “From the Mind of M. Night Shyamalan”.
We went to see a comedy that night and I think this single statement got a bigger laugh out of the crowd of assembled nerds than a few of the jokes in the actual movie.
M. Night, whether he wants to realize it or not, isn’t even a joke. He’s just a punchline.
I remember seeing The Sixth Sense in theaters. I remember leaning over to my girlfriend (now wife) and telling her the twist about twenty minutes before the big reveal. I was sort of impressed by that movie, when I was young and impressing me was easy.
Let’s take a look at the rest of his storied career, just to see if I’m off base about laughing when I see his name attached to a film.
Unbreakable? Cool for the comic book aspect, not for the fact that Sam Jackson got shanghaied into playing a guy who thinks brittle bone disease is a super power and causes a train wreck to find out if Bruce Willis is invulnerable or not. Garbage.
Signs? OMG ALIENZ!!! OMG ALIENZ WHO MELT IN THE RAINZ!!!
The Village? Yeah, are we in love with Bryce Dallas Howard? I think we are. I don’t think that this movie had any other purpose besides bringing her in to the mainstream. I hope Ron Howard knows that a third-tier talent like M. Night was banging his daughter ruthlessly during the filming.
Lady in the Water? Still banging Ms. Howard, M. Night? Or were you just honoring some pre-coital promise in exchange for being able to violate an up-and-coming actress? Either way, you gave her a crappy movie with an extremely messy and convoluted plot. It’s such a shame. I love Paul Giamatti. That’s the second actor for whom I have massive respect (first being Sam Jackson) who you tricked into being a part of your crapfest.
The Happening? Seriously, the trees did it? The fucking TREES did it? Dude. No, seriously… Dude. Come on. Some of the visuals were very creepy (like the dude lying down in front of the lawn mower), but come on. The fucking TREES, man? Come on.
The Last Airbender? Yeah, let’s not even go there.
Now, Devil. Hooo boy. I think I would have watched the flick if he amped up the cheese and called it “Hellevator”.
The best thing M. Night has done since the Sixth Sense has been to get parodied on Robot Chicken. What a twist!
After this, the news that Devil is the first of some vague trilogy called “The Night Chronicles”. Two more shit movies are on deck. When is Hollywood going to learn never to trust this guy ever ever again?
I’m sure his quote is high enough that he laughs at all his shitty reviews all the way to the bank, so it doesn’t really matter what I say or what I do, he’s still going to get phat paid to crank out movies whose texture, smell, and some would say taste resemble only the dankest, nastiest, bottoms of the shit pile.
He’ll be mailing in movies well into his twilight years. Proof positive that all you really need is one big blockbuster then you can do whatever you please.
M. Night, you deserve every laugh you get.
Keep fighting the good fight.