We root for and relate to our man because we can see the fear and frustration in his eyes, not because he’s a handsome, God-fearing war veteran-cum-action hero with a stunningly beautiful, American Dream family. Or, like, Tom Cruise or whatever.
I was perfectly happy watching Toy Story 3 and Monsters University on my own steam, and even went to see Despicable Me 2 with a group of other twenty-something guys, but this is one to sit your kids in front of while you’re busy doing something else.
Lingering shots, wordless conversations, and unsympathetic characters abound. There are only so many times the “strained home life” card can be played before you start wishing the characters would sit down and do something about it.
For the most part, it just holds up different things and says, “Look! This thing is funny!” And usually it is… it just comes off looking more like a 70s-themed sketch show than a cohesive story.
The film’s patchwork, low-budget style is played to comic effect, calling back to cult films from the 70s and 80s – and it makes the occasional moments of genuine, shiver-inducing gore and creepiness that much more powerful.
I’d made it past the ten-hour mark before I thought, “OK, the story’s actually getting started now.” I doubt most people will stick with it that long, unless they’re a fan of visual novels, Professor Layton, Ace Attorney, or all three.