I will openly admit that the first half an hour or so of this film had me really confused as to why the guys over at Battleship Pretension would even have the nerve to suggest this film, let alone fall out of their seats demanding that people go out of their way to watch it, of course I came around to their statement, especially for the back half of this movie which proves to satirically slap everything viewers have come to signify as low budget indie filmmaking. Of course, Dallas Richard Hallam and Patrick Horvath's purposefully slow-paced horror film is by no means perfect and fails to properly deliver its premise in a timely manner, making a considerable amount of the film seems like superfluous, begging the question as to whether or not the last thirty minutes would not serve themselves better as a short film. I am quite baffled by the clear disdain that has arisen towards this film, primarily from two parties, the indie film elites who find the horrific closing portions of the film unnecessarily gory, while on the other end horror fanatics who are incredibly dismissive of the lack of plot and terrible acting. I wish to criticize both parties in their indictment, in so much as those who think the film is a travesty to indie film need to remember that most major success in the style often rely on a major absurdist event to bind the plot, where as horror films (at least the die hard ones) should never complain about inadequate acting and misguided plots, because they are a staple of the genre. I will admit that the twist becomes rather predictable early on into viewing, yet no amount of assumption could prepare me for the very real intensity which happens when the film's bottom falls out and all hope of normalcy and reason disappear. While Entrance has nothing on the absolute brilliance of Cabin in the Woods as a satire, it certainly manages to offer a new way to consider a filmmaking style as well as a genre, ultimately, making for a welcome and brief viewing experience far from the terrible film so many people seem insistent on reviewing.
In traditional indie film fashion Entrance begins by incessantly focusing on the most monotonous and irrelevant actions of a woman named Suziey (Suziey Block), a name I will admit is a bit excessive. She seems content to drink heavily and work a few hours at her barista job, barely making enough to afford rent. Her only point of happiness seems to exist with her close connection to her dog named Daryll, yet again not the greatest name choice ever. Yet during a shower one night and overarching feeling of dread seems to consume Suziey and she hobs out of the shower to search her house, a quest that yields no results, but does little to avert her paranoia. Seeking some sort of explanation for her disdain she resorts to a variety of actions, but when her dog goes missing she loses all sense of rationality and engages in some rather destructive behavior, some of which involves drunkenly sleeping with a man who attempts to leave unnoticed the next morning. During one night of sleeping in a bed with her friend a light comes upon them off camera suggesting somebody is watching her, an act immediately followed by a photograph being taken. While she cannot verify that any of these paranoid feelings are valid, Suziey, nonetheless, knows that she cannot stay in Los Angeles and plans to leave, but not without having one last party of drunken decadence. During this party the lights go out and assuming it to be a circuit break, Suziey heads down to fix it, only to be attacked by a masked man upon successfully turning them back on. After the unknown individual confesses his love for her he proceeds to kill the attendees of the party one by one, leaving only Suziey to share in his vision of unity. In a disturbingly poetic last scene, the killer forces Suziey to look upon the L.A. nightscape with his arms around her, suggesting that her future, despite her misgivings, will invariably involve staying put.
The metaphor in this film is a beautiful thing, often in the works of indie filmmakers it is blatantly obvious and obnoxious, at least I felt this to be the case with something like The Pleasure of Being Robbed wherein the metaphor of robbing people was to reflect the main characters own inability to engage with society in a productive manner, yet her well-to-do appearance and unusual means to escape the malaise of her life just did not equate to a decent film. Entrance instead uses the idea of being "killed" by your surroundings in a very literal manner to undermine the half-inspired diatribes of indie kids living in cites and situations which they think themselves always above. The film completely displays that the monotony and "tragedy" of these hipster kids lives are actually not worth of being dead over, especially when they indeed die and plead for their well-being to magically return. Of course, the film could have established this notion much earlier instead of making the paranoia be the main narrative focus for nearly an hour of the film, yet I cannot help but enjoy the means by which an intensity is built from the moment the shower scene occurs up until the final moments on the balcony. If I were to produce any single critique about the metaphor it would easily be directed at the somewhat passive means by which the film deals with Suziey's apparent alcoholism, especially since in the death metaphor her own addiction proves the sole factor, aside, of course, from mass murder in keeping her stationary. She could stop her path of destruction and move away when she pleases, but she is far to indifferent and attached to monotony to do so and a very real act of destruction forces her to accept that disconcerting fact. Hell, Entrance really does some clever things with its cinematic output and it should really be reconsidered by the many parties who seem intent on dismissing if for single factors.
Key Scene: The killer reveal is obvious in its timing, yet it is so intense that it still manages to be the best portion of the film, not to mention that it involves some rather impressive single shot takes.
This is a quick watch on Netflix and well worth spending an afternoon with, I am still somewhat on the fence about completely liking the film and would love to hear some more thoughts on its nature and execution.