by Michele Limoncelli
You probably are - or are going to be - sitting on the couch wondering what to watch. You're thinking that you've already seen everything that is considered a cinematic masterpiece. But before you rewatch John Carpenter's The Thing again, allow me to introduce you to a meticulous 2018 horror thriller called OPEN 24 HOURS!
A young woman is released from jail and is given a parole officer to make sure she rejoins society successfully and isn't a nuisance. She goes to apply for a job at a gas station that her parole officer recommended to her. Upon meeting the owner and applying, he ask her why she was arrested - and she replied with, "I set my boyfriend on fire." What she had left out of the interview was the fact that she is also delusional, experiencing vivid hallucinations, and struggles to decipher reality from fantasy. One of the things she repeatedly sees is her ex-boyfriend.
Her ex-boyfriend was a serial killer who killed over 30 people. Some of the murders she was forced to witness - and never said or did anything about it until she lit the house on fire, with him in it. When the cops arrived, they were both arrested.
It's a rainy night - her first midnight shift - when she starts hallucinating things and has interactions with people that may not be real. If she tells her parole officer what she's seeing and they aren't real, she will be put in a mental institution. But if what she is seeing is real, she will be in a coffin by morning.
Please know that this is a bit unrealistic. To keep this train moving at such a fast pace and with such brutality, a few things are exaggerated. So if you want pure realism, go watch a documentary. But if you want a relentless modern day horror masterpiece in the classic formula of slasher films, with an epic turn every time you start to believe the film is over, then this is a must-watch. I have not been at the edge of my seat for this much of a movie since "It Follows". All aspects of this movie were executed perfectly. Every actor is funny, honest and likeable. It's a very attractive cast all around too. One of the things this movie did exceptionally well is it covers a bit of every genre (except musical, and thank God for that) throughout the film. The funny scenes aren't laugh out loud funny - they are dry, dark and perfect. There are action, horror, thriller, drama and even gore scenes - but not over-the-top and just in the film to shock you. Every corner was well thought out and executed perfectly.
I'm upset I didn't hear about this movie earlier, and now it's my goal to spread the glory to the masses and send out the message and proof that "they still can make unique movies, and here is a horror masterpiece to prove it!"
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