Walled In

That is kind of what she looks like yes.
"Some secrets are best left buried."

The same can be said for some movies, but I'll give you no such reprieve! Welcome to Thursday at The Tagline! Today I'm scraping another clod of dirt out of the bottom of the Netflix barrel, this time with a...thriller? No that can't be right, I wasn't thrilled, let's call it the borer, Walled In, starring the spectacularly untalented Mischa Barton as Sam Walczak (that's pronounced WALLZACK so you know walls get it WOW THIS IS A GOOD START) who works for her father's demolition company, and is sent to assess a building before its demolition. The twist here being that the building was the site of a string of grisly murders, presumably at the hands of the 'mad genius' who constructed the building Malestrazza (you know he's bad because he has a kind of bad sounding name) who is presumed dead by the time the movie begins. The only people who still live in the building are an old lady, an old guy, the creepy caretaker who gave me weird incest vibes Mary (Deborah Kara Unger,who was the creepy crazy mom of Alessa in the Silent Hill movies, I guess that's her specialty) and her son Jimmy (Cameron Bright, who was one of the Volturi in the Twilight movies OH NO TWILIGHT ACTOR ALERT). Spooky stuff happens while Sam tries to work, most prominently the weird obsessed attentions of Jimmy, who is clearly not all together, and also other spooky noises or whatever because Sam is apparently scared of the dark, and being trapped in buildings, which is maybe why she blows them up for a living?

He's going to use his evil hand smoke! everythingistwilight.
The movie is drenched in this turgid, disinterested brand of 'suspense' and it is thoroughly unimpressive. I honestly wasn't super sure which way this movie was going to tack with the whole horror angle, and it seemed to be play-acting like there was something supernatural going on in the place. Instead, we find out that this movie is really about a weird kid who is a total spaz, and is obsessed with Sam, probably because he watched the OC. Also, in a spectacular twist, we discover that the building is some sort of bizarre tomb, and that Malastrazza has been trapped within all along, now the puppet slave of the twisted Jimmy, and waiting for death because this is his last building and the walls are full of people he killed and now he's gonna be like a pharaoh or something and be buried there. The more I found out about the plot of the movie, the progressively stupider it became. As a sort of aside, They picked the most hideous building imaginable as their 'genius architect masterpiece' building. It looks like people are squatting in an abandoned parking garage.

He's the Spanish Dracula architect of the building.
The movie is terrible on a macro scale, but it is also really crumby on a micro scale. Going back through to really consider the movie, there are plenty of moments where I wondered, "Really? That makes no sense!" The movie is protected from me criticizing too many nitpicky details (like the guy is buried in concrete, what he's trapped inside the building but he's been mixing concrete that runs automatically to fill a coffin for himself?) The dialogue is of the same quality as the rest of the screenwriting, and the performances turned in are equally terrible. One of the more fascinating things I found about the limited reviews available for this movie (because it was released direct-to-DVD) was that people seemed generally to like Mischa Barton's performance in the movie, even though most acknowledged at least that the movie was dross. I... must have been watching a different movie. I found Mischa Barton to be wooden, abrasive, and unappealing all at once, to a degree that made me wonder how anyone could EVER like her. This is besides the point but I also don't really think she's very pretty, though the movie decided she needed to be really tough-guyed up, and she has what I THINK is a fake scar on her face, so I don't know. Regardless, her performance was just as lousy as everyone else's.

It must be hard. Look at her she's like "Man, one minute
you're a big star, next minute direct-to-DVD building movie."
The ending was also perplexing. I suppose that makes sense, given the mindlessness of the rest of the film, but after everyone is dead but Sam, she decides not to demolish the building? Her fiance has been murdered in it, and she was literally imprisoned in its bowels, but she decides "hey, no big deal, leave that guy standing." I just don't get it at all. Honorable mention for stupid things go out to the interactions between Sam and Jimmy (Sam is weirdly receptive to some creepy teenager's advances if you ask me) and the random scary dream sequences, probably thrown in to try and spice the movie up (but failing miserably). Walled In is actually a good movie to see if you want to see how exactly NOT to plot a movie.

That's all for today, I'll see you next week, hopefully with a review of Star Trek!

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