Not a lot for us to start the new year so I’ll start with the best (that I received). That is The Cry, a miniseries starring Doctor Who favorite Jenna Coleman. It’s a four episode series that spans the UK and Australia and finds Coleman as a teacher whose 4 month old baby goes missing from her car when her and her husband run into a store. Now that sounds pretty straight forward, but it’s far from that. The timeline jumps around a bit showing how her and her husband met, his ex-wife and older daughter are also around and spans a few years. It’s also hard to discuss without spoiling because so much happens between the missing child and Coleman’s character being on trial. I won’t even say why she’s on trial. You should be able to guess that there is more to the missing baby than meets the eye as you are watching, but it goes in one direction and then another and then a bit more. I liked Coleman on Doctor Who but haven’t seen too much of her outside of that series and she’s very good here. I like that it’s only 4 episodes because any longer and the storylines might have been drawn out further than necessary. It also made for a quick binge over two nights. The best of what I watched for this week.
Sticking with dramas, next is Imprisoned starring Laurence Fishburne. He plays a former prison warden in Puerto Rico and tells the story through a giant flashback to when the prison was open. One prisoner gets out but Fishburne has a history with him and tries to set him up for a crime to get him back in jail. The ex-convict just wants to fish and be with his wife, but does end up back in jail. The man in prison I know from the short lived series Six and the rest of the cast has names like Jon Huetas (Castle), Edward James Olmos, Esai Morales and more. It’s a weird movie in a way because it’s interesting and well made, but Fishburne’s character is way over the top. He pushes the prisoner’s wife way too far and I understand you are supposed to root against him, but he’s 100% a jerk. Sure he wants revenge for what happened to him, but he seemed to have way more power than any normal prison warden. The cast is good and the story itself is interesting, but I wish Fishburne’s character was a bit more toned down.
Third we have Dark Encounter and wow can’t say I saw this film coming. No lie, after watching the movie I called a friend,asked him how many different movies I was talking about and then went over the plot points/storylines of this movie. He said minimum of two, but more likely three. That’s the issue with the movie, it doesn’t go where you think it’s going (which is usually a good thing), but I have no idea if it makes sense by the end. It starts out with a young girl going missing. A year later on the anniversary of her disappearance, her family has a little get together. Her parents, brother, some uncles and what not are at the house when they see some weird lights and noises. The men go into the woods to investigate. One goes missing, another seems in shock. So you’re thinking ok, girl was abducted by aliens and they are back. Then it takes a hard left and I can’t really explain or it would spoil the movie. This turn changes everything about the plot and I have no idea if I understood the point of the science fiction element of the movie. I was quite baffled at why aliens came into play if the explanation of the abduction was what it was. It gets points for not going where I thought it would, but again, not really sure if I understood it in the slightest.
Last we have the documentary Wrinkles the Clown. I’ll be 100% honest, I had never heard of Wrinkles the Clown or his story which went viral a few years back. Overall I liked the documentary but there was one part I didn’t like and I’ll explain in a bit. If you aren’t familiar with Wrinkles the Clown, he’s a clown in Florida that went viral because parents hired him to scare their kids straight. One video showed him under a girl’s bed, then there were sightings of him and stickers with his face and number went everywhere. Somehow I missed it even though it blew up so much that Fallon, Corden and the like even talked about it. A story claimed Wrinkles was a 65 year old who moved south from New England, but the documentary (by film’s end) shows the truth. I won’t spoil it if you don’t know the whole story (I didn’t). The documentary is sort of like The Slender Man narrative of what is real and what is folklore and really shows how the internet can push a story whether true or fiction. The part I didn’t like was it showed kids reacting to the Wrinkles story and making videos and what not. I like the idea of kids getting into folklore (they mention Bloody Mary and other urban legends), but I loathe the idea of videoing everything. This younger generation and their reaction videos make me insane. Hey look at me acting scared. No thanks. At the end a couple of them have an actual story that somewhat fits the movie, but overall most of the kids/online stuff really didn’t serve a purpose or push the Wrinkles narrative further. I didn’t see the need for that angle. But for a story I didn’t know about it, it was a pretty interesting watch and I like the truth behind it all and how it exploded.