Brigsby Bear

Brigsby Bear is one of those movies that came out earlier in the year at a weird time, then everyone forgot about it. An indie film, not a blockbuster, and a weird one at that, it was easy for people to ignore.

I know I wanted to see it, but hurricanes, day screenings and more made me have to wait for closer to the DVD release unfortunately.

I mean. Movie about dudes in bear costumes, or something like that. What is not to love!

Based entirely on screenshots, it could be one of the trippiest films of the year too.

James (Kyle Mooney) thought he was a normal kid adult dude, living with his parents (Mark Hamill, Jane Adams), in their underground bunker. James couldn’t leave without the gas mask, so he just lived in his room for the most part. The good news is that even though the end of the world was bleak and lonely, he still was able to get his weekly episode of Brigsby Bear, going on many many years. James learned a lot from Brigsby Bear, its lessons always seemed to really be appropriate to his life, and he chatted on the internet about various Bear theories.

But then the cops came. They arrested his parents and took him away, and they didn’t even need gas masks. It turns out they were not his real parents, he was abducted at a very young age by the couple and lied to for decades. His real parents (Matt Walsh, Michaela Watkins) had been worried forever, but are glad to have their son back. Turns out that he now has a younger sister (Ryan Simpkins) and a lot to learn about the real world.

The biggest shocker is that no one knows about Brigsby Bear, his one obsession since he can remember anything. It was a show developed by his “parents” as a distraction and no one else knows what the hell he is talking about. Shit. Well, maybe if he can get some of the tapes from evidence, he can show the world. Or maybe he can just continue the story on his own, so that everyone can find out about the wonders of Brigsby Bear and why he is the best hero known to mankind. And bear kind.

Also featuring Greg Kinnear, Jorge Lendeborg Jr., and Alexa Demie.

And this field was juuuuust right.

I didn’t know what to expect with Brigsby Bear, but I certainly didn’t expect that. Our lead was introduced and freed from the bunker all within the first 15 or so minutes. Most of the film is him adapting poorly to the real world, while those who want to care about him find it quite difficult to interact with him.

And of course, the bear. I frankly wanted to have a lot more of the bear videos in the movie. If it was just doubled, I would have been ecstatic. We want to see the mythos he grew up with and not just vague explanations about the characters. Show us, don’t tell us.

That would be basically my only complaint. We have a lot of real feeling characters, and a bear, that is going to change so many of their lives. It is one of the strangest ways to look at a child kidnapping story, but it is great that the filmmakers are keeping things fresh. I love a bit of a bizarre film to keep me realizing what bad films are also coming out.

Brigsby Bear will end up being a bit of a bore for a lot of people watching it. The good news is that those people are wrong, and probably wish I was reviewing Transformers: The Last Knight now instead.

3 out of 4.


Ah, horror remakes. We need at least one a year right? We’ve had Carrie, Evil Dead, Fright Night, and many more. It is easy and hip and cool to do. Hell, I know it sounds like I wrote that like a sarcastic asshat, but for those three films in particular I ended up liking them or thinking they were okay enough as a remake. I didn’t hate any of them.

Then Poltergeist flashed its way onto our screens like a lightning bolt. “Not so fast, mother fucker!” it clamored through the speaker box.

I may be jumping the gun with the review, but Poltergeist decided that instead of making a nice modern update with its remake, it would instead just…take more of the same elements from the original, cut out a lot of the horror bits, and instead turn it into more of a Sci-Fi Thriller. Yeah. Fuck the original, right?

And always fuck clowns, obviously. As long as its consensual and not Vulgar.

Big day for the Bowen family! They just got a new house. And hey, it is really low because of the stagnant market. Definitely not because no one would buy it. And it doesn’t have many neighbors. Who cares. They can afford it, which is the most important thing in this economy. They don’t have much of an income right now. The dad, Eric (Sam Rockwell), insists that his wife, Amy (Rosemarie DeWitt) not have to go back to work, because they can totally get through this without that. So yeah, Eric is kind of a dick.

Either way, they have their three kids, Kendra (Saxon Sharbino), Griffin (Kyle Catlett), and Madison (Kennedi Clements), in order of oldest to youngest. Kendra is DGAF oldest sister, so you can ignore her. Madison is the one who starts saying things and talking to entities in her room alone. Griffin is the only one who believes that something weird is happening.

Either way, outside of funky static TV stuff, other electronics are also acting wonky. It turns out that this house used to be built on an Indian Burial site. That was decades ago (Oh man, is this technically a sequel!?). But weird stuff happened and people got angry, so they had to pay a settlment, I think, and agreed to move the graveyard to a different location. Well, then why the fuck are spirits still angry? Why are they somehow bring the barrier between worlds and stealing their youngest daughter?

Also featuring Jane Adams— and Jared Harris.

Maybe this is a metaphor for letting the TV be your nanny?

Poltergeist has about three scary moments in it. Maybe. Calling it a horror film almost feels ludicrious. It has a lot of other things though!

It has a lot of zero character growth. Rockwell’s character is completely cardboard. A completely unrealistic person given anything that happens in the movie, and even more sadly, he doesn’t even dance. The mom and older daughter role are almost completely unimportant.

It is all about little boy and little girl. And occasionally some adult comes around and does something, but when the girl gets sucked away (for a majority of the film I guess), it is mostly up to Catlett to keep us entertained. He does an okay job, in terms of kid stuff. But he cannot save this boring mess of a film.

That’s right. The biggest shame of this remake is not that it isn’t scary, it is the boringness of it all. It honestly feels like they went so light and fluffy with the whole thing that they wanted it to actually be a PG horror film. It was hard to get through because of how uninteresting it became after only 15 or so minutes.

1 out of 4.