Monday, November 19, 2012

From The Idea Hole: They!

Watching the lackluster post-apocalyptic non-thriller "The Day," my biggest complaint about the film was that the threat these people were running from doesn't even show up until a half hour in, and when it does, there's absolutely no explanation for who or what these monstrous humans are. In short, its a post-apocalyptic movie without a clearly defined apocalypse, where just "something" happened and now "some people" are after our heroes. It's uninspiring execution inadvertantly inspired me to come up with what I think is a fairly solid parody of this genre, a movie I'm calling, simply: They!

The basic idea is the same set up as "The Day" with a small group of survivors on the run from something implied to be menacing, but instead of half heartedly revealing the threat against them and failing to provide enough detail, we embrace the ambiguity in a way the producers of "The Day" didn't have the balls to do, by never even revealing the threat in the first place. At all. The characters all talk about how scared they are of getting found and how hopeless their situation is, but we never see the other side of it. The invasion still happens, we still see them making their last stand and fending off some murderous something, but even then, we never see it. They see it coming for them, but we never do.

I'm thinking this would work well as a found footage movie the more I think about it. The shaky cam inherent to that genre is perfect for maintaining a sense of something there that we don't quite see. The trick would be in the dialogue. They would all have to talk about the situation in such a way that they all understand the situation they are in, but never reference it directly for the audience's benefit. I would milk the character development for all its worth, introducing flashbacks for each character that detail what their lives were like just before the mysterious event, each one ending with an incredibly, purposely vague shocking moment that sets them on their path.

I imagine a lot of the movie would just be reaction shots of the characters looking at really horrifying shit just off screen or off in the distance, when they're not running for their lives from...something. I see a fight scene in my head where the main guy grapples with an unseen something, and we only see his half of the fight as he swings wildly at his opponent just out of frame. Then maybe a final futile promise of a reveal when he pulls a mask off the thing (again, from off screen), and looks shocked and wide eyed, suddenly recognizing that this thing is in fact...and then we cut to black. Because fuck you audience, you don't need to know any of that shit.

It's called They, and its about them as they do whatever it is that they do. Oscar please.
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