Suzy ambles through life, navigating a very mundane existence. Her routine goes something like this: Get out of bed, practice complacent stare, get ready, go to work, come home, repeat.
Daily life in Los Angeles becomes too cumbersome for Suzy, so she makes the decision to leave the city. However, Suzy soon finds that leaving will be easier said than done.
Entrance is brought to us by Dallas Hallam and Richard Horvath. The duo co-directed and co-wrote (with two other co-writers) the film. I am torn as to whether or not I want to see more from the pair. It’s obvious that they understand a thing or two about the stalk and slash genre, but why they front loaded the first 60 minutes of the movie with little more than pointless dialogue is beyond me.
There are a lot of unnecessary scenes that could have been clipped from the movie without anyone knowing the difference. Most of the first 60 minutes could have been cut. The remaining footage would have made a pretty good short film. The scene that really stood out to me as most unnecessary was the scene where Suzy and her coworker discuss how neither one of them enjoys cleaning the bathroom at work. It wasn’t a setup for a scene later in the film, it was just two girls chatting about why cleaning the bathroom isn’t fun.
As I mentioned before, the first 60 minutes of Entrance are painstakingly slow. It was like watching a really boring documentary on the lifestyle of Los Angeles hipsters. The filmmakers were clearly trying for slow burn, and I suppose, on some level it succeeds. But, the problem I had was that it doesn’t create any type of tension in the first hour. To really execute slow burn, there needs to be some kind of build up of atmosphere. Entrance goes straight from 0-60 in the final 20 minutes, and then it’s over.
Like I said earlier, the last 20 minutes had merit. But, it was kind of too little too late. I can’t, for the life of me, discern why the script took so long to get to the climax. The few good stalk and slash moments that the movie has are overshadowed by the incredibly boring front end of the film.
One of the other things that turned me off was that Entrance was way too existential for a horror film. We spend a really long time watching Suzy navigate through her monotonous life, while searching for meaning in her meaningless existence. Horror films should not try so hard to be profound. Horror is a genre that is known for entertainment and the first hour of this film was not entertaining.
The one and probably only thing that I enjoyed in the first hour of the movie was the occasional insertion of clever dialogue. (“Well, maybe you should stop getting drunk and shopping on Craigslist.”)
I’ve seen worse performances, but I’ve seen plenty that were better. Suziey Block (as Suzy) never fully sold me on her performance. I never forgot that she was playing a part. Thus, I never believed that she was her character. None of the other performances stood out as well acted, either.
The camerawork, editing, and scene transitions were some of the worst I’ve seen. The camera jerks around so much that I got whiplash from watching it. I understand the challenges of low budget filmmaking, but for Christ sake, GET A TRIPOD. Entrance looks like a home movie. There are scenes where the character’s heads are cut out, as if the cameraman couldn’t get the actors faces and whatever set piece they were focusing on in the shot at the same time. The movie looks like it was made for a dollar. I’m normally understanding of budgetary limitations and willing to give independent filmmakers a pass on many things, but this was just inexcusably bad.
The gore was almost non-existent. There were a few gallons of blood spilled, but almost all of the violence was off camera or in such a way that the camera was obscured from capturing the violent act. All we really see is some blood stained clothing and a blood drenched basement floor.
I probably won’t watch Entrance again. It’s unfortunate, because the finale was somewhat enjoyable, but I would rather poke my eyes out than sit through the first 60 minutes again. Entrance is currently available via VOD, but I am going to suggest passing on this one.