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Critic Reviews for Goth
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Audience Reviews for Goth
"Goth" marks the one instance in history where I've seen something and wanted to be watching "Ben & Arthur" instead. And it's no coincidence that movie should come to mind; this is also an ineptly made Z-movie with a 'message'. But whereas "Ben & Arthur" was attempting to give the audience (did it have such a thing?) a decent message about homophobia and bigotry, and ending up executing it badly, "Goth" gives a malicious message done in a malicious manner. As the title very well implies, "Goth" is focused on Goth characters, and what story we get revolves around a Goth chick named Goth (dohoho get it?) who leads a Goth couple into the underbelly of the culture, with plenty of rape and blood on the way to show them the way to be 'really Goth' and not just 'poseurs' (basically, one of the asinine arguments you read on the comment section of a Marilyn Manson video on YouTube, but in movie form). It views the Goth subculture through the lens of someone who's never met a Goth, never talked to a Goth, never met someone who's met a Goth, never talked to someone who otherwise vicariously had contact with a Goth, never been on a bus with a Goth, never looked up Goth on Wikipedia, and probably gets all their Goth information from a 'Focus on the Family' newsletter. No pause is taken to examine the good and the bad qualities of the subculture in any mature, thoughtful or insightful manner; the plot (and we're using that word liberally) is simply a perpetual descent into ugly, brutal shock tactics with a few minor semblances of a story. So what's the point of this? It's not scary as a horror movie or thrilling as a thriller, so I-along with the few others who were unfortunate enough to see it-would have to come to the conclusion that this is just a remarkably one-sided attack on the Goth subculture. This movie goes out of its way to point out that people like Goth (tee-hee) are what 'real Goths' are like, and that any self-proclaimed Goth person who does anything less than kill, rape, torture and 'embrace the darkness' [by the way, did the filmmakers take that phrase from a MySpace page or something? Because they can't seem to get enough of it] is fooling themselves. Back to reality, however, and contrary to the film's paranoid fantasy, I would assume most people who adopt the Gothic style are using it as just that-a style. Most of them will never likely commit significant crimes of mass murder and sadism like we see here, an are unlikely to project a twisted philosophy onto it. There's a twist ending in the last five minutes that confirms my theory that this movie panders to (and was made by) people who are irrationally frightened by this subculture.
There are too many problems with this movie, but it's greatest problem is that it is all too forgettable. The Story: What story? Two goth "wannabe's" get picked up outside a crappy set by what looks like to be a crack addict after a thwarted attempt to be robbed by a the worst goons on the planet. Taken on a ride in her van, they are given a night they will never forget. ..but I forgot it 20 minutes later. They know little to nothing about the goth culture. Characters: The main girl looks like she went to hot topic with a 20 dollar budget and the other chick looks like she brought the Courtney Love Zombie Kit from a Costume Shop. Acting: I've never heard of these actors/actresses and I don't expect to either. This wasn't film school bad. This wasn't even Christian 'Hell House' bad. This is home video bad. I'm talking about 3 or 4 friends coming up with an idea, putting about 200 bucks behind it, and writing the script (about a subject they know nothing about mind you!)as they went along. The Effects and Cinematography: The gore is terrible. Blood comes out of the handles of knives magically. Blades are held in awkwardly to show obvious flaws in stabbing effects. This was shot with a HD(possibly) Home Video Camera. Every indoor set looks like it's in someone's apartment. They use drapes and colored floor lamps to try to create a club scene. (...Yes, they actually did.) The outside scenes are lit horribly. The weird part is they seem to capture too much. During painful to watch fight scenes you see the blatant pulled punches and easily escaped holds. In one scene a character wrestles with someone with a gun.Two shots is fired, it goes off pointed away from everybody in the room, and yet two people are shot. Other Notes: If you can't see what's coming at the end then you'll probably like this film... which speaks volumes about your taste. This movie wasn't the worst I've seen from the dregs of horrible but it's pretty far down there. Watch it for a laugh. Oh and the three sex scenes are the fakest things I've seen in quite a while.
Much like the movie the Craft did for Wicca and other nature-based, non-deified religions, this movie does for Gothic subculture, approximately 20 years after the style had it's height in the US, and 5 years after it fell out of fashion with the mainstream. This film takes what people think about Gothic culture and tries to spin a yarn of murder and evil. You can tell from the preview, that although they knew how to put together an interesting preview, auditorily, they failed to realize that the production values were clearly cheap. The writers clearly only knew that Goth was en vogue for many club goers, and figured they could paint an elaborate tale surrounding people who like to dress in dark clothing, and look different, to make it sound like they are amoral and nigh possessed. The fact is that films like this are propaganda and the reason why Goths are misunderstood to begin with. The horror, from the preview, revolves around three rules: embrace the darkness, kill your fear, and live for death. (In reality, Goths don't live by rules, as a rule, that's the whole point of being Gothic. The reason most Goths see not to live by rules is because in a society, those rules have to be broken and exceptions given. There are fair rules, like don't sexually abuse kids, or don't exceed the speed limit, but the ones that Goths break are taboos, which have lost meaning except for their own enforcement. IE the rule that says men can't wear makeup or skirts, or that tanned skin is beautiful. In these, it comes down to personal choice. Other mores exist that are seen by Goths as holding people back from being themselves: any sexual deviancy is a sin, art/literature/music should only be pursued by professionals, but none of these involve death and murder.) Living for death is against almost every Goth's ideology. They show Goths slitting throats, slaughtering people, and licking the blood. Once again, misrepresenting reality, since Goths, in general, don't drink blood, it carries diseases, but the image of a Goth chick licking a bloody dagger sells DVDs, for its obvious phallic symbolism, and shock value. The preview shows homosexual behavior, and consuming drugs as a part of being Gothic, and of course, such decisions are those entirely of the individual. As if murdering people, taking drugs, and girls kissing one another was entirely due to Goths. That would mean that, except for the murdering people, every college student in America was Gothic. It's easy to see why they call the company Brain Damage, because just by watching the preview, I felt like I had received a partial lobotomy. Update: I found this movie to watch for free online, and watched it from beginning to end, with breaks taken to vomit from the horrible writing. After watching this film, as a Goth, the only throats I wanted to cut were the filmmakers. (THERE ARE SPOILERS FOLLOWING THIS SENTENCE.) The plot revolves around a young couple, Chrissy and Boone, their names do NOT matter. They go out to a concert at a generic club, the Dungeon. (Why not just call it the Gloom Room?) While Boone goes to get a couple of glasses of Absinthe (more generic stereotyping, as most Absinthe is expensive, and most Goths are poor or middle class), Chrissy bumps into a girl in front of the stage, and then sees her again while they're waiting to use the restroom (as if any Goth would give a care about using the men's room, instead). She offers Chrissy a drug called white light, and of course (being a 2 dimensional character) Chrissy jumps at the chance, and agrees to meet the girl, who reveals her name to be Goth, out behind the club with her boyfriend (as any Gothic kid would, even though Goths are typically smarter, and many don't use narcotics, aside from the odd Marijuana smoker), where they are promptly robbed by a couple of generic thugs, and they are about to rape Chrissy, when Goth steps in and talks like a wannabe super-heroine, fighting the thugs, and taking our heroes in the back of her van (it's never really revealed who's driving). There they pass out after taking a hit of white light. It's after this that she lists the three rules from the preview, discussed in the first half of this review. After Goth picks up a random guy named Alex, on his way home down a dark alley (where do these idiots live?), and rapes him at knife-point (about the only realistic thing in this film), Goth takes kicks Alex out, and takes Chrissy and Boone to a whorehouse, so that she can make Boone have sex with a fat woman. On their way in, Boone tries to convince Chrissy to leave with him, but she's convinced that Goth killed her sister. The girl at the desk calls "security," after warning Goth to leave (would a real secretary at a whorehouse even bother to warn someone?), and what follows is another lamely choreographed fight scene, followed by a scene of Boone making violent love to a fat woman. From there, the rest of the story revolves around Goth wanting to turn Chrissy on to the dark side, and the bad dialog had me bleeding out of orifices at this point, so my hearing got fuzzy and my vision got blurry; but Goth makes Chrissy kill a different fat hooker, this time in a motel room, while some old guy promises to give Goth some money he owes her. Goth then wants her to kill another Gothic couple at a different club, and Goth ends up killing them, I guess, but Chrissy takes the chance to try and kill Goth, as revenge for her sister. Goth knocks her to the ground and KOs her with a kick to the head. She wakes up in the van, outside of a house. She goes in, kills everyone, and passes out again, then we're back to the opening scene, and Boone ends up dying in her arms. She walks outside, and Goth reveals that she didn't kill Chrissy's sister, and that she's somehow possessed to cause chaos, and has indoctrinated Chrissy to take up the mantle. She kills Goth, and in the next scene, she's wearing Goth's clothing, with the same tribal tattoos, and is luring in another Goth couple. I will give the writers some credit. They tried some classic storytelling techniques by starting the story near the conclusion, and even throwing in a supernatural twist. However, having the revenge element set up from the beginning, only to have it turn out to be unsubstantiated only serves to disappoint the viewer. By making the antagonist's actions ones caused by some kind of demonic possession only washes away any motivations that the characters have to be opponents. The girl-girl kiss scene is nothing more than a tease in both the preview and the movie for the clearly-intended-sophomoric viewers masturbatory fantasies. This would account for the abundance of topless women in the film. I'm guessing the leads were underage, though, so no "mosquito bites" get flashed. Boone's character, rather than being a reliable confidant to help Chrissy, is nothing more than a whimpering simpleton, without even the ability to help Chrissy in her conflicts within herself, and against Goth. His big scene comes after Goth rapes Alex, where Boone tries to advocate Gothic culture as being different from what Goth tries to exemplify. Chrissy, despite being the protagonist, doesn't carry herself across the screen, with her struggles, and her conflicts simply don't go through any kind of resolution. In fact, she barely talks, which provides no exposition (exposition is a running flaw throughout this film) as to her state of mind. We don't even get vivid flashbacks, apart from her smoking a joint with her sister, which is at the beginning of the movie! I should also add, that the actress who plays Chrissy is not made to look any younger, even though it's supposed to be two years after her sister died. As a tertiary character, I find Alex to be the biggest insult to the viewers intellect. A young man is walking down an alley, sees a girl, who offers to have sex with him, and he just goes along with everything, out of supposition that he's having a lucky break? It doesn't occur to him that she has an ulterior motive when she wants him to get in the back of a van with the windows covered, and skulls all over the interior? Then he's shocked when she pulls out a knife and threatens to mutilate his genitals. At what point is a guy not supposed to think (because not all men think with their libidos), "hey, something isn't right here. people don't talk to you on the street, kiss you, and tell you to get in their van, unless they want something from you that you don't want to give." As this scene came to an end, I felt sorry for Alex as a victim of rape, but also that he was an incredibly stupid character. Then I realized that the filmmakers were raping me of my time. When the first scene with a fat hooker came up, I started skipping over parts, to just avoid any further bad writing. Goth, despite the actress's compelling performance, fails to deliver anything, due to bad camera angles, poor lighting, mind retching dialog, and bad blocking. The filmmakers clearly had an idea of how to package a movie, as the preview has decent dialog, and the cuts are well made (despite the poor quality footage) in the preview; and even the poster looks compelling. But all of these cannot deny the fact that this is a really bad movie, made by amateurs, possibly in high school. I'm sure that they had good intentions, and if they liked it, and the actors and the friends of all involved liked it, that's fine, but that does not mean that I should see it on Amazon or eBay as a serious film. At best, it's an attempt at a slasher film, not unlike the poor quality horror films of the 1950s-70s. The budget is clearly limited, and the locations are limited to where the filmmakers could get away with filming at night. I think that if you wanted a comparison, you could go with Ed Wood, but the filmmakers would have been proud to have put together a film like Glen or Glenda, Bride of the Monster, or even Plan 9 From Outer Space; in comparison to Goth. Perhaps the first thing the screenwriters should have practiced was giving the versions of the script a run through, to see how the dialog held up. So in summation, don't watch this movie; don't buy this movie; do everything you can to forget this movie, and you may live a happier life for the lack of it.
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