Whispering And Mumbling: THE MOVIE

25 May

You’ve got to love a movie title that could either be for a horror movie about a haunted asylum, or a national wildlife preserve.

Greystone Park is actually right across Sesame Street.

Said movie title is Greystone Park, a found footage ghost movie that I picked to review today by going to Netflix, opening up their “horror” section and throwing a fucking dart!

So, lets get started!

The movie opens with your standard “this is totally a true story, fo shizzle”, which I think has only been used in about every found footage film forever. I swear, one of these days, I want a found footage movie to say “this is a pack of horrible, horrible lies and we were all totally wasted when we made this thing” at the start.

(Actually, I should totally open a post like that.)

We cut to a man in the middle of a dark and stormy night (oh jesus no), being intercut with a woman talking about spooky things in a thick accent. But before we can decipher what the hell she’s saying, they smash cut us in to exposition about Greystone Park!

Wow, you guys really want to get your exposition out of the way fast, don’t you?

“Um, a long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, lived 7 dwarves, and then Simon Tam broke his sister out of prison, and then they went down the bathysphere to Rapture!”

“And then Bruce Willis was dead the whole time!”

After laying down the fact that Greystone Park used to be an asylum (no, not the film company, that’d actually be halfway interesting), they piece together some old-timey stock footage to prove that asylums tended to be kind of unpleasant places.

Um… thanks, I guess, but I… kind of already knew that.

Some shots of people wandering through the desolate asylum are cut throughout the barrage of stock-footage, and we finally get our title… The Asylum Tapes.

Wait, what?! 

I thought this was called Greystone Park! You can’t just switch the title of your movie because you sobered up and realized “Greystone Park” is a stupid title for a horror movie!

Finally, it’s time for an actual plot. We see a collection of “oh-please-tell-me-they’re-not-our-protagonists”, sitting around a dinner table, sharing ghost stories and oh good god this camera work is terrible. And, I mean, terrible for found footage films, and frankly, I didn’t even think that was possible.

All it is is people sitting at a table, this shouldn’t be that hard to film. If you can’t film a bunch of bland characters sitting around, yammering about pointless things and/or foreshadowing, it’s time to hang up your camera and honourably disembowel yourself with a tripod.

The old man at the table tells a story about… something, (I have no idea what he’s talking about, he mumbles half of his fucking lines.) and they decide to… go to the library? For… some reason. (Okay, change that. EVERYBODY mumbles half of their fucking lies.)

Near as I can tell, some guy is trying to get laid so he wants to take his criminally unsexy librarian girlfriend to a haunted house, but that’ll have to wait! Because, right now, they need to pretentiously talk about the legend of Medusa while the camera spontaneously focuses on random things in the library while a haunting piano theme noodles away in the background.

This… this is a student film, isn’t it?

But on the bright side, it’s not a true student film until somebody breaks out the sepia.

The guy (whom I am dubbing Eyebrows) and the Library Girl, along with a third guy who has no distinguishing features are driving along, talking about the house, when they suddenly cut to the dinner party, (This movie’s timeline is a goddamned Gordian Knot) where they ask people to join them to the Park. (Seriously? The Park? Who named this freaking asylum?!)

Suddenly, we cut to a beautiful day-for-night shot, while the camera man remarks that “it’s like the beginning of every horror film ever”.

Look, just because you acknowledge the cliché doesn’t excuse you from using the cliché. That’s like Screen-Writing Rule #26, dude.

Eyebrows, Library Girl and… the other guy (I’m not just using these names to be insulting, I don’t think the movies has even bothered saying their names yet) stand around and reference horror movies. Urggh, it’s like an even less funny Scary Movie. 

Next, it cuts to the… other guy standing around his room, showing off his multitude of weapons to Eyebrows and Library Girl. Oh, so that’s what his name is! Captain Compensating!

Captain Compensating then spins a story about a man, named Lasher, born in the Park, who the doctors decided to screw with. Torture, lobotomies, erase from history, that kind of thing. Apparently the Park got closed down when it caught fire, and supposedly the guy is still there, wandering around the Park in a gas mask, and asking who his mummy is.

Wait… an insane man, lobotomised, covered in burns and chains, wandering an asylum with a gas mask?

The horror fan in me is pleased!

I have the weirdest boner right now.

While driving, they discover that Captain Compensating doesn’t actually have a drivers license, so they have to stop the car in the middle of the street, and let Library Girl drive.

Thank you for that pointless scene, movie!

Finally, they find the dark country road to the asylum and… okay, yeah, that’s spooky. There’s something about being in the pitch black country night that just sends shivers down my spine!

Or at least it would, if it was not abundantly clear that all the footage at “the asylum” was actually filmed outside the same fucking library from earlier in the movie

WHOOPS.

They park (at the Park) and turn off all the lights, because visuals aren’t important in movies, right?! They get out of the car, and sneak through a graveyard to get to the Park, and Library Girl and Eyebrows object because they are utter pansies. Oh come on, just because they’re dead doesn’t mean you can’t walk on them!

Library Girl hears a noise, and the three start sprinting away to the Park. And… wow, this is confusing. From the shots, it looks like they’re filming at a university… a university in the country… with it’s own graveyard… and an abandoned asylum…

Wow, are all universities like that? I suddenly have an appreciation for higher learning!

“And over here is our ‘Ghosts Eat Your Face’ wing, and over there is the cafeteria.”

Our “heroes”, if you can call them that, finally find a way to break in to the park. And, lo and behold, it’s full of flickering lights, “spooky” noises, and a hat rack that tries to take down Captain Compensating.

Thanks for trying, Mister Hat Rack. The effort is appreciated.

They wander around a bit, pointing out scary things (and by “scary things”, I mean toys and Bibles), and basically make asses of themselves. On their list of “things that are trying to be scary but aren’t”, there’s a big chalkboard that says “DEATH” on it. Wow, SUBTLE.

The Captain gets hit in the head with a cassette tape, because of course those things are the spawn of the devil, and we get to see our ghost: a man in a fedora, literally made out of camera glitches.

If disappointment was a fetish, we’d have to throw a censor bar over this entire damn screen.

If disappointment was a fetish, my life would be NC-17.

The team finds a little room that looks like somebody has been living there, which is unfortunately interrupted when the glitch-ghost attacks! Or… not. I… I have no idea what just happened.

And neither did the ghost, apparently, because he vents his displeasure by whipping a cast iron chain at their heads. Ooh, this movie really wants these people dead.

Library Girl gets a call, which happens to just be the glitch-ghost calling out white noise, because ghosts can do that now. I can’t understand what he’s screaming at her, but I’m going to assume it’s REALLY filthy.

“zhzhzhzhzhzhhzhzhzhzhzhzhhzhzhzhzhzhzhYouHaveNiceBoobszhzhzhzhzhzhzhzhzhzh.”

The next in their grand tour of pointlessness is a chair, sitting in the centre of a room.

Really? That’s… really the scariest thing you could think of?

You guys suck at this.

Chairs: No, they’re still not scary.

Apparently the director realized that, because right after that, they find a collection of doll heads hanging from the ceiling. Huh. This must be one profoundly bored ghost.

Well, he’s not the only one because I’M ALSO PROFOUNDLY BORED BY THIS FUCKING MOVIE.

They see a “white hair” and immediately start freaking out, because, as everybody knows, white hairs are clear signs of the paranormal. Actually, that would explain a lot about old people.

The “protagonists” (god, that word sounds unclean in this movie) start searching for the ghost, when they…

Hey, wait a second. What’s that music?

Is it…Oh god! It is!

That’s the “Time Of Angels” theme from Doctor Who! 

What, do you think we wouldn’t notice that you totally just stole that weird “pipe” music thing? For shame, The Asylum Ta- Er, I Mean, Greystone Park, for fucking shame.

Anyway, the search goes on. Eventually, everything goes all glitchy again, and Captain Compensating disappears. But before we can get out the champagne and and confetti, he reappears in the corner of the room, because apparently he was having a haunted time out.

The Captain starts ranting about a woman, Krazy Kate, which was mentioned by the mumbling old man from the beginning. Oh. Joy. I just love inaudible foreshadowing! Don’t you?!

They decide to head to the kitchen, because apparently that’s what Krazy Kate said to do. Wait, so we’re taking advice from the ghost/serial killer now?! Don’t do that, it’ll tell you to cross the streams!

The group stop to start talking about what to do next, but they’re simultaneously mumbling and whispering so they could be freaking beatboxing the entire film and it wouldn’t make a fucking difference.

“Krazy Kate is in the hizzzous!”

They put the tape from earlier in to a random tape player, which makes Library Girl start giggling uncontrollably. Oh great, now even the actors can’t take this damn thing seriously!

They wander in to some kind of observation room and find the aforementioned gas mask. As they do, Library Girl and Eyebrows gets a text: “Jesus Wept”.

Oh, you have got to be kidding me.

Cue more wandering, more mumbling, more whispering, and more “forgetting how cameras work”. You know, this could actually be a pretty good movie if they just subtracted everything breathing from it.

The glitch-ghost does some more glitches and bangs on some pots, so we cut to everyone hiding in the boiler room, blaming each other. And while they’re doing it, they conveniently ignore the ghost standing in the corner. I’d be feeling pretty damn insulted if I was that ghost!

“Um, guys? Could… could you stop it with the character development? I’m… I’m kind of here to kill you. Guys? Could I just… just get a little attention here?”

“How roooood!”

Eventually they decide to try and escape, because even they’re bored of all this. Oh, and then Captain Compensating starts philosophising about the nature of evil, in what is perhaps the most out of place monologue in a movie since… ever, actually.

Then Library Girl decides to break up the monotony by getting bitch slapped across the room by a shadow.

Hah hah hah… pansy.

They find two coffins at the end of a tunnel, with “Jesus Wept” sprayed on the wall beside them. You know, if Jesus had such a weeping problem, he probably should have tried some saline.

Just sayin’.

Library Girl disappears, only to be found in five minutes, cradling another goddamned creepy doll. What, did you people get PAID is creepy dolls and this was all you could think to do with them?!

“Try not to spend it all in one place.”

They get locked in… something as they flee a ghost (Look, this movie has some kind of thing against transitions) and they meet up with two characters who I don’t think have shown up before this point, who reveal that they were responsible for all of this! Damn, I just got straight Scooby Doo’d!

Oh, and then the actual ghosts show up. So… what was the point of that scene?

(If you guessed “to waste our time”, then you’d be correct! Your prize is to keep watching this goddamned travesty.)

The two random people end up locked behind a different door, and decide not to call the police to help get the door open because what they’re doing is, like, six different kinds of illegal. So the two random characters and sentenced to immediate and painful ‘backspacing’ out of this movies plot. 

Cue more random shots of… things, as Eyebrows, Library Girl, and the Captain get terrorized by the ghosts. I have no idea what’s going on, who’s doing what, why it’s happening, and why there’s more stock footage. It’s basically the horror equivalent of a swirling in a toilet made of pretension.

Some kind of voice-over starts chiming over the footage, because apparently the director forgot that THIS WAS FOUND FOOTAGE AND YOU CAN’T FUCKING DO THAT.

“FOUND FOOTAGE DOESN’T WORK THAT WAY.”

Finally, the cinematic acid trip comes to an end, and then more confusing cuts and camera movements happen, eventually resulting in Eyebrows wandering the Park, looking for Library Girl. He finally finds the way out, but decides to head back in, because THIS MOVIE HATES YOU.

Some flashy editing comes in, and the Lasher FINALLY makes his debut, and… he actually looks pretty cool! I really wish this movie was about him, but he’ll have to accept him beating Eyebrows in to a bloody pulp as a consolation prize.

Cue more flashy editing, and the Captain, while bloodied and bruised, wanders over to the camera, and starts mumbling and whispering.

YEAH! Finally, back to what this movie does right: WHISPERING AND MUMBLING!

I missed it, to be honest.

Anyway, Eyebrows wanders in, actin’ all possessed, and demands to know why the Captain is covered in blood. Apparently he “killed a ghost with a pipe” and… yeah, that’s stupid. I’m going to assume you know why that’s stupid, and move on.

The duo start trying to escape once again, and end up in… a church?

There’s a fully functioning church- hell, it’s huge… and IT’S INSIDE AN ABANDONED ASYLUM THAT SOMEBODY LIT ON FIRE?! AND NOBODY FUCKING NOTICED IT?!

Excuse that noise, it’s just me hitting my head on the desk.

Which is freaking amazing, as I don’t have a desk.

At the church, they find Library Girl doing a twitchy-dance for some guys in fancy ceremonial robes and goat masks- oh, I’m sorry, I mean “goat heads”. Our two heroes bicker back and forth about who should rescue her, although curiously the “shoot her in the face, dice her in to cubes and bury her in the crossroads” option is never considered.

Library Girl finally goes full on Witch once the two disrupt her, and tear them in to little bitty pieces, which is what I wanted to do when this damn movie started, so it’s a very happy ending for all involved.

We get one more shot of a fedora wearing ghost walking away, and then the end credits, which are composed of shots of a lake while somebody yodels in the background.

And that’s Greystone Park: A Tale Of Two Titles! And… WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?!

It feels like somebody figured out how jump scares work, than decided to come up with some kind of “story”, which was nothing more than a series of jump scares strung together with sloppy edits.

The characters are nothing, the scares are nothing, the story is nothing, the dialogue is nothing, it’s all just nothing, nothing, nothing that thinks it’s more intelligent than it actually is.

I reallyREALLY want to hate this film, but all I can muster is an apathetic “mehh”, a comical shrug, and a dejected middle finger.

2 Responses to “Whispering And Mumbling: THE MOVIE”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. #That’sAStupidFuckingTitle | A VERY STRANGE PLACE - June 6, 2013

    […] this nuthouse on the road! The film opens with, appropriately enough, a 1954 era sanitarium. Man, Greystone Park looked less run down than this place. Did janitors fall out of style, or were feather dusters one […]

  2. The Tangled Magnetic Strips Of Ultimate Evil! | A VERY STRANGE PLACE - October 19, 2013

    […] Holy hell, I am completely and utterly fucked, […]

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