Monday, June 27, 2011
NYAFF: Haunters (2010)
It's the Monday before the NYAFF starts and I'm going to take a step back from should see films to reveal the only one of twenty eight I've seen that I think is the can miss film of the festival. It's well made but it's got a plot that is just the wrong sort of stupid.
Haunters is not a horror film as the title might imply, rather it's a battle between two super powered humans. We meet our villain back in 1991, he's a little boy traveling with his mother. She is insisting he keep his eyes covered. We quickly learn why, because with them uncovered he can make people do what ever he wants them to as if they were puppets. 20 years on he meets his match when a robbery goes wrong and he comes in contact with a young man who has incredibly rapid healing which makes him immune to the manipulations.
Whether you like this or not will depend on whether or not to notice the massive plot holes and logic gaps - Like why are these two even fighting to begin with? Okay, yes, I know why, revenge, but as battles of this sort go it's not worth the trouble since our villain really isn't enough of a bad guy and the good guy isn't all that bright. What makes them turn this into a never ending battle of knuckleheads is beyond me, actually most of this is beyond me. I suppose we just haveto take it on faith that these two guys fighting means something.
To be honest outside of the first half hour, which sets up our characters this film is a non-starter. Once we kind of know the characters and the plot is set in motion it all came crashing down because there was nowhere for this to go. You either blindly accepted what they were doing or you didn't. I couldn't do it and the remaining 90 or so minutes were a battle to get through. Sure there are some stunning sequences, but the central plot just isn't there and there is nothing to hang it on.
This was the 24th of 28 films from the festival that I had seen, and in all honesty was the first (and only) film, where I had no idea why the guys behind the NYAFF picked it (sorry guys). Yes, there are other films I don't like or I'm ambivalent about, but at least I can understand why the film was selected. With this film I'm kind of clueless as to why it's here because it just doesn't work.
Not to put too fine a point on it it's the first (and so far only) film at this years NYAFF where I can say, it's just not worth your time. It's not a bad film,it is well made and well acted, it's just an incredibly stupid one.
(Correction I'm the stupid one for picking this up as an import for 30 bucks from Yes Asia)