Monday, November 12, 2012

Below Zero (2011)

Man, Edward Furlong is looking ROUGH.  Where has he been?!  He's only 35, per IMDB.  Below Zero is about a writer, Jack the Hack (Edward Furlong) who is having some creative difficulties.  He's trying to write a screenplay about a guy locked in a freezer, so in some bizarre kind of "method writing," he decides to go lock himself in a slaughterhouse freezer until he finishes the screenplay.  Apparently this is actually what the writer of this movie did in order to write it.   They even filmed it in the same location.  Relevance! 

Pretty much the second he gets locked in the freezer, he wants out.  But he starts trying to think of a story.  His first idea is about a serial killer who unknowingly locks a victim in a freezer.  Just fair warning to a plot aspect that seemed to upset many reviewers -- much of the movie is not what ACTUALLY happened.  It's the movie script that he's writing.  So there's two different things going on: what's actually happening to Jack the scriptwriter, and what's happening to him in this story he's imagining.

In the imagined story, Gunnar (Michael Berryman) is a barely-English speaking dude that runs a slaughterhouse and also maybe kills people.  The son of the slaughterhouse owner (Penny) in the real-life segment is the son of Gunnar in the movie version.  The son also never speaks and either draws or eats sausage.  He's like the kid from The Ring.  The same actress is "Paige" in the movie version.  Jack/Penny and Jack/Paige end up locked in the freezer in both versions, but for different reasons.  In the "movie version," they're there because of a serial killer.  In the "real life" version, they must finish the screenplay before Jack's agents kills her mute son.  Or something. 

Except the story keeps changing, because you know, he's refining his script.  Everything still stays in the slaughterhouse, but the people keep flipping back and forth, and Scream Queen is getting a little dizzy.  Maybe I'm a little behind on my game today, but I'm having a hard time keeping track of these two stories.  Meanwhile, the freezer keeps getting colder.  Was it not a freezer this whole time? Then the end totally confused me because it's like what the fuck was real and what was his script?  I don't like being confused, yo. 

There's a few things that amuse me about this movie in general.  Loving the fact that Berryman gets billed ahead of Furlong on the promo art.  I remember when Edward Furlong was prominently featured in Teen Beat.  That ship has sailed.  Also, 1.5 hours is wayyyy too long for me to see Michael Berryman with his shirt off.  Was being shirtless relevant to the plot of this film?  I think not.  Also, his backwoods creepiness was totally wasted here, with the bad accent and the stumbling about.  I just couldn't get myself to like this movie.  Too much confusion and not enough payoff.  Fail.