#175 -- Nightmare Alley (2010)

Rating: 2 / 5
Director: Scarlet Fry

I had been eyeballing this one on Netflix for some time, though now I can't really come up with an excuse as to why I was interested in it. Just wishful thinking, I guess. It seems like I always assume a movie will be good, until I watch it and discover that it's complete garbage. Nightmare Alley is an anthology movie, which I usually love. Anthologies are easy to keep up with and stay interested in because the story is constantly changing. Usually there's a couple of individual stories and then one big wrap-around, and I haven't yet found one that I completely hated. Well, that is, until now. This one has no wrap-around, save from a Cryptkeeper wannabe "host" character who was really horrible. The mask or make-up that the actor was wearing restricted his speaking, his voice sounded muffled, and his lips barely moved--so I wasn't sure if it was actually him talking, or if there was some kind of weird voice-over going on. It was distracting and annoying, and there wasn't any point for his being there anyway. He just gave a brief synopsis of each story, which I could have figured out for myself, thank you.

There were actually quite a few stories in this one--seven, I think--and all of them were pointless. The characters were horribly bland and developed poorly. The actors were terrible, and the editing was bad. The sound was scratchy and jumpy, and it honestly made me think of a high school computer class project. There was no atmosphere, mood, or any sort of creepiness factor. There was nothing scary, funny, endearing, dramatic, sad...I could go on and on. There was just...nothing. The movie wasn't very long, and since there were so many different stories, I understand why everything was so sloppy and rushed. I understand, but that doesn't make it okay. If your stories are going to be short, you better have some serious talent or the viewer is going to be severely disappointed. There were a couple of the stories I thought had a little potential, so I'll focus on those rather than all seven.

In one, a man buys a little rubber rat from a dollar store. The lady at the counter tells him it's dangerous, it will possess his soul, and sends him on his way. The rat talks to him, instructing him to kill young women so that the rat can feed on their souls. Everything takes a turn for the worse for the man, though, when he picks up a hitch-hiker who takes no shit. In another, a cheating husband meets up with a woman he met online, only to be viciously murdered. That woman turns out to be the ghost of a woman who killed her cheating husband before taking her own life. And the last on my list is about a woman who murdered her angry husband and then fed him to her new lover. It said that he was fed the dead man's remains for six weeks, before he was found wandering the streets in a speedo. Now, I said those stories had potential, which they did. The stories were kind of interesting, and with a little better development, and a longer running time, they could have been good. Sadly, they were not good. They were still horrible, but they were the best in the bunch. The rest were completely pointless and could have been cut out completely, in my opinion.

I rarely feel that I've wasted my time with movies that I watch, because I feel that they all deserve my time. I do want to see every horror movie ever made, after all. But I was actually a bit angry after watching this, because it was a complete waste of time. These "stories" were more like sketches than anything, and all it succeeded in doing was making me wish it was over already. Director Scarlet Fry is associated with another movie I've been interested in, but now I'm kind of hesitant of that one too. My advice: skip this one, please.

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