Sunday, November 6, 2011

Project Terrible: 7 Angels in Eden (2007)

Two bad movies down, two to go. Wolf Ninja at Gaming Creatively had well enough reason to punish me after the last Project Terrible round, where I made him watch the apparently horrendous and un-watchable film Kill the Scream Queen. I sorry, Wolf Ninja. For the most part, you (along with Mondo) got your revenge on me with 7 Angels in Eden.

This is usually the paragraph where I give a brief synopsis of the film but that is a little difficult with this one. All I gotta say is that the pretentious synopsis given on most websites, which was probably written by the pretentious creator, has absolutely nothing to do with what happens in 7 Angels in Eden. It talks about how the two main characters, Will and Mia, are maybe the last people left on Earth and they have to fight these supposed "seven angels" to get to "the light" and escape "the darkness" in this barren landscape that looks like Texas, and maybe become the new Adam and Eve to repopulate the earth.

No. Just... no. That is absolutely ridiculous and I did not get any of that while watching this drivel. You want to know what the movie is about? These two guys have gotten into a car accident - there are several hideously blue-tinted flashbacks of a couple people severely injured in a hospital - and are stuck in a sort of limbo or purgatory or whatever together as they are heading toward "the light," or death.

Or something stupid like that, I don't know.

The point is that for a good 40 or 45 minute chunk out of this movie, the viewer has no idea what the fuck is going on. Will and Mia are driving around, stopping in random places, talking about stupid stuff, and acting like they are high as kites and don't know what the hell they are doing. This whole thing is so freaking confusing and frustrating that I was ready to quit on this movie after the first third (I'm surprised I even got that far with how pissed off I was) but I trucked through. The first part is also filmed in this horrible orange filter, not as bad as the blue filter though, which is supposed to give it this dream- or nightmare-like quality, but the use of it is inconsistent. It's there for all of the first part, then the coloring changes sporadically after that from the orange to normal coloring and it's just silly. Doesn't make any sense.

There aren't really any effects in the movie, aside from the rampant abuse of color correction, but the beginning and the end have something so atrocious that I have to mention it. There's some introductory and expository text in both these parts with a voiceover by someone who has obviously never done a voiceover in his life, and you can't read a word of the text (which is some more drivel that has nothing to do with the movie) because they have again used some digital effect similar to what I have on my own Mac. It just looks so amateurish and ridiculous. Plus, the voice sounds all scary and Satan-like, talking about the evil "angels" and it sets up the audience for some horror movie, when the movie itself has a completely different mood and tone. 

So here's the but. I can kind of see how this could have been a really good movie. I can see the potential in the direction and the ingenuity of shots; I just think the filmmaker was limited in his resources. After all, digital will never look as beautiful as film, you can't argue that. And the story itself isn't that bad really. If everything could just be cleaned up and make a little more sense, this could be a pretty compelling piece. As it is, though, it reads as nothing but a dream-like experimental film that reminds of some of the stuff my classmates and I produced in college.

There is symbolism and meaning and aforethought to 7 Angels in Eden, I really see that. But I can't overlook the messy plot points, the cheap effects, or the weird and annoying acting, especially by the director himself, Marshall Mills who plays Will, and the people who play the "angels." These seven weird people they meet randomly off the side of the road still don't make that much sense to me. It took me a while, but I finally realized that these guys were representing the 7 deadly sins and they kept talking about how they didn't want Will and Mia to go away, so were they sent to them, as they were dying, to tempt them to go to hell? I don't know. And I think I need to stop analyzing this movie right now.

Seven Angels in Eden is still a fairly terrible movie that has this air about it like it thinks it is so important. And indeed, it might have been, but there are just too many things wrong here and nothing that warrants subsequent viewings. 

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