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September 8, 2010

Nightmare Alley

2010, Dir. by Laurence Holloway & Scarlet Fry.

I have a lot of insults running around inside my head that I'd love to hurl at Nightmare Alley - a vile excuse for a horror anthology that lacks anything I look for in any kind of entertainment.  But as I approached reviewing this film, I stopped myself to wonder: Why bother?

Let me explain:

When I was offered a screener of this film, the party involved with the film bragged that this was "the worst horror film ever made" and insisted that I "rip it a new ass".  I was a little shocked, and had to ask myself some questions.  The most pressing question among these was: If the people who are trying to promote the movie have that opinion, why should I even bother with taking the film seriously?

Really, is there a moral obligation I have to this person?  They asked for it, and I agreed to watch their film (solely because I will, in fact, watch almost anything).  Now that it's over, should I indulge them?  If I did, where would I start?

Would I rant and rave about the fact that each segment varies from dumb to offensive, and that the film peaks with a pre-opening-credits homage to Creepshow?  Would I get on my soapbox and condemn the writers' inability to form just one coherent sentence that isn't littered with swear words and the type of insults that only the most clueless fools would use?  Would they want me to point out the fact that a character getting annoyed by a homosexual and stabbing him two minutes later is not actually any kind of dramatic arc?  Maybe I do owe them that.  After all, they did take the time to show interest in my site and send me a copy of their film to review.

But, don't I have obligations to my readers, too?  Aren't you all the most important people in this equation?  Wouldn't I feel better if I told the truth?

Yeah.  That sounds more like it.

Nightmare Alley, in the simplest of terms, is not worth your time.  (Or mine, but I'm already paying the price for my error.)  It's not so-bad-it's-good, it's not some sort of significant piece of counter-culture art, and it's not a good movie.  It hit DVD on August 10th, so if you want to give it a whirl it is out there.  If you are reading this, I hope that you'll just trust me and skip this movie.  I can't imagine that anyone who has a genuine interest in horror movies would have anything in common with this film.

To the people behind Nightmare Alley, I apologize.  I'd love to sit here and fill your negative hype meter, but your film - and your request - is just not worth that.

(By the way, if you're an independent filmmaker who's reading this - don't email me and tell me your movie sucks.  I will give any movie a chance, but you have to give your own movie a chance first.  Keep up the great work, and avoid being like Nightmare Alley.)


Chris Regan said...

I wonder if they started out selling it on the 'so bad it's good basis', or whether this is a new tactic like Tommy Wiseau saying The Room was always intended as a comedy.

Hey! Look Behind You! said...

I was given this movie to review for a friend's site :(

Enbrethiliel said...


Yeowch! Way harsh here, The Mike . . . but I totally see where you're coming from. Heck, if they can't be proud of their own movie, why should they expect you to promote it for them?

I was once sent a book to review. The author was beyond self-deprecating in his private message to me, along the lines of, "I don't usually send my book to other people because I don't want them to think that I think it's any good." (Huh?) Well, I read it, didn't like it, and had to tell him that if I reviewed it, I'd have to pan it. How much of my reaction was due to the book and how much was due to his introduction to it, I will never know--but the latter didn't help the former!

Seth Metoyer said...

Hi Mike,

You made some really good points here. We've experienced something similar from the person behind this film. Not telling us that we should slam it, but actually sending many rude emails about why we haven't posted a review of the film yet and telling us that we are a "joke", and that we must have just sold the dvd to our "local video store". Heck, I wish this film was worth even 2 bucks at a "video store", who obviously would not purchase this piece of garbage.

At any rate, I think the people behind this film have tried every tactic to gain any sort of attention possible.

When people hated it, they tried to simply play it off as the "worst horror film ever made". I think they simply have chapped asses about the fact people didn't like their "death proof" filter, annoying "crypt keeper" monologues, lame story lines, dialogue and acting.


Seth Metoyer

Anonymous said...

Hey Seth why dont you tell your readers about how you tried to extort money from us, promising a review, Nobody should have to pay for a review especialy when its on some cheesy entry level website that only tries to cater to mainstream, WE DONT NEED YOU SETH.
And as far as telling midnight with love to rip it, was totaly taken out of context, we were being sarcastic, basicaly saying WE GET IT, IF YOU DONT LIKE IT ITS OK, duh? ANYONE WHO HATES THIS FILM OBVIOUSLY HAS NO SENSE OF HUMOR,

Anonymous said...

Walter, its painfully obvious that you've used many tactics (mostly bad) to get the word out regarding your film. I'm not sure why you've chosen this route but now you've made your bed. Why can't you just admit that the way you've chosen to interact with blogs and other websites was done in poor choice and be done with it? Why do you have to insult everyone you come into contact with? The sad part is, is that you are building a bad reputation for yourself as evidenced just by doing a simple Google search. I appreciate that you are trying to build a business and name for yourself but why you constantly harass people because of their opinion, after you've PROACTIVELY reached out to them with screener requests is beyond me.

What it boils down to is this: some people like your film and some people don't. Move on with it, take criticism, learn from your mistakes and put your learnings into future endeavors. If you just spent half the energies in your filmmaking ventures as you have in posting these nonsensical diatribes, you may just come up with a much more enjoyable product.