Watching this movie, one learns a great deal about what makes a movie unwatchable -- it indeed it offends on a variety of levels. How did it get to be so bad? The primary answer is genre failure. The director attempts to evoke the atmosphere of early "monster film" cinematography -- one sees this across a range of cinematographic semiotemes in the film (the moon, the crypt, the mental asylum) Indeed, plot elements and narrative structure are evocative of earlier cinema. So it's a like if Ford reintroduced the Model T. Certainly there would be a few sales but then one would quickly learn that the car had no power and could not handle well on the road. In the same way, the image grammar of this film has long been deposed by new representations. Ten seconds of it would be okay, but two hours is just tiring. I literally fell asleep at one point, and that NEVER happens to me at the movies. On of the film's innovations is to try to give the epoch a post-modern flavor by introducing an hispanic character. This might have worked in a boring sort of way if the actor playing the role had been born in Engladn. Del Toro's Mexi-American roots betray him in this film, however. From the very first moment he begins to act in the film it is clear that this man has never before set foot in a moor. It seems as if DelToro knows that any acting he does will portray his inappropriateness in the role and he attempts to compensate by not acting at all. As a result, he seems more like a piece of furniture than a human being when he is on screen, and the fact that others on screen treat him as if he is human, is interacting with them, makes them appear a little affectively dissociated too. All in all it was a horrid film -- so bad I lack the literary ability to get my sentences down into the gutter where this thing discovered and created itself. Something this cliche, this pathetic, this ruined as a potential for cinema turned into nothing at all, such a thing comes along rarely in even a decade. It's as if Ed Wood had resurrected to do one more film with a better budget. I encourage all readers to go, because that is the only way they will get the full sense of cinematic ennui which my sentences can't come even close to creating.
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