Friday, August 22, 2014

Jug Face (2013)

After the last two movies which I basically raved about, I thought I should throw you a stinker from Netflix: Jug Face.
This movie clocks in at only an hour and twelve minutes and it still took me three sittings to get through. I would like to tell you that breaking it into chunks took away some of the tension but I feel pretty confident in saying that there’s truly no tension to speak of. It generally follows the horror movie trope of “throw a bunch of weird shit at the viewer and slowly reveal what it means”, which is fine! Except that none of the weird shit is particularly good shit.

Let me start with the Netflix short description: “A pregnant teen tries to flee her backwoods community when she learns she's to be sacrificed to a monstrous beast that lives in a pit near her town.” Okay, that actually sounds promising! A beast in a pit! Sacrificing children! These are things I can get right behind. I am wholeheartedly willing to suspend my disbelief at the fact that this rural insular community is worshipping a hole in the ground—and not even a massive gaping fissure in the earth, just a lil hole, about four feet across and six feet deep with some brown water in the bottom.


Okay, fine, disbelief suspended. So this community worships the pit, and sometimes the pit demands sacrifices. If the pit does not receive the sacrifice of the person it selects, it will then kill at will until it gets the specific person it has requested. How do the townspeople determine who to sacrifice? Well you see, the pit speaks to a mentally handicapped man whose name I believed to be Dwayne but according to the internet, it was actually Dawai. Everyone had terrible southern accents in this movie—or more accurately, they had them about 80% of the time except when they forgot and dropped them—so you can forgive my error. The pit tells Dawai who to sacrifice and then he (in a daze? I guess?) makes clay jugs with the sacrificial lamb’s face upon them. Hence Jug Face. I will admit it was difficult for me to keep a straight face when our protagonist, pregnant teen Ada, tells her grandfather, “I think I’m the next Jug Face!”

This seems to have been a problem for the props department on this film, because the jug does kind of look like Ada, but it also looks a lot like everyone else in the movie. In one scene, as part of an effort to protect Ada from being sacrificed, Dawai makes a jug of another member of the community: an overweight guy in his early-to-mid-twenties. That one looks like Ada too. When he reveals it to the community, they all gasped because it told them who would be sacrificed but I was like, “wait, who is that supposed to be?”

Whatever. I have written about 500 words on this movie so far and have yet to mention that Ada is pregnant courtesy of her brother Jessaby (JESSABY!) and that Netflix lied, there is no monstrous beast in the pit. When people are killed by the pit, we never actually see it—the camera just kind of twirls around and you hear shouting and then see their innards scattered about.

Oh! There’s also a boy that Ada calls “the shunned boy” and he seems to appear only to her, and might be dead? I think he’s dead. He may also be an agent of the pit, but I can’t be sure. He appears only to deliver scintillating dialogue like this.
                Ada: What if I don’t want to die, though?
                Boy: You must.

I wrote that in my notes with the word “lol” immediately underneath. In fact, rather than trying to piece together anything in this movie, I’m just going to transcribe portions of my notes below.

  •           I feel like it’s a bad sign when every person who worked on the movie is credited in the opening sequence.
  •           Why would you bone standing up in the woods? There’s…grass everywhere.
  •           This guy (Dawai) looks like he should be an extra in a movie about the founding of Apple, Inc.
  •           Apparently even weird religious zealot backwoodsers drink moonshine. They’re…just like us?
  •           Should I rewind this to figure out if this girl is boning her brother?
  •           Oh, yup, boning her brother.
  •           I actually hate everyone in this movie and don’t care if they die.

In the Netflix good or garbage category, this one is solidly

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