Thursday, August 11, 2016

The Overlook Theatre Reviews: Parasites

of 10 viewers "Liked" "Parasites" (USA, 2016)
Here's what the creatures had to say:

Lord Battle - "Parasites is a dystopian future set in modern times, seen through the electric eye of a 70's era Dean Cundey camera lens, with an 80's synth score to boot. I'd like to think I keep up on my current affairs and up to-date with my micro-aggressions and such, so bare with me if some hot button topics make me violently roll my eyes. Having said that, Parasites' use of mise-en-scene actually breathes fresh air into these often overstated and preachy ideas and allows viewers to experience them in a new way." - 3.5 Stars

Clark Little - "Fortunately, I wasn't bullied a lot in school. Unfortunately, I was bullied as a 29 year old man into watching a movie called Parasites. A bait and switch movie where neither the bait nor the switch is worth the time for a retina-to-brain reaction. Why couldn't it be just about the hobos and the jock? If it had stayed with that idea, which stunk to begin with, I would have forgotten about this movie twenty minutes later and could commence my Wednesday night routine of Wahlbergers. But noooooo... They have to use their nickel and dime budget to make a political statement that eventually comes off like a MadTV sketch." - 0 Stars (Counts as 1)

The Creature of the ComiCombs - "This movie was promising from the start but it fell apart for me in the middle. I understand what was being said with this movie but it just couldn't hold my attention through the middle, the actions were too repetitive. A LOT of running, someone would catch up with or get caught by someone else, someone dies and that process was repeated all the way through to the very end of the movie. A cool idea but it missed its mark." - 2.5 Stars

Huntress - "Parasites started out with a realistic situation and quickly turned into a survival nightmare. I loved the bleak, deserted city setting and all the parallels with The Warriors. The main character carried the story pretty well, even if some of his choices didn't really make sense; considering how intelligent he was, some of his actions were very naive. This movie felt like it was saying a lot, but I don't know how many of the messages were intentional." - 3 Stars

The Great Hornito - "Parasites had a The Warriors feel to it but instead of gangs it was jocks vs homeless dudes. The movie was great until its over the top ending. I like the movie overall but I probably wouldn't watch it again or buy it due to the stupid ending." - 3 Stars

Speed Demon - "For me, the best thing about this film was the soundtrack, however, it didn't make sense for this film. It obviously took place in a more modern time frame than the 80's. Honestly I really couldn't get into it. It was boring and uninteresting. Really hokey and way too many "ah, yeah right" moments. Sometimes it felt like a dark comedy. Sorry to say I wouldn't recommend this to anyone." - 2 Stars

KillDozer - "It is tough to sit through a film that gives everything away during the intro. I enjoy a film that respects the audience enough to give it subtle hints of social commentary or deliver in your face messages in intelligent ways, this is not one of those films. Whatever this film is trying to say is shoved in your face, spelled out in capital letters, and delivered in a way that makes it a forgettable watch. It's not all bad; this movie does have some really fun "Grind House" type action and violence that works in a lot of ways. The characters are memorable and well played. I enjoyed the clever and conscience sound track choices as well. What didn't work for me was the "white privilege" ending mailed in from the beginning of the film because of its obvious Night of the Living Dead hero homage. The film did inspire debate and discussion but it wasn't about racism in America or homelessness. I guess what I'm trying to say is don't sell us Judgement Night reimagined with Night of the Living Dead while wrapping it with Grind House gift wrap." - 2.5 Stars (Worth the watch and support of independent film makers and if you are not a big movie fan you will like it a lot more than if you were)

Dabbles - "A lot of Parasites worked; the way it was shot was perfect and replicated the late 80's early 90's look." - 4 Stars

The Impostor - "Parasites is an interesting take on the survival horror sub genre. A group of homeless people band together to fight back against others they feel threaten their territory. From the start of the film, I wasn't sure what I was getting into but from beginning to end it felt like a intensified marathon. We see our main character on the run from the murderous homeless gang the whole film. Parasites does a good job making you care for its protagonist and want him to succeed but after a while it starts to drag a bit, then picks up in its third act. Then it just ends. Overall it definitely left a sour taste in my mouth for a few reasons but all in all the film as a whole is entertaining. It will definitely make you look at homeless folk in a different light." - 3 Stars

Math Mage - "I feared this title would be a metaphor rather than a film about evil bugs. It turned out to be a metaphor but in a good anyway, carrying a The Warriors-esque vibe of urban fantasy while remaining uncomfortably close to the unpleasant realities of modern society." - 4 Stars

(No Trailer Yet)

The Overlook Theatre Final Rating*
(Below is for after you've seen the film)

The Overlook Theatre haunts the San Francisco Bay Area and if there is one hot button topic on everyone's mind here, it's gentrification. Neighborhoods that you wouldn't walk though, let alone drive by are now being refinanced, renovated, and sold at prices that you couldn't afford and for sure prior residents can't either. But this is the common conversation that people have when discussing gentrification.

"The Roxie Theater, the more than century-old theater in the heart of the Mission District, was paying $9,792 per month in rent, which the landlord tried to increase to $21,200 per month. The theater ultimately negotiated a three-year lease and now pays $10,963 in monthly rent." (The Examiner)

Parasites however, is making a slightly different statement relating to the current wrath that is Gentrification. Our protaganists in Chad Ferrin's film are 3 college students who get lost on their way to a football game and end up in the middle of one of the most under-used genres, "Urban Fantasy". After the homeless appear to see what their snare has caught we get a typical round of horror conversation, but there is something important being shown here and it's not obvious at first but by the end of the film it became very clear.

Once our hero is shot by the white police officer at the conclusion of the film all of the creatures in attendance became upset by the preachy and anti climatic ending. Now even though I mostly agree with their sentiments I feel that the message in this film is trying to channel the aimless rage of the lower middle class to a more deserving target, like the disorganized and always absent police in the film. Also I think the main character being portrayed by a black-male isn't about BLM but about how angry people see what they want. So just because he's in college he represents the 1%, even though he's a minority who may be on a football scholarship because he's a badass quarterback he's ultimately in the same position as the homeless.

It's worth noting that none of the homeless are African American despite being a diverse group (Native american, Asian, Mexican (not mexican)). In the end, the anger of the masses saw a car and a letterman jacket, and miss the person completely.

"At 9:35 a.m., firefighters responded to a fire call at a three-story building at 143–147 San Jose Ave. on the corner of 24th Street and San Jose Avenue, said Battalion Chief Jose Velo." (

I honestly feel a little crazy here in SF, as several buildings have caught fire in prime real estate locations and been saved, only to catch fire again, and in some cases yet again, until they are demolished and rebuilt into some sort of super combo. I'm not saying They Live is real but some form of it is and Parasites is trying to show us that united we stand, divided we fall. We just need to put our glasses on.

-Lord Battle

The Overlook Theatre materialized in a residence for a special screening on  8/4/2016
*Based on the star ratings turned in by character reviewers, others viewed and got to "Dislike" or "Like" but that does not effect the rating.

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