This film has been getting a bad rap from some internet reviewers recently, and, in my view, undeservedly so. Although, when I last checked Rotten Tomatoes it was going good, basically cementing my view that this is a film for a certain type of horror fan. It's my opinion that the reason that so many 'real' reviewers are disliking this film is because they are not in the target audience. This is a gross out, horror comedy with some dark, dark not-so-subtle undertones that will appeal to fans of "Wasting Away", "The Evil Dead", "Fido" and the TV show "Dexter"... If you like your comedy funny and a little dumb but dark and you enjoy a bit of gore and insanity in your movies, then you should give this a try.
Jerry (Ryan Reynolds) is a cheerful guy working in a factory that manufactures bathtubs. He fancies a young, beautiful English lady called Fiona (Gemma Arterton) who works in accounts, is very socially awkward and believes the world to be a shiny, clean place where everyone is really nice to him.
He is also mentally ill, lives in a dirty and dilapidated closed bowling alley and believes that his pet cat (the evil Mr. Whiskers who wants Jerry to become a serial killer; voiced by Reynolds in the most awful attempt at a Scottish accent I have ever heard) and dog (The friendly yet simple Bosco, who is convinced that Jerry is a 'good boy'; also voiced by Reynolds) are talking to him.
Essentially, things start to go wrong for Jerry, who has not been taking his medication, when he is stood up on a date by Fiona... And that's when it all gets a lot darker.
Really nicely shot, this film makes an excellent use of colour to portray the perfect image of Jerry's view to the less than shiny reality. The true awfulness of what he is really doing is sharply contrasted with his sugar sweet insanity-tinged worldview, and we are made to truly feel for this character.
Reynolds portrays a character very unlike his usual roles, and brings depth to what could be a very two dimensional lead. His descent into real madness is oddly fascinating to watch and very different to that which he portrayed in "The Amityville Horror" remake.
The styling of the film manages to make the reality much more horrifying, and the surreal happenings are truly hilarious.
Whilst its quirky style and plot are likely not to keep everyone enthralled forever, I found this film really entertaining and found myself thinking about the darker undertones of it long after the shiny sing-song credits had rolled...
It also didn't help convince me that my ginger cat, Fraidy, isn't actually evil....
[Image: Mandalay Vision]