A horror “anthology” unlike any we have ever seen before. Wild with creativity and carried by two incredibly talented actors, we felt like we stumbled into something really special when Craig dug up Scare Me on the Shudder streaming network. Check it out!
Scare Me (2020)
Episode 234, 2 Guys and a Chainsaw
Craig: Hello and welcome to another episode of Two Guys and a Chainsaw. I’m Craig.
Todd: And I’m Todd.
Craig: I guess I’m your lead host today because I chose this movie.
Todd: You’re the hostess with the most-est, baby.
Craig: Yeah. Okay. So seriously, we’re going to have to stop plugging shutter until they start paying, but I guess I’m going to do it again. You know, I was just, uh, looking around on shutter and, and I’ve really been.
Impressed with their, uh, original content and their exclusive content. And I don’t know which one this falls under. I don’t know if they produce this movie or if they just have the exclusive rights to it, but it’s a movie that popped up just a couple of weeks before Halloween called scare me. Uh, it’s a 2020 film written and directed by a guy named Josh Rubin, who I don’t know from anything else.
Um, and. During the Halloween season, my partner very graciously agrees to watch these kinds of movies with me, even though he’s not a big fan. I put this one in because I thought that it was going to be an anthology film. I knew the basic premise was that a couple of strangers come together. For reasons.
We’ll explain in a second and tell each other scary stories. And I thought, Oh, well, you know, I’ve seen this kind of movie before. It’s kind of like the campfire, you know, kind of deal where people sit around and tell stories and then the stories play out for us in. Film form, um, with actors and whatnot.
And I was surprised to find that, in fact, it’s not an anthology film. In fact, it really is just about a couple of people who sit around and tell each other scary stories for an evening. It’s
Todd: true to its premise.
Craig: Yeah, it is true to its premise. And I was. Surprised and initially disappointed the first 15, 20 minutes or so when the first story started and I realized that we weren’t going to see these stories acted out cinematically.
I thought, Aw, man, uh, this isn’t what I was looking for. But as it got more into the movie and certainly by the end of the movie, I was like, Oh, This is good.
I had never heard of it before. I knew nothing about it. I knew nothing about the people involved. It’s just something that I stumbled on, um, and watched without, you know, planning to it for the podcast. But then, um, you and I recorded last week or a couple of weeks ago or whatever. And when we were done.
We said, what are we going to do next? And I said, let’s do this next. Uh, and you agree. Thank you. Um,
Todd: all I do is try to make you happy, Craig.
Craig: I know. So that’s my history with the movie. I assume that you had never heard of it either, right?
Todd: Oh, yeah. I mean, you know, I don’t subscribe to shutter, so, uh, I don’t see these shutter originals that come up and it’s a brand new movie too.
I mean, this must have been one of the last, uh, COVID movies, pre COVID movies. It, it came out in January 24th, I think at the Sundance film festival. So that had to have been like the last film festival that was in person. This year. Right? So shutter picked it up instantly. And, uh, the actor and actress in this, it’s mainly two people, a third guy pops in for a little while.
Um, but yeah, I also had not heard of Josh Rubin. I was impressed with his performance. Actually. I was impressed with all the performances in the movie, but I went back and looked him up and saw that he has actually done quite a bit of writing some directing of shorts and a bit with like college humor and the, you know, the Stefan.
Online, some online shorts and I guess has done a ton of like commercials directed a lot of commercials. So as an actor, as a writer and a director in this movie, I was pretty impressed. I saw an interview with him online and he was talking about how, you know, this was his first big foray out into feature, film, writing and directing.
And, uh, he knew that if he was going to do it, he just needed to do it himself. Instead of try to spend a lot of time, convincing other people to give them a break on something. So he wrote the script himself in about a month, back in 2018 and then, you know, refined it over a while as he was trying to get investors and then purposely wrote it so that it would cost a lot of money.
And that shows I actually, when I was watching the movie, I was thinking more like this as a play.
Craig: Yeah. Oh, it could be a play. It could be a great play. Yeah.
Todd: Yeah. And I mean, I’ve seen plays like, I mean, there’s, it would be a fantastic play, cause it all takes place in one location in the cabinet. It’s just mainly, like I said, two characters back and forth.
Uh it’s it’s a talkie. Kind of film. He had actually mentioned a, in his interviews, these Hitchcock movies, like the rope, which is just a whole bunch of people in one location talking and kind of one long take and the murder mystery all happens right there in that one place, people chatting with each other, not a lot of.
Action happens in that film. So like we just said it would be a great play because it’s just like that I felt the same way as you honestly, when I first started it up, I was like, this is interesting. It’s going to be, uh, an anthology and I kept waiting for the screen to fade into something else and it never did.
And then with the first story that they tell there’s some little bits in there visually where they do a little bit of, um, What would you call it like visual, poetic license, where they show some shadows on the wall that are clearly in their character’s heads. And they do this less and less as the show as the movie goes on.
But I thought in the very beginning for them to add those little bits and pieces was a bit of a hook. And I thought, I also thought we’d see more of that. And I thought maybe there’d be a point at which sort of like, you know, the real world kind of melds with. What they’re saying, and some of the things they’re saying actually start happening in real life.
And, or maybe we’re going to question whether or not this is an in their heads or, or, or supernatural, but actually, no, there’s none of that either. It really is just two characters telling stories. And how apropos it’s almost like, what would we, we did the beach, right? Uh, was it called the beach house or the beach beach
Todd: Yeah. Where. It seemed like, Oh man, this is a story for our times. Well, this was a more positive note on when two people are stuck in a place and looking for entertainment, say quarantine or whatever. Then this is the kind of thing that we used to do. Right. We didn’t have screens and things around. We would actually just tell each other stories or you’re out in the wilderness and you’re sitting around a campfire talking so many movies.
Use that as a framing device, this is definitely the first movie I saw that just takes it and stays true to that premise. It’s it’s not really a framing device. That is the movie. And I really enjoy that. I love going to plays and there’s something about the structure of a play. Maybe the limitations of a play, a good play needs to have very strong characters with really interesting things to say, and personalities that really jump out at you to keep your interest in this thing.
That’s. All just taking place in front of you in a very small space and doesn’t have the, usually have all of the ability to have special effects and other elements really thrown in. So this movie does that really, really well. Um, I was very impressed. Yeah. I enjoyed it a lot and I’m glad we’re doing it today.
Craig: Well, and to some extent that storytelling. That you mentioned is sadly not entirely. I, I don’t want to be too cynical, but it’s kind of a lost art. Um, just because we’re so inundated with. Media from, from every angle of our lives, with our computers and our phones and our TVs and just everything. We have so much at our disposal, we just don’t do this as much.
And, and you know, the movie, it’s not like it breaks from that, but it uses it. It’s so simple. The electricity goes out and their computers are dead and they have nothing to do. And they both happen to be writers. You know, like they they’re they’re storytellers. That’s, that’s what they do. So when there’s nothing else to occupy them, they tell stories.
You’re right. A good play does have to have compelling characters and a really good play also has to have good actors. What I thought was so interesting about. This movie is at first, first of all, the main guy, Josh rumen, it starts out he’s in an Uber on the way out to this secluded cabin. And the Uber driver is hilarious.
He’s this woman. I don’t even know how to characterize her kind of. Portly tough guy kind of woman. And she’s asking him questions like, Oh, so you’re a writer. And he’s like, yeah, I’m kind of a writer kind of director kind of actor, which is clever because he is, you know, this, this guy is the right one director and actor of this movie and he’s playing our writer, director, actor, a fledgling one too, which he also is.
And the driver won’t shut up and she’s like, Oh yeah, I’m kind of a writer too. Uh she’s like, I’ve got, I’ve got this one story. I, I really think James Cameron would really like it. If he got his hands on it, she keeps saying James Cameron, which I think is so funny. And she’s hilarious.
Todd: I mean, isn’t this the kind of thing that, you know, that writers and directors have to deal with every single day of their lives.
Craig: Oh, I’ve got this
Todd: great idea for a story. And if I could just have the time to hash it out, I’d know, Steven Spielberg would love it, you know? And. At the same time. It’s really interesting. And there’s more of a, as the film goes on about how even here in the beginning in this car, it’s playing a bit on his insecurities.
Todd: The whole like, yeah, he’s, he’s, he’s saying that he’s a writer director, but he wants to be more than he. Feels like he’s there. He doesn’t feel like he’s arrived for sure. Right. And that, that insecurity of his gets set up right in the beginning of this car. And the best way to do it here is to put him against this woman who clearly is not going to ever be a writer.
As far as we can tell.
Craig: Well, it’s also, you know, I don’t know if this is true in real life, but it’s certainly a trope in movies and television. When somebody says they’re a writer, all of a sudden, everybody, else’s a writer too, you know, like, Oh
Craig: I’ve got this great story that he gets to the cabin and he’s just sitting there like, he’s.
You know, trying to write his only idea that he writes down is werewolves, have guns get revenge.
That’s his whole idea, werewolves with guns, revenge.
Todd: And I, I love this bit too with the cabin where it. Again, as, uh, as you know, you and I both have throughout our lives had to sit down and try to write things facing that blank page as the worst. And all he does is run around kind of walk around the cabin, drink beer, check his phone.
Craig: Does he does stupid Jack Nicholson impressions for himself.
Craig: but he also does, like, he’s just sitting at a chair and he starts and the music and the movie gets kind of spooky. And then he starts doing a voice. Like he looks at the door to the basement and he does a voice like me. Yeah. And it’s actually funny because as the movie goes on, we see that this guy actually is really kind of talented at manipulating his voice in his face.
Um, that’s one of the things that I liked about the movie and about him. Because at first I thought he was so lame any plays that really well for the first half hour being really super lame. But then later as he kind of gets into the storytelling and stuff, he’s far more dynamic and he actually isn’t a bad storyteller at all.
Once he gets into it. And he also develops, like, he seems like such a sad sack kind of initially, but throughout the course of the movie, he really kind of develops an edge that you don’t anticipate early on, but that is really effective. Later. I don’t know. I just thought that he did a good job with character progression.
The way he ends up is not the way that I pictured him in the beginning at all. But anyway, he’s staying in some cabins and he goes out for a morning jog where he meets this girl named Fanny. Fanny is played by an actress named AYA cash. And before I had seen this movie. I had started watching a show on Amazon called the boys and it’s about superheroes, but it’s kind of dystopian and that the superheroes are all owned by a corporation.
And so everything’s corrupt and like the superheroes. Put on this front, that there are these great, amazing heroes or whatever, but really it’s all about money, blah, blah, blah, whatever I could go on and on about that show because it’s my new favorite show. And then I saw this movie, okay, this, sorry, this story is getting convoluted.
I saw this movie. And then in this movie, I, a cash plays Fanny. A horror writer and she’s actually an established horror writer. She has had a very, very successful novel out that is, you know, critically acclaimed option for a movie already. So like she’s super established. The point is this girl throughout the whole movie, I had cash.
I fucking loved her in this movie. I thought she was amazing as it turns out. She is in the second season of the boys and she plays one of the superheroes and I’m only three episodes into season two, but she’s amazing in this. I am obsessed. With this actress. I just think she is fantastic. She’s so good.
Now you talk about her.
Todd: What more can I say? I’m going to feel like I got to like keep a bunch of praise on her. No, she was really good. And, uh, and she reminded me a little bit. Well, first of all, she seemed very real. She’s got a little bit of this edge, but it’s more of a humorous. Edge to her. I think you can see them.
Therefore, she probably has a few insecurities of her own. I thought as an actress, she was great. In fact, a lot of the dialogue and coming out of her mouth seemed so quippy and cool and natural that. I had a suspicion that maybe there was a bit of improvisation going on here. And it seems like the kind of movie that would have a lot of improvisation, because that’s what they’re doing in the movie.
It really is improvising these stories for each other. However, Josh Rubin said, no, actually there was not a lot. He said maybe 10, 12% of the movie. Was the improvised, one of his favorite lines, which came out of her mouth and he said most of what was improvised came out of her mouth. However, uh, they just didn’t have the time for that.
He said, uh, we, we, you know, we just basically had to set it up and go and we didn’t have the time and the money to spend a lot of time improvising scenes. So, and I liked her character even though at first I didn’t, I there’s some about her that turned me off a little bit. Like maybe she was a little too, um, What’s the word I’m looking for?
Craig: I don’t know. She’s uh, I do like her, but I could understand, like, if I knew her in real life, I don’t know. She’s, she’s really sharp, very cynical.
Todd: And I like sharp people. I think people should be sharp and clever and cynicism. Isn’t terrible, but maybe she’s got a bit too much of a dose of it. Yeah.
Craig: Yeah. And she’s a little bit condescending, but yeah. I, I, it, it feels less like being condescending than it feels like just being a straight shooter. Like she just, she just says what’s on her mind. Or
Todd: she, she kind of ends up taking like a tough love approach with him. Right. Like, uh, at first I thought she wasn’t really encouraging him in his aspect of telling the story.
Like you said, just a little more condescending, but after a while I felt like, no, I think maybe this is just her approach. She has this aloofness. Um, and
Craig: that’s good,
Todd: right? Yeah. A little bit of an aloofness and then kind of a tough love approach. Like I’m going to tell you straight kind of jerky about it in order to bring out something better in you that maybe she kind of has seen in there all along or.
I was looking for anyway,
Craig: but she’s also just very cool about it. Like it doesn’t come across as malicious or nasty. I don’t know how to describe her. She’s sharp. She’s yeah, she’s very confident. It seems like, and just really sharp with it. And, and I, I believe that she, you know, she’s smart and she is good at what she does.
And though, like you said, she’s not braggy about it. She’s also not super humble about it either. Like, this is what I do and I’m good at it. Like I’m not going to apologize
Todd: for that.
Craig: Well, so they meet and it’s kind of a lukewarm meeting. He knows who she is. Course. She doesn’t know who he is. Cause he’s nobody, it’s kind of a cool meeting.
Like it kind of seems like he’s kind of maybe trying to flirt with her just a little bit friendly flirting and she’s just not into it. Like, okay, whatever bye. Um, and so they, they go their own Merry ways, but then the power goes out and she comes over. Because, you know, there’s nothing to do. And, um, there are jump scares throughout.
Like she scares him at the window. It’s funny. Um, but she comes in and they’re just kind of hanging out and she’s like, I’ve got an idea. Let’s tell each other scary stories. And he’s reluctant. She’s like, no, seriously, you’re a writer. You say you’re a writer. Let’s do it. Let’s tell stories. And she says, you go first and he’s really reluctant.
And she’s like, well, what, you know, what are you working on? And he’s like, well, I’m kind of working on this werewolf story. It’s kind of like, it’s a re it’s a revenge story. And she’s like, okay, well, what’s the story? And he’s like, well, a werewolf kills a boy’s parents, and then he gets revenge and she’s like, Okay.
So what’s the story. And he’s like, well, that is the story. She said, that’s not the story. That’s an idea. What’s the story. And I just love that. And she, she forces it out of him. She makes him tell the story and she keeps prompting him with things like detail details. Come on. What’s the backstory. Um, and he starts telling the story and he starts out very, um, Kim is not the right word, awkward.
Yeah. Like very much questioning himself. And it’s evident that he really doesn’t have much more of an idea besides werewolves with guns. Like, that’s it, like, he thinks that’s good enough. And she even says like, Hmm, werewolves, werewolves are tough. You know, like what are you going to do? We’ve all seen the werewolf story.
Um, With his prompting or excuse me, with her prompting, he tells this story and it is kind of lame and it starts out kind of lame. And it’s all, you know, very typical a werewolf attacks this family and the dad gets attacked first. And then the mom gets a gun out of a shoe box in the closet, which the Fanny’s.
Totally cause like, yeah, obviously, cause there’s always a gun in the shoe box in the closet. Um, but as he gets into it, it gets better. And like you said, the movie does cool things where they play with light and shadow. And so when he says something about. I don’t know, he says something about it being dark and a full moon and the light and the trees.
And so we see like shadows of trees on the wall behind, and then he starts creeping up the stairs and they do cool things with shadows. And then he reaches his hand out and it acts like around the banister, just his hand. And we see a werewolf hand and she’s really getting into it. And she actually said, That is scary.
She’s getting into it and he’s getting into it and it’s fun.
Todd: And we’re getting into it too. I mean, I was, I mean,
Craig: I definitely was too.
Todd: I was even, I knew, you know, that they’re just telling a story, but I was kind of ready for a wearable to jump out of the shadows, you know, that’s how kind of, uh, Uh, intense.
It was. And you could kind of understand that feeling when, when you get up and your imagination, somebody is telling a story really, really well, and you’re really engaged in it. Then you visually in your head start to see things. And I thought that was really, that was really displayed well on the screen and that tension to be able to actually experience some of that from just two people telling a story, I thought was pretty masterful.
And I think like you said, they use the visual, but also they use quite a bit of sound. Uh, the sound design in the movie, just very subtle things in there. Of course, you know, some music here and there that would kind of score up, but also just, you know, in the quiet moments, little sounds of, of, uh, of, uh, of a dog panting or, or something like that, you know, he cocks the God and he’s got, you know, an air gun in his hand, right.
There’s no car, but he pulls his hand back, like he’s cocking the gun. And we hear the cock. Those little touches also really, really helped. I thought it was. It was really cool. You know, when you had said earlier that storytelling is a bit of a lost art, right. That we’re just so inundated with media nowadays, that it seems like most of what we do is just share.
Our thoughts about the stories we’ve all seen.
Craig: Yes. Like,
Todd: Oh, have you seen that movie? Oh yeah. Have you seen star? Oh yeah. I loved that episode. Oh, it wasn’t that great. You know, it’s like, we’re not telling stories to each other anymore. We’re not inventing them anyway. We’re just rehashing them just by reminding each other of the little bits and pieces of the story.
Craig: Exactly. It reminded me so much. His storytelling reminded me of what we do. Like retelling movies. I loved it. He’s like, and so until the world goes slash slash slash, and the mom’s like, so she’s dead. And then it’s
Todd: no wonder we don’t get paid for this. Uh,
but, but in their storytelling, right, they’re doing this. Like, she’ll be like, Oh, just like Jimmy Lee Curtis right in Halloween. Oh yeah. You know, and they don’t do too much of this, especially as it goes on. And it seems like the storytelling is a little more confident and more original in this very beginning.
It’s like he needs those hooks. Right to hook onto things that are familiar and she’s recognizing that she’s pointing it out and it does in some way, feel like they’re co he’s cobbling his story together based on little bits and pieces of things. They’re both already familiar with. Right. So it’s very much like a level, one story that he’s doing and it’s cute.
And it’s just, it’s, it’s natural. It’s normal. Like this is like how we do it. It seems like in many ways. Uh, so
Craig: yeah, I mean, and especially on the spot, you know, they’re just making this up on the spot or at least he is, and, uh, you know, his story ends up the. The kid grows up and turns into like a bounty Hunter or something.
And he, and he finds the werewolf. He knows who it is. And he’s like, and he walks in and he, he raises, he looks right at and he says, are you been. Franklin. I’m really bad at making.
Okay. And he’s like, and then it cuts to slow motion and he raises the gun and he cocks it. O Q Huey Lewis credits. Boom.
I know. So silly. So funny. Oh God, but then it’s her turn. And at first he’s like, okay, your turn. And she’s like, no, I’m good. Like, she’s not going to tell the story, but he finally gets her too. And her story is called grandpa and I have been. Walking around the house doing this story for weeks.
She’s like, okay, so there’s, this is a little girl it’s can color Cassie. I don’t know whatever. And she’s like, but she has this grandpa and he’s super creepy. And the other guy’s like, ah, wait, no, if this is a touchy kid story, I’m not into it. And she’s like, no, I’m not going to go there. Shut up. Um, and that’s the other thing, like he tries to do the same things to her that she did to him, like asking for details since she just always says, don’t interrupt me.
Todd: shuts him down. And he’s like, okay.
Craig: And she’s like, and, and Cassie has this grandpa and he’s like Bulgarian or something. Vaguely Slavic. So he has this Slavic. And she, she tells the whole story and it’s just, it’s a very simple story, but it is very creepy about this creepy grandpa. And he was like, Cassie, come to grab my dog, walking around, doing that voice for
Craig: I’m sure that Alan is. I, I I’m sure he’s terribly amused, calm pool. Grab Bob.
Todd: This, this, this must have been the most rehearsal you’ve put in for a podcast lately really impressed that you brought that to the table. Usually I’m singing songs.
Craig: It’s such a simple story, but she is such an. Active storyteller.
Like, she’s so good. Like I want this girl to sit and tell me stories all day. Like she’s just fantastic. And the story is that like the grandpa’s super creepy and weird or whatever. And so the eventually the, uh, Granddaughter is like, I’m going to get some medicine and poison his food. And the guy’s like, well, that’s kind of dark.
And she’s like, no, it’s kid logic. It’s like, well, maybe he will just get very sick and, and then things will be better. I don’t know. Or maybe he will be dead and that’s okay too. So quick, like I’m sure it’s the character, I’m sure it’s writing, but this girl is just so good at acting it too. Like she’s just so quick and smart and her storytelling is so good.
And at one point, like, When the grandpa’s dying, she’s like, and the drools he’s got soup all over his face. And she, like, I don’t even know where it came from. She gets a big old handful of peanut butter and smears it on her face. So she’s laying on the couch with this peanut butter smeared all over her face, talking like the grandpa.
And then the grandpa dies and comes, like sends his little dog back to haunter. And like you said, little things are going on. Like. She’ll say things like cue the spooky lightening and lightening will happen. And then she’ll say, and the door opened slowly by itself and you see that happen behind them.
And it’s not as though they’re not taking notice of these things. They do. Like, they look at them like they look at the door like. That’s weird. That’s no, these things are really happening as they’re telling the story, but anyway, she finishes her story. It’s hilarious. Um,
Todd: and they order pizza
Craig: and that’s when they get into an art, they don’t really get into an argument.
She does. Take a lot of shots at him about being a privileged white guy. And he kind of takes offense to that. And at some point after she tells her story, she’s like, let’s order a pizza. He gives her his phone and she calls and she orders the pizza. And then while she’s still got the phone, he gets a text and she gets it because she’s got the phone and she’s like, who’s Meredith.
She says, you’re a monster. And he freaks out. Kind of on her, like gets aggressively angry and she’s like, uh, okay dude, I’m going to take a walk. So she does. I mean, she just goes outside for a little bit and she’s got this idea notebook and she’s writing in it and they make up, you know, he goes out and they share like a CBD vape or whatever.
And he’s like, well, she’s my ex. And. She got a restraining order against me. Like,
Todd: she’s like kind of explains
Craig: it a way E but you know, it just kinda seems like bad relationship ending and he’s edgy about it, but not really a big deal in the moment.
Todd: It’s true. But also, I don’t know, for me, it felt like a bigger deal because, uh, in the moment, because I, it brought me back to really where we are and what their situation is.
And maybe just because I knew this is a quote unquote horror comedy, I was waiting for a twist to come or something, but they’re still two strangers. They really don’t know each other. Yeah. And she being the female in the situation, although she does seem like a woman that can very much hold her own still has put herself in a position of vulnerability by coming to this guy’s cabin and agreeing to be there with him.
And she doesn’t know anything about his background, but she’s famous. So like the likelihood that she’s going to have this dark side to her and flip out or something like that is, is pretty, pretty low. And he’s fanboying enough on her. Uh, you know, it’s, it’s just, um, it, it, it reminded me that we don’t know enough about him.
Yet. And so when he tells this story about how, not only did he and his wife had this bad breakup, but he had this mental breakdown and that he had threatened to kill her. She’s a little taken aback by it briefly. He’s like, Oh really? And you can visibly see a change in her face. And like you said, he kind of explains it a way, like, well, you know, like I’m going to kill you.
I’m going to kill you. You know, it’s just the sorts of things we shout at each other when we are fighting. But. Duly noted, you know, by me, I, her, I was like, Oh yeah, that’s interesting. And so it did for me at least a little bit up the interest. Once you learn a little bit more about his background and find out that he’s a little more complicated than that, just this lonely single sad sack.
Trying to be a writer. He’s got a little bit of an edge to him. We start to see a little peak of that here and a that I thought was a powerful moment.
Craig: Yeah. I agree with you. But I don’t know. Maybe like her in the moment, everything else about him has seemed so non-threatening like, he just seems, frankly, he comes across as being pretty weak, you know, like she is a dominant.
Force and he is not. Um, or at least it seems
Todd: that way it’s easy to write off is what you’re saying.
Craig: Yeah. And I even believe him, you know, he says, Oh, you know, it’s when you’re fighting and you’re really upset. You say things like that, like I’m going to kill you. Like, I don’t know. I don’t recall ever having said that, but I have had.
I’ve said horrible, hateful things that I didn’t mean that taken out of context could be threatening. I suppose, the came across, you know, I believed him, you know, I just, I believed him. He went through a bad. Breakup and it was ugly and that happens. I didn’t think, Oh, he’s scary. You know what I mean?
Todd: Neither, but I consciously wanted to believe him because of all the other things you said, I’m like, Oh, okay. I all right. I’m just going to write that off too. Like, she’s writing it off. Um, but. You know, once again, it just really illuminates that that fact that they still don’t really know each other that well, and that they’re putting a lot of trust in each other to be there.
Craig: Well, and the fact that we’re talking about it so much, I’m sure signals to our listeners that it’s significant later and it is, um, but
Todd: it seems like I put more significance on it in the moment than you did.
Craig: Yeah, I think so, but anyway. Okay. So they get back to storytelling and they actually tell a story together.
Um, they make up a story together about this troll because he does, he does a Gollum impersonation, basically. It’s crap
Todd: though. It’s so good.
Craig: Oh, it’s good. He’s really good. And he is actually very good at doing voices and manipulating his face. He can do really interesting, fun things with his face. Like he can cross his eyes funny and he can really kind of grotesquely manipulate his face.
Um, he’s good at it, which is surprising because he seems so lame initially, but when he actually gets into it, he’s good at it.
Todd: You’re right. And, and also this story gave him a chance, I think, just to do more interesting things with the camera. Like, like again, when you’re in this little room, you’ve got to keep the cinematography engaging and interesting as well or else or else it looks like you’re just watching a stage play and it was neat how.
It got us down on his level. We’re kind of looking up at the troll from the ground and he seemed a little more sinister with his facial expressions. They use the light, I think, from the fireplace to very good effect. It’s, it’s the only light source in the room, but boy, when they need to make somebody look spooky, you make sure that there’s some shadows being cast up on his face from that light.
And yeah, it was good. It was really good that this is the story. Like you said, that they’re just. They’re basically improvising together and it’s it’s of course it feels like an improvised story because it’s about a troll that lives in the, behind the walls of an edible arrangements,
Craig: because that’s his only idea. His only idea is. I am. like, okay, well, but there’s gotta be something interesting. Like he has to live somewhere interesting. Like maybe in the Vince of like, I don’t know, like an animal or,
Todd: and they just like an act, just like an improvisation game. They just have to go with it.
Craig: It’s so funny. Like, Oh God, I can’t remember the lines, but they. Like antisemitic. Hello, edible arrangements. We have a troll that lives in the walls. Like, Oh God, it’s so funny.
Todd: By the way in that interview, you know, the interview heard asked him what his inspirations were for the movie. Was there anything in particular he was drawing from?
And he said kind of spiritual inspiration, more than anything. It was, uh, the number one was catseye from Stephen King. Oh. He said that movie really had an impact on him as a kid. It was an anthology. He really liked that aspect of it. And he said, and if you really look at the movie, you’ll see. I’ve got a troll in there.
I’ve got kind of a weird old man. He said a, a little bits and pieces of cats. I did thematically and spiritually made a bit made it into this movie. So I thought that was
Craig: that’s fun. Yeah, it, it is. And they come up with, um, kill your boss and then kiss me and you will live for 300 years. It just the most contrived ridiculous things.
Yeah. And then she’s describing. Cause, cause she plays the sweet little innocent girl who has to kill her boss and she’s like, and she goes and finds the boss and. He’s like, what are you doing here? And it’s like, Oh, I don’t know. I was just looking for you. And he starts to like move on to her. And, and she, she’s just doing all of this.
She’s just telling a story, but it’s so good in her voice, in her facial expressions. And she’s like, and he makes his move on her and he smells like it. Dirty diaper and the guy’s like, Ooh. And she’s like, uh, yes. Why would she say, uh, yeah, no shit. Ooh. We’re trying to empathize with her.
Todd: It’s like she’s giving a masterclass in storytelling for this guy.
Craig: Yeah, and they do great things with the camera because at the end of the story, she kills her boss, but then somebody else witnesses it. So they have to kill her too. And so there, and then he, as the troll kind of down, hunched down is chasing her around and she’s screaming and running like she’s in parallel and it’s hilarious.
And they’re just running across frame. Like, I love that. Like you just see him chasing her across the frame and then chasing back and then back again. And then the last time you see he’s dragging her by the feet and she’s like pounding on the ground and then they just end up on the ground together, laughing hysterically and.
They almost kiss. And I thought that they were going to, but like, it’s part of the story, but it’s that like cute thing where like, well now in the story, it’s time for them to kiss. Oh yeah, I guess it is. And they kind of start to lean in to kiss a little bit, but we see somebody very scarily opened the door and sneak up behind them.
And then the person says something and they both scream and jump up. And it’s the pizza guy. Um, who’s, who’s played by, uh, Chris Redd, who is an SNL alum. Um, and he’s very funny and he gives them the pizza and they pay him or whatever. And then he says something like, I guess it’s a good thing. I’m not a serial killer.
And he kind of does his own little 30 seconds. Improv story. And I guess that prompts her. To invite him to stay, which he does. He stays like for a couple hours too long and hanging out with them and telling stories. When he finally leaves, when he finally leaves, he’s like, Oh shit, I got to go. I’ve got a Hawaiian that was supposed to be somewhere two hours.
I didn’t anticipate this part. I didn’t anticipate a third person coming in. When he arrived, when he arrived, I was a little disappointed. Because I was so digging their dynamic that I felt like introducing a third person would kind of mess with that. But as it turns out, this guy is actually really funny too.
And it turns out he doesn’t know who she is until Fred tells him, but then he, as it turns out, he does know who she is and he’s a huge fan. And so he’s star struck. And so he hangs out and get drunk and then she’s like, so anybody want to do some Coke? And. Fred has never done Coke before, which they are both blown away by.
They can’t believe it. They’re like, Oh my God, you have to do it. You have to do it. And he’s like, no, I’ve never done it. And I’m sure you wouldn’t like me on Coke. Which again, just a little bit of like foreboding, like Hm.
Craig: Right, exactly. But he does it anyway. And so then there are, they’re all coked out of their minds.
And he, Fred has been trying to get Fannie to tell the story of her novel the whole night and she wouldn’t do it. But finally, with Carlos help, they talk her into doing it. And she and Carlo act out the events of her book, which is like a vampire book, I think. But I also thought this was clever because like him, I had been wanting to know.
What her amazing book was all about. And then when they finally give it to us, they really don’t give it to us at all, because he’s just, he is so coked out watching them that he’s really just, yeah. That he’s just kind of sweating. And, and so we only get very small snippets of it and it’s incoherent. I have no idea what the book.
Is really about, I mean, when they’re done, she says that it’s really like a feminist manifesto about men having mommy complexes or something like that. Um, but I wasn’t, I wasn’t mad at them for doing the, doing it the way they did. I thought that it was actually kind of clever to still conceal from us what this amazing book was all about.
Todd: Apparently they actually filmed the 12 minute scene where you got to see the entire book. Um, and later in the editing room, he decided to cut that down and again, to great effect. I completely agree with you. We really didn’t need, we, I mean, this keeps us from having to pass judgment on her, right. And her novel and her success and all that stuff.
I’m sure it was really, really funny and interesting the way that they shot it. But like you said, it’s so much better for us to just not know for sure. What all that was. Cause you know, the, the, the theme of the movie, you know, and, and what we’re getting is these stories that they’re making up and telling each other, and this would be.
More rehashing of something that’s already out there. So I think it was a better choice for them to cut that out. Like you said, and the device that they were all kind of coked out on it. So it was a little incoherent any way. Makes perfect sense.
Craig: It’s still fun to watch was creative. It’s mad cap. The way that it’s shot, which I assume is meant to.
Mimic the way that they were experience it, experiencing it on Coke. I’ve never done Coke. I have no interest in it. So I don’t know what that’s like, but visually. I felt like I kinda, I get it, you know, everything was frantic and crazy, whatever.
Todd: I think his reaction to it, he’s just like, I don’t get it. And he’s more or less nonplussed.
And she’s very apologetic. Like for once she’s kind of put on the defensive, being the one being judged here and she’s like, well, you know, I mean, it’s kinda hard to act out a whole novel here, right in front of you, you know, we’re kind of, we have limitations and things like that. And he’s like, no, I just don’t understand esteem this, whatever.
And there there’s a little bit of tension there, all of a sudden again, but it’s, you know, it’s flipped around. And I think that it’s like he wants to cut her down a little bit because he feels like she’s been flaunting her success a little bit. All night long. Yeah. Yeah.
Craig: Jealous of her. He is jealous of her.
Todd: And here’s this guy who came in from the outside. He’s also a big fan. Fawning over her. And then when he leaves, you know, he’s like, Oh, to her, like, can you sign my pizza box and sign it, sign it to Fred, who we sat up and we told stories and we retold Venus and we did Coke together. And you’re in my bed in my best fan.
She’s like, Oh yeah, that’s
Craig: exactly what I wrote.
Todd: And then he’s like, all right, see ya. Bye Fred, he wanders off. So yeah, Fred’s, Fred’s pretty pissed getting pissed by this point.
Craig: And he’s talked about it. I feel like at least a little bit, you know how he said, you get to live your dream and I, you know, I’m just a nobody, blah, blah, blah.
And she keeps. Saying to him. And it happens just very briefly, a couple of times throughout, and then it culminates at the end. But, you know, she, she just kind of says to him, you know what, here’s an idea. How about you do something, you know, like quit bitching about it and do something. Um, but he doesn’t, he doesn’t take that well, and I, I.
Get it. That’s kind of something that’s hard to hear from somebody, especially somebody who’s younger than you who’s had a lot of success already. Um, but she’s right. You know, like he’s just feeling sorry for himself, but he’s not doing anything proactive. I mean, I guess he is, he came to this cabin to write, but all he’s got is werewolf’s with guns.
I don’t know. Before Carlo leaves, they do a musical story, which is hilarious. Um, they’re like, Uh, Fred says let’s do something with music and then they’re just like quick brainstorming. Yeah. A singer possessed by the devil. It’s like a star is born, but Satan and it’ll be like American idol, except not because we won’t want to have to pay the licensing fees.
So instead it will be the big talent show LA
and then Fred plays the part of the devil and he’s all lit and red. And. She’s this she’s this mild-mannered girl who’s accepted this deal with the devil to win American idol. I’d like, she’s up there getting ready to perform her song. And she’s like, don’t fuck this up for me, the devil.
And then she sings a song. So funny, like, it sounds like this sweet ballad, but really the words are all like Satan. I’m like,
Oh God, gosh. Oh man. It’s really, really funny. But then Carlo leaves.
Todd: What a great bit of variety to, to throw in here, again, to, to throw some music in now. And we, I mean, each one of these stories has kind of a different quirk, a different tone. And again, it just makes this aspect of three people telling stories and here really interesting and engaging to watch visually.
Craig: And then, um, And it, it is, it is so interesting visually because they do things with spotlights and stage lights, and it really looks like, you know, one of those kinds of talent shows as much as it can in a cabin, but they do cool stuff with the lighting. It’s cool. I like it. Um, Carlo leaves and then she.
Says that she’s going to leave. It’s like four in the morning and she says, she’s going to leave. And, um, he’s like, Oh, that’s kind of a bummer. I was having fun. And she’s like, Oh, it’s cool friends. You know, like we’ll have coffee tomorrow or whatever, before you go off and do whatever you’re going to do whatever.
And she wants to leave and he’s like, no, come on. Just one more story. And this is where it takes a turn that really, really caught me off guard. And ultimately I’m still not really sure.
Craig: what was going on here. I
Todd: mean, either
Craig: I’m really not sure.
Todd: This thing, Craig mentioned a little bit earlier, but has been kind of coming up here and there is that she has this notebook where she keeps all her ideas.
And earlier in the movie he had said, Oh, that’s like your million dollar idea notebook. And she’s like, yeah, it kind of is. And then he had seen her writing something in the notebook, uh, while she was outside on the porch while they were taking a breather. And then it. Turns out, I guess, while she was in the bathroom, he got the notebook and he started reading through and he’s found the last several pages where she has been writing ideas based on him, just to like write
Craig: the loser, basically.
Todd: Yeah. Painting him was a loser and all this. And, uh, and he’s gets very offended by that. And so he says, now we’re going to do a new story. He starts out by saying, you know, we haven’t done a slasher type story yet. So that kind of hangs like a dark cloud. Like where is he going with this?
Craig: Well, and it’s, yeah, it, I mean, it starts out to that.
He starts out with kind of. His story about his previous relationship and how badly that it ended. And that comes across as sounding far more ominous than he had made it out to be before. Um, and, but then he says, but then he met this girl and he, he really liked her. And for the first time, in a long time, he really started to feel a connection.
Um, and he felt, you know, really good for the first time in a long time. But then he found out what she really thought about him. And it just gets really dark, really fast. I mean, they’re literally just standing four feet away from each other. Just looking at each other face to face, just standing in the dark.
Yeah. I mean, it’s not pitch black, but in a dark fire lit cabin, just standing there, looking at each other and he’s telling the story and it’s very menacing and she, at first. Doesn’t react much at all. And eventually she says, fine, I get it. You saw my notebook. Can you just give me my notebook back? And I’ll just get out of here.
And he won’t.
Todd: Yeah. Key thing that he says is that, like you said, and he started to feel really good about himself. And then he started to feel used. And that was, this is the thing he feels like he’s just being mined for material now. And maybe the whole reason that she’s been telling all these stories and trying to have this of this interesting time with him is just that she can get material for a book or something in the future.
Then she says, come on. Like, what are you doing with that poker? Yeah.
Craig: Which, uh, which I didn’t even notice that he was holding. And so that line, that line, it was, it was actually really scary. Like, yeah. W Fred, what are you doing with that poker? And then the camera cuts to it and he’s holding it at his side and all of a sudden.
Everything is different. All of a sudden I’m looking at him totally differently. I’m looking at him thinking, my God, this guy is unhinged. And I didn’t this whole time. I didn’t know it. Like, it just, it really threw me for a
Todd: loop. He does throw a little bit of doubt in there when he says, well, you, you wanted me to scare you, right?
Because he feels like he’s been unsuccessful at scaring her. And so also in this moment, you’re questioning. Is he really unhinged or is he acting on hinge to accomplish finally what he’s been trying to accomplish all night and get, you know, one up one up her basically, and tell her a story that really, really scares her, ironically mining their relationship, that material well,
And when he. Says something about her writing stuff down about him. She says, because I’m a writer, dude, we make observations of the world. That’s what we do. It
Todd: all makes perfect sense from both of their and ends, right? I mean, it’s all very believable.
Craig: And I don’t remember where he says something about stealing ideas or something.
And, and she says, I’m a horror writer. And I’m a lady, everybody steals from me, which I thought was really smart in this context, because. I imagine that’s true. You know, horror is not a genre that women thrive in. And I don’t think it’s because women are untalented. I just think that traditionally it’s been a boys club.
You know, we have the hundreds of movies that we’ve reviewed a handful have been. Directed by women. Uh, you know, it’s, it’s terribly disproportionate. So her perspective is absolutely true. She says you’re just pissed off because you know, you’ll never be great, which I, I thought maybe not the smartest thing for her to say, but I think that she’s trying to convince.
She, what she’s trying to do is confront him with the truth. That the reason that he’s not going anywhere is not anybody else’s fault, but his own. And he can try to blame it on other people. But if you just don’t have it, you just don’t have it, but he proposes a chase. He says, I’ll chase you. And. If I don’t catch you, I’ll give you your notebook back and you can go on your Merry way.
But if I do catch you basically all I’ll kill you. And so the chase ensues, she runs and she hides, uh, he chases her, she hides under the bed and it kind of seems like. He just doesn’t look under the bed and kind of walks away. I mean, it’s a small cabin. Where else is she going to go? I assumed that he knew she was there and he did, you know, eventually she, she crawls out and he flips the lights on and he’s still standing right there.
And he says, this might be the creepiest story yet. And I thought of it and then he starts chasing her again and they run towards the stairs and we don’t see it, but we hear them fall down the stairs. Yeah. It’s obvious that something has happened, but we don’t know until they cut back to them. And what has happened.
We just see at first, her laying on her back, like propping herself up on her elbows, breathing heavily and kind of crying and looking at something. And then it cuts to him and he has impaled himself on the fireplace poker. And this is when he says. I was just kidding. I was just telling a story and I don’t know if he’s telling the truth or not.
I have no idea. I don’t know if he really was just telling a story or if he really was crazy and may have killed her. I have no idea because he’s pretty convincing when he says. I was just kidding. I kind of believe it, but I’m not sure
Todd: it’s very ambiguous and I think it can more or less stay there.
That’s part of what makes the ending so genius. I think, I mean, I really do think the ending of this movie is wonderful because I was wondering where in the world would they lead and, uh, and yeah, that was interesting. So he’s, he’s impaled on the poker and she’s there and she’s upset and he’s just sputtering out and he asked her to do him a favor.
By finishing him off and she’s like, you know, I can’t do that. And he’s like, no, please finish me off. So she goes over and she gets a log and starts to approach him. And he goes, Oh, log, good choice. And, and she raises it in the air. Like she’s going to bring it down on his head or whatever. And then she goes, Nope, and just drops it and just walks out of the house.
And, uh, yeah. And then the woman fro the driver, it’s like the it’s like morning time, the driver’s there to pick him up and she stumbles around the house. She’s looking around. Well, it looks like somebody had a really good time here last night. It’s up a piece of pizza. Cool pizza from the counter and eating it.
I mean, she’s funny. Uh, but anyway, she, she goes around and doesn’t even seem to, to see him. What she sees is that notebook on the floor, she picks up the notebook, opens it goes, Hm. And then cut to credits. And then after a couple of credits, go up on the screen, we see kind of a mid credit scene. Where there’s a bookshop and it’s, Dolly’s in closely on the window and you see that this woman has written, the book scare me and apparently is now a bestselling author based on this book of stuff that she found in the
Oh my gosh. That’s so funny. I didn’t see that. No, you turned it off. I. Yeah, I did. Well, no, actually I thought there might be an incredible scene. So I cut to the end of the credits, but there wasn’t, I didn’t watch them through, so I didn’t see the mid credits. That’s
Todd: funny. Whereas if you missed it in 20, it was just in 20 seconds, which wraps it up quite neatly because of course, the way, the reason that writer, what was her name again?
Fannie wanted to get out of there with, so she had nothing to do with his death. And couldn’t be associated with it. So of course she didn’t have time to go back for the notebook, but she’s never going to admit that her notebook was in there. So she can’t do anything about this woman stealing her notebook of ideas.
She’s just got to kind of accept it. So, uh, it was a clever ending in two ways. Right. It’s kind of cute and kind of funny, but also like you said, ambiguous, um, I still don’t know whether he was telling the truth or not, and that just makes that last story very delicious.
Craig: Aye. Aye. This movie surprised me. It really surprised me how much I ended up enjoying it.
And I think it’s cleverly written. Uh, I think that they did so well with limited resources, you know, a, a very confined. Um, set piece that they did so many cool things with lighting and cinematography and not even anything complicated, it wasn’t anything complex or complicated. It was just clever and, and a good use of, of what they had available.
And I also just think. I was impressed, especially all the actors were good. I mean, uh, Chris red, who was Carlo, he was good. He was really funny. I liked him, but Josh Ruben and I, a cash carry this movie and they, I just think they just. I just think they just do a great, great job. I think it’s well acted.
It’s fast paced. It’s funny. It’s witty. I totally believe them in their characters. She’s hilarious throughout. I thought that he had a really great character arc where he’s. Yeah. I had a certain perception of him in the beginning. And then by the end, my perception of him had totally changed. And I was actually kind of confused in a good way.
I just thought it was really super, super clever. Um, and I was excited to share it with you because you know, we love horror and both of us are our film are fans of horror films, but we’re also both fans of. Horror literature. We both read a lot of that stuff. And a story about horror writers and a story where these horror writers are playing on and playing with conventions of horror and storytelling.
I just ate it up. I just, ah, man,
Todd: I just loved it. It’s on everything we love. Doesn’t it. It’s kind of nice that way. And it’s an, you know, what, as a movie, if you’re going to. Be an actor. I mean, this is an actor showcase movie. This is the kind of movie that not only if you want to get a leg up and writing and directing, but if you want to showcase your acting talents, you want to write a movie like this for yourself, where you just get to see their range, uh, the different characters they play within the stories.
They really carry the movie and they have to, or else the movie just wouldn’t work. So ditto, everything you said. I, I also really enjoyed this movie and all for the same reasons, but above and beyond. Everything else. The acting was just so damn good.
Craig: Yeah. I I’ve got my eye on AYA cash. She, I think she’s going places, huh?
Todd: Josh Rubin has a werewolf movie coming up, so I guess we’ll see
Craig: with gun. All right. Well, thank you for listening to another episode. If you enjoyed this episode. As always, we’ve got a great, big, huge back catalog that you can revisit or visit for the first time. If you’re new to us. Um, if you are new to us and you liked this, share us with a friend, um, you can also get in touch with us on Facebook or on our website.
You can find the podcast anywhere. You can find podcasts,
Craig: play iTunes, all those places. And we will be back again sometime soon with a, uh, another review for you. But until then I’m Craig.
Todd: and I’m Todd
Craig: With Two Guys and a Chainsaw.
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