Saturday, 20 July 2013

Coffin Baby - Will's Review

Those of you who have been paying attention will know that Coffin Baby was the killer in the "Toolbox Murders" remake, and this film was originally "TBK: The Toolbox Murders 2" (TBK standing for 'Tool Box Killer').

At some point the decision to make this a sequel was dropped (originally it was to pick up where part one left off) and it was re-tooled into a stand alone movie.

This kind of awkward production process is rarely a good sign, and indeed it's taken it's toll here.

For one thing, Coffin Baby is never given a proper origin story (if it were still a sequel, that would make a little more sense), but worse; some elements of the original plot still surface... But then go nowhere.

The rune-like symbols that Coffin Baby utilised in the first film still make an appearance in a couple of very in-your face places, but are never mentioned again, and the spate of murders that shook golden era Hollywood is referenced, but never linked to the main narrative.

The story gives us nothing in the way of motive. Coffin Baby kills a woman at the opening if the film, then captures and tortures her sister... But we never know why.

To top it all, some of the acting was really ropey too, and (especially in the first half hour) the script can be laughable; the policeman who goes to tell our protagonist that her sister is dead, basically ends up yelling at her for taking it badly, comparing having to notify next of kin with the horror of losing someone, like some bizarre "my life is shit" pissing contest!

But, for all that... I actually really enjoyed this movie!

The gore and makeup FX are great, and both benefit enormously form being glimpsed, rather than put of full show; the result is that some of the murders (particularly the first one) are wonderfully / horribly believable, and none are nearly as graphic as you will go away thinking they were.

I also really enjoyed (is that the word) the ordeal that the captive sister is put through; those scenes are everything that the god awful Captivity should have been.

Towards the end there are some quasi supernatural elements I could have lived without, but I can forgive them as its pretty clear they were all in the head of our protagonist who was just pushed too far.

Against all my better judgement, and almost in spite of myself, I'm going to go ahead and recommend this one... It's a disposable popcorn movie, but I had fun watching it; and isn't that it's only real job?

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