For Elise’s and my anniversary last year, we went out for dinner and a movie. Elise wanted to see Julie & Julia, and I was okay with that (to my credit, I wanted to see Inglourious Basterds, but I’m a gentleman, so the lady chooses) because I knew, going into the movie, that we were there to see a “chick flick.” I knew what I was getting myself into. I knew I couldn’t yawn, sigh, fidget or complain an any indirect way because I agreed, fully knowing, that we were going to spend 3 hours watching a movie written for and marketed to females.
A year later, for our anniversary, I got to choose the movie. This year, I chose Catfish. I wanted to see this movie because of this trailer:
Warning: spoiler alert.
To me, the above trailer reeks of spine tingling mystery, suspense, psychological mayhem and horror. And that’s what I wanted to see. In the past few months, Elise and I have rented and watched thrillers such as Shutter Island, Paranormal Activity, Blue Velvet, Chloe, Daybreakers, Funny Games, and The Crazies. I was totally ready for Catfish to jack with our minds.
I purposely avoided reading any and all movie reviews because I wanted to let my imagination run wild and be left in shock and awe. I was preparing myself for an experience in suspenseful filmmaking. I went in knowing that: “The final forty minutes of the film will take you on an emotional roller-coaster ride that you won’t be able to shake for days.” I wanted to see the movie that might be called the next Blair Witch Project.
What I expected in the final forty minutes: homage to the Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Silence of the Lambs. When the boys reached their destination – the home of the Facebook friend – I wanted a woman with her previous victims’ severed body parts duct taped to her face to come out of the barn, capture the boys, shackle and subject them to emotional abuse that would make even me cry. Then I wanted her to maim our protagonists with a hot glue gun over the course of four days. Really, really eerie music is supposed to be playing in these final forty minutes of the movie as well. Then she chops off all of the boys’ phalanx bones, brines the finger- and toe-less victims in huge vats of soured Cap’n Crunch sugar milk, barely leaving their heads above the cereal bowls so we can hear and experience their weakening screams and whimpers.
After a week of torture in this movie, and my wife, who is sitting next to me, has curled in the fetal position and is crying because of the sheer horror of the film, the Facebook Psychopath Killer filets the muscle tissue of the boys while they’re still barely alive and she fries and serves her victims as food at the Rotary Club’s semi-annual silent auction and catfish fry.
What I got in the final forty minutes: My Facebook Psychopath Killer is really just a lonely housewife and stepmom of two mentally handicapped boys in podunk Michigan. She lives vicariously, and sadly, through the handful of Facebook profiles she has made up for herself, her family and limited circle of friends to befriend Nev and his two cohort documentarians from New York City.
Thirty minutes before the movie was over, Elise leaned over to me and whispered, “hhmmpptth boring.” Ordinarily I would completely ignore any kind of conversation during a movie, but I heard “boring.” Just to confirm what she’d said, and to justify us getting up and walking out, I leaned over and asked, “what?”
She said, “It sounds like its pouring rain outside.”
“Oh. Yeah, it does.”
So we sat there and endured the final thirty minutes of the movie. The saving grace and silver lining — we saw the movie at the Alamo Drafthouse, so we shared a huge bowl of popcorn and a Dr Pepper, and they showed this great music video before the movie started:
Catfish wasn’t necessarily a bad movie, it just wasn’t the movie that I expected nor one that I would ordinarily pay to see. I feel like the trailer was false advertising and considering we had to hire a babysitter so Elise and I could see the movie, it stunk like catfish.