- You should see it as soon as conveniently possible. It’s the best film I’ve seen in years.
- Don’t read reviews. I’ve read a bunch that pointlessly pre-empt some fun stuff.
- If you haven’t seen the trailer, don’t.
- If you have seen the trailer, don’t worry. The apparent twist it shows is also made clear right from the start of the film, it’s not much of a spoiler.
- Bradley Whitford (Josh from the West Wing) doing Whedonesque dialogue is something that should have happened sooner.
- I still really like Fran Kranz (Toph from Dollhouse).
- Seriously, it’s almost perfect.
Things You Should Only Click To Reveal If You’ve Already Seen It
- I really enjoyed unravelling the rules of this fiction. That it’s a setup is obvious right away, but how much of it is real is trickier – the fact that the monsters are entirely real was a surprise.
- Relatedly, I love that you can answer the central question (“Why are the organisers doing this?”) really early on from casual chatter, if you infer enough. I also like that it’s thoroughly and explicitly revealed by the end, and that the ending itself makes the stakes completely unambiguous.
- It’s a really strange moment when the first victim is killed. It’s a schlocky, silly death, the kind we’d chuckle through in an actual horror film, but the fact that we were laughing along with the organiser’s grisly detachment from it all beforehand makes us feel complicit when we realise the consequences are real. A death that would be funny in a serious film becomes serious in a funny film.
- The kids in Kyoto. So good.
- The design of lots of the throwaway or glimpsed monsters was awesome. Loved the ballerina, obviously. The whiteboard is here. I love Angry Molesting Tree.
- I know it’s a dumb film to say ‘I predicted that!’ about, but you do get the feeling the guy with the telescopic bong baseball bat couldn’t be dispensed with so soon. Rightly so.
- I love how the best jokes are just straight horror lines, barely lampshaded. “Let’s split up” is funny, but “We’ll cover more ground” is hilarious.
- Bradley Whitford’s merman thing was just a joy.
- I’m really glad it was so ruthless with all its characters. At one point it looks like it’s mocking the ‘virgin and scholar’ romance only to set up a ‘virgin and fool’ one. Then it starts to look like all the pawns will die but maybe Amy Acker and her bodyguard crush will be the real survivor couple. But no. Ancient Gods. Everyone dies. Agonising pain. Perfect.
- I said ‘almost perfect’ above – the only thing it’s missing, for me, is a line after the second consecutive wave of unstoppable monsters arrives in the multiple elevators, from anyone on staff:
“Why do we even have a button for this!?”