Friday, October 15, 2010

Unfulfilled Promises: a review of "Bryan Loves You"

Bryan Loves You is a low-budget horror flick about a town run by a cult that worships a dead child named Bryan.  Let me start off my thoughts by sharing the following text I sent to TopGun minutes after putting the disc into the player:  "If the quality of the trailers on this DVD are any indication, I'm getting ready to watch one heck of a crappy movie."  Now, as you well know, when it comes to horror films, being crappy isn't necessarily a deal-breaker for me -- unfortunately, this was both crappy and boring. It started off promisingly enough by having the inimitable Tony Todd introduce the film's "found footage" conceit, wherein he cautions the audience about the strong nature of the film they're about to see, going so far as to warn that those with heart conditions should not watch and that audience members should consult an usher to learn the location of their nearest exit. 

Far be it from me to criticize someone for engaging in a bit of hyperbole, but really, if you're going to start your movie with a speech about how horrifying your film is, shouldn't you try to create something that is only separated from a broadcast TV-movie by its foul language? I've seen scarier things on episodes of Buffy, for crying out loud.  Heck, last season's Grey's Anatomy affected me more than this limp excuse for horror. 

To be fair, the intro by Tony Todd wasn't the only hint of promise, as the first 30 minutes of so of the film showed brief flashes of creepiness embodied by a dead-eyed Bryan follower loitering in the streets, classroom filled with teens donning Bryan masks before reciting the (slightly modified) pledge of allegiance, and the animalistic reactions of sweet-faced young girl to meeting a non-believer.   But the film jettisons these interesting moments and instead devotes an exceedingly large portion of its running time to the bland lead who meets a bland anti-Bryan revolutionary before being put away into a bland mental hospital.  Although on the plus side, the mental hospital did give me a brief moment of enjoyment thanks to the bland lead's crazy karate-kicking roommate -- wish I knew how much of the comedy generated there was intentional.

But a handful of briefly enjoyable sequences does not an enjoyable movie make, and in the final analysis, I couldn't recommend this to even the most devoted MST3Kers. 

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