Amusement (2008) with guest reviewer Matt Deitchley of GeneralTomfoolery.com

As a young couple return home from a trip (presumably consisting of pre-marital sexual relations), the boyfriend joins a convoy moving a bit faster than the rest of the other traffic.  The group pulls off the highway for gas and the unlikely group meets for the first time.  In addition to the jock boyfriend and his dizzy girl Shelby, there is a sketchy looking trucker and a nerdy guy with his kids in a minivan.  As Shelby waits on everyone to buy snacks and pay, she sees someone on the back of the semi’s cab.  The trucker comments on the fact that he is alone, but Shelby tells her bf about the girl.  As they are driving behind the truck the girl jumps out, but instead of just gliding to the ground as she had hoped, she is flung into traffic at 50mph and is a bit nicked up.  The nerdy guy and Shelby stay with the girl as our hero boyfriend goes to track down the trucker.  The shifty truck driver evades our super sleuth and the boyfriend returns to the group to find the two girls missing and the nerd beat down.  The nerdy guy and the boyfriend track the trucker to an old cottage where the nerd goes up and beats the trucker to death out of the blue.  The guy thinks something is amiss, so he takes a look in the back seat at the guy’s family and finds Shelby and the other chick just as the nerd guy bashes in the window!  And… scene.

Our next little tale finds Tabitha coming over to her sister’s house to watch her nephews.  She arrives to find that the babysitter is missing, but just thinks she left early.   After hanging with the kids for a bit she checks out her room, which is filled with all manner of scary looking clowns, including a creepy killer human sized one sitting in a chair.  After getting ready for bed there is a knock at the door. Tabitha looks out and sees a shady person with their face covered and does what any normal person would do: open the door as wide as she fucking can!  It turns out that it is the babysitter’s boyfriend, looking for his sweetheart (presumably so they can have pre-marital sexual relations).  She tries to go to sleep, but is freaked out by that huge clown in her room.  Probably because there is a wack-job inside it that outfit that is trying to kill you, you dumb bitch!   In the least shocking shock of all time, the clown gets up and chases her around the yard.  She is cornered in a garage and presumably killed.

 Our next victim, Lisa, is at a club with her friend; when her gal-pal goes home with another guy (again for the pre-marital sexual relations) she wishes her the best on her forthcoming sex and goes back to their apartment to shag her own boyfriend.   The next morning Lisa’s buddy has not completed her walk of shame yet, so Lisa gets worried and as late afternoon approaches she takes her boyfriend out to go look for her.  Lisa’s friend said the dude she was planning on banging was staying at some creepy old motel, so they wonder out to the middle of nowhere to take a look.  They go to the door, but the innkeeper says they are full, despite not having any cars around and the place is as quiet as a tomb.  Luckily the guy works for the health department and manages to con his way in, but is quickly killed by the innkeeper/ mad scientist that runs the place.  Lisa waits and waits, and eventually sneaks in, only to find a huge room full of beds with only a single person in there, some fugly deaf guy.  Of course the guy knocks her out and stuffs her inside a mattress.   What kind of world do we live in where you can’t trust fugly deaf guys locked away in creepy hotels? 
 
Tabitha wakes up in some sort of interrogation room, with a psychiatrist asking her if she remembers anything.  The lady leaves and soon her door opens, and as Tabitha walks out into the hallway she realizes that she is in a world of shit.  She is actually in some sort of dungeon with the psychiatrist dead on the floor and now a crazy guy is stalking her.  She ends up trapped in a room, and the psycho starts closing the walls in on her.  Just as she is about to get smushed, the lights come on and she sees her childhood friends, Shelby and Lisa, strung up on either side.  As the maniac threatens Lisa with a knife, Tabitha flirts with him and draws his attention as she stabs him in the neck with a scapel she found.  The guy is dead so they can all escape together right? Yeah, sure.  Shelby is stabbed in the gut by the guy as the other two flee up a tall ladder.  Lisa is caught by the guy half way up and the two of them fall.  Now the guy must be dead? Tabitha reaches the top and looks down the hole to see that the guy is gone.  She hides in a closet, which ends up being the back of a box truck.  The guy is driving her off to who knows where, but he forgot something… that the back if his truck was full of sharp stabbing implements.  She pokes him through the face as a voice-over tells us that those girls teased the guy when he was a little kid and he went crazy and never forgot about them.  Huh? 

Alex’s Thoughts:  Confusing and far-fetched is the only way I can describe this one.  The basics of the story were fine, the acting was about what you would expect from a straight to DVD horror flick, but… how the guy found all of these girls was a stretch to say the least: Shelby – the odds of getting into a convoy with her, and having her stop to realize it’s her, then having something tragic happen to get everyone separated is like a billion to one.  Lisa – the off-chance that you can get her friend to go home with you to your creepy hotel, then the fact they she will come looking for you without calling the police, and that she will sneak into your hotel where you can capture you..? Tabitha – knowing when her sister would be gone, and that she has a room full of clowns and that anyone would believe that a six-foot creepy clown making all sorts of noise is just a doll… what the fuck?  I respect the fact that there are four separate horror shorts all rolled up into one movie.  They did a good job with that, but how it all goes down is just too much for me.  It never explains how the guy does all of this, and it is just too far-fetched not to have that in there somewhere.  I will say that some of the locations they used were great and the sets were well done, that is definitely the highlight for me. It is a fair movie, probably good for a single watch if you don’t have something better.  Alex Rates This Movie 7/10

Matt’s Thoughts: Guh. Ugh. This was painful for me. It’s like a big budget studio executive wandered into a laundry mat in Hollywood and yelled, “Hey, anyone here like Scream, I Know What You Did Last Summer, Urban Legend and, ah hell, how ‘bout Tarantino, anyone here like Tarantino movies? You know the ones where he makes a bunch of different shit make sense with some other shit?” Then some yutz watching Pulp Fiction on his iPod was like, “Uh, yeah? I like that crap” and the studio exec. threw a crap ton of money on the ground and said, “Here you go. Go nuts.”

Cripes.

Okay, let me be fair. The sets were snazzy. The acting was decent enough. But the story was humdrum and boring at best. It’s not like I can’t appreciate a plot about a complete wacko, but c’mon, the only reason this guy went after these three chicks is because they said his elementary school diorama project “wasn’t funny.” Really? One time in middle school my best friend pulled down my pants on the crowded playground and the entire school laughed at my stained tighty whities. I didn’t disembowel him! In fact, he was in my wedding! (True story.)

I think some movie studio guy with cash thought this would be a big hit, but it didn’t pan out. You can even see it in the casting choices. It’s like he tried to get big A-Listers but, in the end, got stuck with Las Vegas look-a-likes. Check it out below…

CLICK HERE FOR A CLOSER LOOK

For me, this was a phoned-in, run-of-the-mill, boring, slasher flick. Sure someone spent big money on it, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t suck. Matt Rates This Movie: 4/10

But, Tabby, he said he just wanted to have some fun…”

View the IMDB entry for this movie here or add it to your Netflix queue

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