Thursday, August 16, 2018

The Overlook Theatre Reviews: Elliot

5 of 7 viewers "Liked" "Elliot" (2017, USA)
Creature reviews have been minimally altered in an attempt to maintain their voice:

The Impostor - "Trippy, unique and very bizarre. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Elliot's set designs and masks worn by the characters are really well done and detailed. I feel like if I was on something or high while watching this it would get a perfect 5 Stars. I don't think this is something I'd watch again but I did enjoy seeing it in a group setting. Overall Elliot is definitely an experience and will stick with me for a while." - 3 Stars

Lord Battle  - "Elliot is a 9 to 5 nightmare hellscape projected through a kaleidoscope and the finished product couldn't be any more or less familiar. A unique visual experience, backed with a strong soundtrack that adds a pleasant depth to the film's malaise pace. Imagine Tetsuo the Ironman drinking Viper under the black rainbow on Mars in Richard Stanley's Hardware. This film is as interesting as it is polarizing, and even those left unsatisfied will be checking out whatever Craig Jacobson does next." - 4 Stars

Wandering Panda - "Do you prefer fantasy over reality? How about reality over fantasy? Or both? This review is written based on my first viewing of Elliot. I LOVE IT. This film became so much more than a viewing experience for me. I can put myself in Elliot's position so much so that you might as well change the title to my own name!! This film is a love letter to anyone that daydreams. To individuals that use any form of media to escape!! Music, video games, movies. This film caters to the HIGHLY imaginative, those who can detach from the mundane cycle of reality to insert something more exciting. I get all of the subtle nuances Elliot goes through and it's heartbreaking. After this part is when the movie goes full force to the point where Elliot's fantasy begins to literally bleed into his reality and it's not what he imagined. The film's use of colors is so fantastic that it alone is capable of driving the narrative and tells us which side Elliot is in; reality, fantasy...or both. I rarely connect to a film the way I did with Elliot. I highly "PANDA" recommend this film and will champion it. Elliot surpassed my expectations and then some! CHEERS to everyone involved in the making of this film." - 5 Stars

Math Mage - "Being a maintenance worker is a thankless job, especially in hell. Drawing on nightmare anti-logic a loose collection of bizarre scenes form this "movie". Like your boss chasing you down the hall naked while screaming, or people mocking you for your inability to understand the incomprehensible. Excellent and inspired set design and costuming highlight the surreal terror of the film. Though several times the indistinct nature of everything seem to work against the film as we're clearly supposed to understand what we are looking at and can't. And then John was a zombie." - 3.5 Stars

Eddie the Gamer Ghoul - "So dat's what happened to Elliot after ET left 'em. Dis movie seemed to jump from Farscape sets to late 80's early 90's music videos narrated by Beavis and Butthead (An don't forgit da Japanese KISS geisha). Da costumes n' set was my favorite aspects of da film... I could forgit the rest. Don't even want my time back... Jus' let me forget already an I'll recommend to others so ya can eat der souls instead." - 3 Stars

The Ascendant (R) - "Director/Writer Craig Jacobson’s (shot-on-VHS) debut feature Elliot (visually) evokes films such as Testuo: The Iron Man (1989), Hardware (1990), Body Parts (1991) and Lung II (2016), with its soupy Biomechanical Characters & Set-Pieces as well as DMT-inspired overlays & transitions. Craig Jacobson’s visual aesthetic is the absolute highlight in this film, essentially dropping audience’s brains into a trash bag sealed in latex. Mirroring the experience of Halloween Haunts, Jacobson traverses us from room to room, challenging us to ingest every bit of Elliot’s landscape, minute-to-minute, from intimidating adversaries to a control panel that looked like it was activated by a set of extremely long nipples. Unfortunately (like these Seasonal Haunts), Jacobson’s film (experimental in nature) left me a bit distant on plot & characterization, as they took a back seat to the spiraling visual aesthetic. Stay for the biomechanical chokehold but don’t expect too much outside of that." - 3 Stars

Huntress - "The character and set designs in Elliot amazed me, not only because they're in an independent film with limited resources, but also because they're incredibly detailed and original by any standard. Everyone who came into frame was an otherworldly creature from head to toe, and highlighted by multicolored lights as well as shadows. Elliot can work on multiple levels: as a crazy sci-fi film you sit down and pay attention to, or as something you throw on in a crowded room so people can catch clips out of context and wonder what they missed... So I will definitely be re-watching this film." - 3.5 Stars

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

I'd made the choice early on to give no setup/context for Elliot before our screening. The creatures that have been showing up for our horror sessions have been hard to gauge when it came to the type of films they enjoyed, and I knew to intro this Dreams For Dead Cats production with any sort of context could have the whole audience defensively watching the movie, especially when dealing with a film that clearly looked to be going for a visual narrative over a verbal one, which casual audiences just interpret as pretension. I could have never expected that this methodical acid trip would speak so clearly to someone in attendance. It just goes to show that the group experience can still have a very monumental singular impact, which is strengthened by an audience's journey of narrative discovery. This journey is a solo one, speaking to those who during the long narrative breaths can seemingly make sense of emotional crescendos and visual metaphor.

Math Mage comments "...the indistinct nature of everything seem to work against the film as we're clearly supposed to understand what we are looking at and can't" while Wandering Panda says; "I rarely connect to a film the way I have with Elliot!". Even though Math Mage is an ancient being back from the beginning of the Overlook's existence, he could not make the connection one of the newest creatures did with Elliot... I just hope neither of them ends up being catfished in hell by the melty toilet guy in Street Trash.


Below you can listen to our interview with the creative team behind Dreams for Dead Cats Productions, Craig Jacobson and Cassandra Sechler. With Elliot under their belt, they are on their way to their next feature film, which will launch a Kickstarter campaign tomorrow.

Also available on iTunes! 

- Lord Battle

The Overlook Theatre materialized at a residence for a screening on 8/2/2018
*Based on the star ratings turned in by character reviewers, others viewed and got to "Dislike" or "Like" but that does not affect the rating.

No comments:

Post a Comment