I've never bought Craven as a political filmmaker, so it was hard to be disappointed by the half-hearted efforts here. But on a visceral level this is a treat, even if we need to make some inferences for its satire of puritanical repression. The execution is audacious enough to remind me of shit I loved as a kid - like a Goosebumps remake of Don't Breathe. Also, officially the best gimp of the 90's.
Though Craven's attempting is to be lauded, for every potent moment that arises from politicising the slasher formula, there is a pretty problematic one that follows. For me the most offensive choice though was the repetition; the film doesn't go anywhere for most of its middle section. That it ends with a visual metaphor for both looting and welfare was a sour aftertaste too.
Craven it's quite unregular filmmaker. I understand some arguments that possible save these film (the political dimension or the people who live in the basement are not the evil, but the victims), but for me was such a boring experience too watch (especially on the "second" part, when the kid return to that house). It's much cartoon, too many gags and too hysterical.
Story of social inequality and corrupted elites presented as a satire full of horror movie trademarks such as urban legends, religious fanatics, family of lunatics, zombified humans and enough gore to keep fans of genre satisfied. At times feels silly but overall it's a non stop joyride leaving not much place to wonder what could've been if the movie went in a darker direction as it seemed at the beginning.
It all gets repetitive after awhile but it's such a good time! The satire is simplistic but effective, Wendy Robie and Everrett McGill make insanity look like art and "Fool" is probably one of the greatest heroes in horror filmdom. No part of it actually comes close to being scary but there's no other film quite like it and its uniqueness overshadows all of its flaws.
This film is unbelievably juicy. From the performances of the two parents (Robie's not afraid of taking it to another level to great effect), to the visceral shocks, the great art direction, the kinky/creepy elements, the black comedy. I loved everything about it. Plus, it's got like 5 endings one after another, ti's awesome.
I haven't seen this since I was kid. So yeah, maybe the satire falls short or isn't as pointed as could have been, the film is a shit ton of fun with funny one-liners and Ed & Nadine Hurley going way over the top. I hate to be that person but fuck, they don't make horror films like used to.