15 Sep 2012
The Toolbox Murders - Lisa's Review
*** BIG FAT SPOILERS ***
A VERY sleazy one this week. I struggled with how to present my review and whether or not to give the movie a 'recommends' tag. I decided since the aspects of the movie that I didn't enjoy are specific pet peeves of mine and perhaps aren't things that would irritate most viewers, I would go with a thumbs up.
The movie starts very abruptly and launches into several murders in an apartment block. We don't know any of the victims nor the perpetrator. The fact that I found the murders very disturbing and cringed numerous times, points towards the strength of the scenes, as we don't need prior knowledge nor a connection with the victims to feel an empathy. The murders weren't dragged out (which for me can sometimes dilute the effect) and the methods, which included the sharp end of a claw hammer, a drill (with a very large drill bit), a nailgun and a knife were toe-curling (in a good way) and had me wincing and cringing. The blood was realistic and the killer himself had an eerie madness about him. The completely contrasting music the victims were listening to in their homes before their attacks, which end up accompanying their demise definately adds to the disturbing nature of the scenes.
One complaint I do have though (and the one thing that ruined these scenes for me) was the necessity to have 2 of the victims presented in a sexual manner when it wasn't required and is so obviously done for titillation. We see a young woman in a bath (with a full face of makeup... bad for the skin that) masturbating. The killer gains his entry unheard by the woman due to her loud music and he kindly waits for her to finish before dispatching her by way of a nail-gun.... the obvious pun would be something along the line of 'nailing her' but I'm not that crass. Anyways.... I have nothing against nudity in movies, male or female, but put it in there when its required and is relevant, don't just make a murder victim nude because you can. These scenes are meant to be disturbing, shocking and chilling, not titillating. I did ask my husband his viewpoint on this, as a matter of interest and wanting a males perspective and his view is simply, they did this at the time because they wanted to push the boundaries as much as they could, by making the movie as controversial as they could (ie as much nudity, gore and distasteful scenes as possible). The intention was never to titillate. Hmmm I can see that angle, but I still reckon its distracting from the scene and for most viewers. I mean how many naked men do we see murdered in movies? Like I said before, its a personal pet peeve and not one which would apply to everyone, hence me giving the movie the 'Recommended' tag.
Anyways, after the first half hour, the movie takes a dramatic change of pace as we see the killer kidnap a 15 year old girl (Laurie). Its a strange change of pace, but not a bad one and the remainder of the movie is more pyschological rather than a physical horror. The acting is impressive, which is a big change for The Nasties List and you genuinely feel empathy with the characters. The film is now pretty much split into 3. A Whodunnit with a waste of time police investigation... there really was no point in even bothering with this side of things if they weren't going to do it properly. I've seen more convincing crime solving in an episode of Scooby Doo. Speaking of Scooby Doo, the second part of our 3 part movie split follows our kidnapped girls brother and his friend (who just so happens to be our killers nephew) trying to solve the case themselves. Lastly we follow the killer and kidnapper and his odd relationship with Laurie who spends the duration tied to a bed. This was a bit uncomfortable, as although there are no sexual scenes between the killer and her, the general creepiness almost implies something is amiss. Sadly the inevitable rape of 15 year old Laurie is factored in nearing the end of the movie, but not by our killer/kidnapper, but by his nephew. Thankfully we are spared any gratuitous and unnecessary shots with almost everything happening off camera. I liked the ending. Simple and effective. I won't give that away. I've given away pretty much everything else.
The movie had flaws. There are inconsistencies, there are lots of unbelievable bits, there are frustrating bits (like a victim who hides in a small room from the killer who is wielding a drill and chasing her... she leans AGAINST the door separating the 2 of them! ARRRGGGGHH). I will say however overall its one of the better nasties and one I could recommend to any lovers of horror who aren't too easilly offended.
Can we maintain positives movies for a few weeks??? Watch this space!
Please use the comments bellow only to comment on this post - to write your own review, please comment on the main post for this movie.