Saturday, December 11, 2004

The freakiest movie I've seen all year...And I watch strange movies...

Here is an admission I have never made here but friends and people who have actually slept with me know this as truth: I am an insomniac. I don't fall asleep easily, and I wake up 15 times a night. So I know what it feels like to go without proper sleep. That being said, I hadn't meant to go to the Kentucky Theatre last night to see a movie, but went anyway to take a chance on a movie I had heard nothing about. I'm glad and creeped out I did.
The Machinist ( ) shows just ho far into the depths of hell a human being can go with no sleep. Christian Bale, also excellent in American Psycho , is astonishing as Trevor Resnik, a machinist who has not slept in over a YEAR. He has no idea why and his life us unraveling at an accelerated place. He starts to see things all around him, his apartment, his work, and at his hooker girlfriend's place (played by a very appealing and not looking her age Jennifer Jason Leigh). His paranoia is rampant, and forgets simple things, like paying bills. He starts to see a guy named Ivan, a sort of evil shadow with no fingers, who supposedly works with him on third shift. It is as he's starting at this supposed person that a coworker gets his hand caught in a cutting bench because if his distraction. At the same time he starts to date a waitress with a little boy who gets sick in his company at an amusement park. The note he leaves to himself start to change, with a hang man on a post-it that changes every time he sees it. The most horrible part of Trevor's life is his appearance: his plummeting weight, showing the physical deterioration of no sleep. I have often heard the the phrase of looking like Hell before breakfast, but this guy is emaciated, Holocaust style. What Rene Zellweger did for actors gaining weight for a part, Christian Bale should do for extreme weight loss.
The movie quickly shows Trevor's speeding descent into hell. Directed by Brad Anderson (Happy Accidents) and written by Scot Kozar, the movie drags us along on the ride. Everything is set in greys. The cinematography is set so that the viewer feels as lost as Trevor does. He chases Ivan in a red sports car, and when he goes to the cops with the plate number, they tell him its his car. He starts to see either Ivan or pieces of his clothing everywhere, making him turn on everyone. Trevor even cut Ivan's throat in one scene, and when he tries to dump the body, the body rolls out of the carpet its placed in, but there is no body there literally. Scot Kozar is the writer also responsible for Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Amityville Horror, so he knows how to literally creep the viewer out. But the end of the movie I was creeping in my own skin, an as exhausted as Trevor was. This movie is not easy to watch, but satisfying.