Monday, April 20, 2009

Not Bad, Except For the White Shoes: Shuttle (2008)

Lest you believe, dear readers, that I never like anything I see these days, let me put your fears to rest, because I saw a pretty good movie last night. The critics are harsh to it, but I liked it okay.

Sadly, there's not much to mention in the way of costumery, but we can't have everything.

Anyway, Shuttle takes as its premise a situation that I have actually been in before: arriving very late at the airport, finding it eerily deserted, luggage not arrived so you're the last one at the carousel, and nary a ride home at ground transportation to be found.

I don't know about you, but empty hospitals, libraries and airports creep me the hell out. I mean, this happened to me once at Heathrow, for god's sake. It's insane (and not a little freaky) to be in one of the busiest airports in the world at ANY time of day, and no one in authority is anywhere to be seen.

I digress. So, two attractive girls return from a Mexican vacation, find themselves in the aforementioned situation, and take a ride on a shuttle. FROM HELL.

Well, nothing supernatural, but the driver definitely has Other Plans besides getting his passengers to their desired destinations.

I'm not going to tell you any more about this except to say that while the plot sounds simplistic, and indeed maybe a little predictable to some, it certainly does keep you going.
Especially since the acting is pretty damn good, and the lead characters anything but two-dimensional. And it has one of the bleakest endings since Wolf Creek, aided by an incredibly haunting sound design. Sound design, IMHO, is a vastly overlooked and unsung cinematic element, and when it's done right it can MAKE a film.
There's also a fair few very deliberate red herrings, done in such a way that you say "Aha, I know why THAT'S important to the plot" and then afterwards it's all "aaahhhh, THEY TRICKED ME!!"

Since this is a fashion-in-horror blog, I would be remiss in mentioning that for me, personally, white pumps on anyone, before or after Labor Day, is never attractive. Seriously, they make the tiniest feet look like cruise ships on stilts. But somehow it adds to the sleaze factor. You'll see what I mean if you watch this.

But to each their own, I suppose.


The Vicar of VHS said...

I'm so out of the loop on new horror, I haven't even heard of this one. (For me, "new horror" encompasses anything post-1979, for instance.) Glad I have People who keep me informed! ;)

And "cruise ships on stilts" is both hilarious and perfectly apt. Great image, there. ;)

The Costuminatrix said...

Vicar: This is one of those movies that critics like to snipe at for being "unbelievable" and "predictable" because they forgot to check their brain at the door and just take the ride. I'm willing to forgive a lot of that as long as it doesn't take me out of the film completely....

More of a thriller than horror, really, but infinitely more watchable than something like "P2" or "Mirrors" or any of those Hollywood blockbusters that pretend to be scary.

The Vicar of VHS said...

"Unbelievable" doesn't faze me, clearly, and as to "Predictable," I'm of a very small minority of movie geeks who actually does NOT believe that every movie you watch should have to surprise you at the end.

Imagine if we applied that taste scale to music--any song that started out all sweet and classical would be counted blase if it didn't end with a dissonant wail of electric guitars. And vice versa.

Or something. I need more sleep. :P