Watching Movies Alone with crumbsroom

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The critical consensus also makes sense because it's a good, fun movie to watch. I don't think anyone has suggested it is the greatest horror movie ever made, but if you went to the theater looking for something more original than the average American horror film, this move was just a lot of fun to watch and people in the theater had a lot of fun.

The audience reaction really made it a lot of fun, unfortunately folks watching this at home aren't getting the benefit of the audience reactions.
While I disagree that itís good, the communal experience of festival screenings and a complete lack of expectations certainly contribute to a positive critical response.



the communal experience of festival screenings and a complete lack of expectations certainly contribute to a positive critical response.
I think it can cut both ways, actually. I have been to film festivals where you get to watch up to 5 movies in one day.

At Telluride, the first shows are at 8am and the last ones start at midnight.

Which means that some folks may be even more selective about which movies are more fun or exciting and which ones aren't as much fun to watch.

But even as far as regular audiences go, it has pretty solid scores, too:



This doesn't mean everyone liked it, of course - but it does seem to suggest the people who didn't like it are very much a minority.

And there is, of course, nothing wrong with being part of the minority opinion - I happen to be in the minority opinion for a number of films. And when I am, then I am happy for the people who enjoyed the movie more than I did - because watching movies should be first and foremost a fun thing.



The critical consensus also makes sense because it's a good, fun movie to watch. I don't think anyone has suggested it is the greatest horror movie ever made, but if you went to the theater looking for something more original than the average American horror film, this move was just a lot of fun to watch and people in the theater had a lot of fun.

The audience reaction really made it a lot of fun, unfortunately folks watching this at home aren't getting the benefit of the audience reactions.

I'm not a particularly big fan of communal experiences. And I usually don't like movies to require them in order to be properly appreciated.


And I'm not saying anyone is saying it's the best horror movie ever. I'm saying I think it is extremely bad and in such obvious ways I'm surprised there is any kind of general positivity towards it.


But I also think the average hot take on any horror film, whether by critics or audience members, or frequently even horror fans themselves, is usually really bad, so I should probably be used to it by now.



The critical consensus makes a little bit of sense when you realize that Dastmalchian has developed something of a cult following via constant promotion and podcast appearances, which have ingratiated him to them by the simple virtue of being genuinely good guy and affable weirdo. Folks are rooting for him. Iíve seen Rian Johnson place himself in a similar role.

I'm completely unfamiliar with him, so I guess I was immune to his charms.



The critical consensus makes a little bit of sense when you realize that Dastmalchian has developed something of a cult following via constant promotion and podcast appearances, which have ingratiated him to them by the simple virtue of being genuinely good guy and affable weirdo. Folks are rooting for him. Iíve seen Rian Johnson place himself in a similar role.
I was kind of wondering if something like that was going on based on the reactions. I thought his performance was fine (unlike crumbs), but there's an upper limit sometimes when it's in the service of a script like this (has anyone checked if the script was written by AI? If someone told me it was, I would have believed them).



Fwiw, I did see this in the theater, but it was a small crowd (discount night showing), and it's always hard to guess how a hypothetical communal response affects the viewing, but I'm pretty sure no crowd would have saved this one for me.



I was kind of wondering if something like that was going on based on the reactions. I thought his performance was fine (unlike crumbs), but there's an upper limit sometimes when it's in the service of a script like this (has anyone checked if the script was written by AI? If someone told me it was, I would have believed them).

I was laying in bed last night when the same thought suddenly dawned on me(yes these are the kinds of thoughts that keep me up at night)


It definitely feels like the kind of script and dialogue and characters and plot arcs an AI would come up with. Just a mishmash of badly fitting ideas that maybe make sense from a distance.


No wonder the people love it.



I'm completely unfamiliar with him, so I guess I was immune to his charms.
Heís a rags to riches type. Living in his car when he got the role as crazy goon that gets interrogated by Harvey in the Dark Knight and has been gradually growing in stature throughout the years, becoming a mainstay character actor in Villeneuveís films (most prominently in Prisoners). His most prominent role before this was as Polka Dot Man in James Gunnís The Suicide Squad.

Iím a fan.



I'm not a particularly big fan of communal experiences. And I usually don't like movies to require them in order to be properly appreciated.

And I'm not saying anyone is saying it's the best horror movie ever. I'm surprised there is any kind of general positivity towards it.
I don't know that a movie requires a specific set of viewing conditions, but the truth is that a certain kind of movie - mostly comedies and horror/slasher flicks - can benefit from the contagious sense of dozens or even hundreds of viewers reacting simultaneously. It's part of the reason some people still prefer movie theaters, at least for some movies.

Any opinions about whether a movie is "good" or "bad" are, of course, completely subjective. But it is fairly objective to say that the majority of people who have seen the movie enjoyed it and had a good time watching it. It is, in fact, one of the very biggest box-office hits that IFC has had. And regardless of how you subjectively reacted to the movie, the fact that it's a very big hit for a small distributor is good news, even for you, because it gives that distributor the funds with which to make or acquire other movies in the future - and who knows, maybe one of those that IFC funds or acquires the rights to in the coming years will be something you will enjoy a lot.



horror/slasher flicks - can benefit from the contagious sense of dozens or even hundreds of viewers reacting simultaneously.
I'm not a big fan of contagions either.

Any opinions about whether a movie is "good" or "bad" are, of course, completely subjective.
Our feelings about films are definitely subjective. But if we actually try, we can take that subjective experience and try and justify it using all sorts of objective measures. No, it never fully becomes a purely objective way to determine a films quality, but it's also not as easy as blowing everything off with the 'everybody's opinions are equally valid' piffle. They're not.

But it is fairly objective to say that the majority of people who have seen the movie enjoyed it and had a good time watching it.
I'm happy for them. But if those people try to convince me of the movies worth simply by explaining to me what a fun time they had, that obviously doesn't mean a single thing to me. I need to know what specific things about the movies construction made it good for them. Some thoughts on how they thought it worked, or what the director was doing and successfully accomplishing, or maybe point me towards a few things I may have missed. Give me some context that might make what I watched a little more interesting than the cheap, lazy and shallow thing I ended up watching.

But just having a bunch of people testifying to all the fun they had sounds like the kind of thing I wouldn't particularly want to be around, let alone have to hear about. I've already had enough fun in my life and I've got my fill. Fun stinks. Now all I want is some rigorous and pointless movie debate.

It is, in fact, one of the very biggest box-office hits that IFC has had. And regardless of how you subjectively reacted to the movie, the fact that it's a very big hit for a small distributor is good news, even for you, because it gives that distributor the funds with which to make or acquire other movies in the future - and who knows, maybe one of those that IFC funds or acquires the rights to in the coming years will be something you will enjoy a lot.
I agree with all of this. Even though I hated it, I am happy when any small budgeted, not necessarily mainstream content does well. And maybe next time the masses will choose a somewhat less lifeless small budget film to champion.



I'm not a big fan of contagions either.
Nobody said you had to be.

Our feelings about films are definitely subjective. But if we actually try, we can take that subjective experience and try and justify it using all sorts of objective measures. No, it never fully becomes a purely objective way to determine a films quality, but it's also not as easy as blowing everything off with the 'everybody's opinions are equally valid' piffle. They're not.
When a majority of the moviegoers who went to a movie had a good time, then their opinions are definitely valid as far as the studios go - because they will almost invariably try to emulate the more successful films, while movies that don't do well are unlikely to be emulated by producers.

I've already had enough fun in my life and I've got my fill. Fun stinks.
You love being miserable. Got it.

I agree with all of this. I am happy when any small budgeted, not necessarily mainstream content does well.
On this, we agree, I guess. I do very much look forward to the Cairnes brothers' next film, whatever it might be. I think they are obviously going to be in high demand following the smashing success (on a low-budget level at least) of this movie.

And I hope they continue to be critics' darlings, as evidenced by the strong support for this movie:

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 97% of 191 critics' reviews are positive, with an average rating of 7.9/10. The website's consensus reads: "Delightfully dark, Late Night with the Devil proves possession horror isn't played out -- and serves as an outstanding showcase for David Dastmalchian." Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 72 out of 100, based on 22 critics, indicating "generally favorable" reviews.

Variety's Dennis Harvey commended the film's production design and technical aspects, as well as the performances of the cast, and wrote that the film's "mix of vintage Me Decade showbiz cheese and Exorcist-y demonic doings is distinctive, not to mention deftly handled by the [Cairnes] brothers as both writers and directors." Brian Tallerico of RogerEbert.com praised the film as inventive and its use of the found footage format as clever, and highlighted Dastmalchian's "phenomenally committed performance [...] really holding the film together as he finds the right tone between smarmy and likable that dominated so much '70s culture."

Meagan Navarro of Bloody Disgusting gave the film a score of three-and-a-half out of five, criticizing the film's pacing as rapid but writing that "the ingenuity, the painstaking period recreation, a riveting performance by Dastmalchian, and a showstopper of a finale make for one Halloween event you won't want to miss." Trace Sauveur of The Austin Chronicle also praised Dastmalchian's performance and called the film "totally gimmicky, but the sincere commitment to the conceit is what really makes this work." Sauveur adds that, despite finding the film's conclusion lacking, "Late Night with the Devil is able to mine plenty of effective and fun ideas out of its premise, and it works as a potent examination of the price of success."

Mark Kermode of Kermode and Mayo's Take called it "really enjoyable", adding that he thought it was influenced by the 1992 British mockumentary supernatural horror TV film Ghostwatch.

Wendy Ide of The Guardian gave the film a score of four out of five stars, praising its satire and comedic elements, calling it "[s]mart, cynical and at times devilishly funny, the film delivers a crackle of disruptive static to the demonic possession genre."
The fact critics had such great things to say about this movie also makes it more likely they will look favorably at their next film.



Critics pointing out the technical elements or period accuracy of this film as positives demonstrates a lack of understanding or caring about those technical elements or period accuracy.



Critics pointing out the technical elements or period accuracy of this film as positives demonstrates a lack of understanding or caring about those technical elements or period accuracy.
On that regard, I tend to agree with the critics. For a low-budget movie, all of these elements were very well done.



On that regard, I tend to agree with the critics. For a low-budget movie, all of these elements were very well done.
Cool.



Critics pointing out the technical elements or period accuracy of this film as positives demonstrates a lack of understanding or caring about those technical elements or period accuracy.

Yeah, this is the one thing that can't help stick in my craw when I hear critics gush about how the film nailed this element. It didn't. Objectively so. It's attempts at all of this was painfully superficial.



But look at all those browns! Look at the haircuts! Look at the blurry footage!


If only that was all it took.



When a majority of the moviegoers who went to a movie had a good time, then their opinions are definitely valid as far as the studios go - because they will almost invariably try to emulate the more successful films, while movies that don't do well are unlikely to be emulated by producers.

No. Studios do not care about how the movies are received. They care about whether people went to them. If they could sell tickets to a theatre with no screen and no movie, they would be quiet happy to do so if people kept turning up and gushing over how realistic the no-movie was. Then they'd make a sequel that the people would only hope was just as good as the first one.



Also, I don't want them emulating other successful films. That's the problem. It's creative bankruptcy that they pretend is a job description. **** that. If a movie is successful, invest in those people again. And then find other talented people to make other types of movies. And stop being snivelling cowards.


Find talent and trust it to be talented....oh, that's right....they don't actually know where to find talent and that's why they have to keep relying on what they could sell in the past.



You love being miserable. Got it.

Where did I say I was miserable? I said fun, as it is understood in a popular sense, is a drag. I find fun in ways that actually have some kind of resonance with me on a deeper level. To the point that it feels annoying to just call it 'fun'.



Fun is for children running around and farting in each others faces. Yes, amazing for a little while, but it gets super dry after awhile. Well, at least for some people.




On this, we agree, I guess. I do very much look forward to the Cairnes brothers' next film, whatever it might be. I think they are obviously going to be in high demand following the smashing success (on a low-budget level at least) of this movie.

And they deserve to get another chance to make another movie that might not be terrible. Clearly people are responding, so let them get another crack at it. I suppose.



Yeah, this is the one thing that can't help stick in my craw when I hear critics gush about how the film nailed this element. It didn't. Objectively so. It's attempts at all of this was painfully superficial.



But look at all those browns! Look at the haircuts! Look at the blurry footage!


If only that was all it took.
I could go on a fairly long rant about the trap they set for themselves with the concept, given that tv of that era was shot on the dead tape format quadruplex, which should have a sub-SD aesthetic and how they could possibly replicate itÖ but apparently filming with a RED and fuzzying up the footage a little was more than enough to blow peopleís minds. Good to know.



No. Studios do not care about how the movies are received.
I think history shows just how much studios care about the way movies are received - they love to have big hits at the box-office, and they also love movies that get a lot of awards. And they will take big ads in the trades to tout their greatest hits. This is the way it has been for, oh I don't know, over a hundred years.

Also, I don't want them emulating other successful films.
You may not want it to happen, but it's still going to happen.

I said fun, as it is understood in a popular sense, is a drag.
If people didn't have fun, as it is understood in a popular sense, when they go to the movies, the movie industry just wouldn't exist any more. Hollywood exists because people want to go somewhere for fun on their free time.

Clearly people are responding, so let them get another crack at it. I suppose.
They are definitely promising filmmakers.



I think history shows just how much studios care about the way movies are received - they love to have big hits at the box-office, and they also love movies that get a lot of awards. And they will take big ads in the trades to tout their greatest hits. This is the way it has been for, oh I don't know, over a hundred years.
Unless their positive reception leads to asses in seats, no, they do not care.

How many critically well received but commercial bombs do you see them franchising?

You may not want it to happen, but it's still going to happen.
I don't give a **** what might inevitably happen. Inevitability doesn't mean you stop caring or talking or thinking. If that was the case, the eventual death of everyone on these boards should probably stop us from wasting our time blabbing on about the profit margin of movies.


Get lost with your apathy that nothing can be done and that anyone who disagrees should just suck it up.


No.


If people didn't have fun, as it is understood in a popular sense, when they go to the movies, the movie industry just wouldn't exist any more. Hollywood exists because people want to go somewhere for fun on their free time.
Yes. I know. People have low standards for fun. And their standards keep the standards low for everyone else who is ****ing sick of how rock bottom these standards are.

They are definitely promising filmmakers.
No, they aren't. But I'm happy to have anyone, however marginally talented, get whatever success they can outside of the system.



There was a book some odd years back titled, The Economy of Prestige (or something like that), that was supposed to break down how winning big awards like the Oscars (and getting nominated for them) improves the financial bottom line of movies, which then clarifies a lot on the whole campaign trail during the awards season and why Hollywood goes all out wanting to win those awards. Execs of companies are also a competitive bunch who like to have bragging rights on these type of things.


Which kind of muddies the water of using awards as a proxy for saying they care about how the movies are received, particularly full page ads in "the trades."
(The Oscars also aren't quite a hundred years old).