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Sunday, September 27, 2020

Creepy Tom, part 3 (400 days)

Reminder that I'm getting screenshots of my TV with my phone,
which can see tech my eyes can't. So, weird glow stripes.

Apologies for taking a week off from this, distractions abound. This will conclude 400 days and how to do your own film study at home if you're stuck on a second covid lockdown, after this I'll get back to high speed splat reviewing while we search out all the TV shows and movies that Tom Cavanagh has shaved or brushed his teeth in. I may have to keep a list updated at the top of this thread as I add to this, like Movie Title, shaved ___ (yes, no), brushed teeth ___(yes, no) so we can keep track of what's been checked.

:edit: Since SyfyDesigns.com is currently under maintenance, I pulled linkthroughs here instead of there. On this blog access 👉our Tom Watch series here (click)👈.

I'm going to immediately bah humbug the most prominent user review on IMDb with an inability to fall into the screen. That person obviously doesn't know how to enjoy doing a film study. I've watched 400 Days several times now and have enjoyed every bit of it. I come from the olden days of Bruce Campbell and the Raimi brothers building their horror empire from scratch, so I know how to enjoy the construction that goes into this kind of film. The whole point is to frustrate the viewer. Because it's fun. If you come away satisfied instead of reeling wtf, THAT is how you measure this kind of film being a flop. The psychological experimentation extends out into the audience, you nit. 🙄

Ok, where were we. Oh, yeah. A couple of our crew have been followed by a disturbing group of what appear to be hungry cannibals in an abandoned ghost town possibly on the moon, and Theo has already been possibly accidentally stabbed by someone who may or may not have been in character during this 400 day experiment, and we didn't just see him knock one guy out with a board and chokehold another guy into unconsciousness while they were getting away. Now Emily is very conspicuously hiding under a little table on the right and this tall smelly creep walks in pretending not to see her.

And we watch him go through the whole savoring the moment thing.

Yeah, she's toast...

Nah, just kidding. I wouldn't spoil it like that, seriously. But you find out later just how badly this guy creeps her out. I mean, I was totally creeped by that and he wasn't even looking at me.

I'm going to insert a few things to keep your eyes on while you watch the movie before I sling you through some more screenshots. See how much of this you can pick up on.

  • The background colors have turned into the kind of weird off slant woozy green and dark blue shadow light that make you feel like this is a bad dream. Toto, we aren't in a squeaky white 'spaceship' any more.
  • Tom actually seems to get more face time than the core cast does through this fight, although it all goes by super fast. You notice it more when you freeze frame advance, really pick up on the creep factor. Theo looking terrified and anxious seems exquisitely justified. Zell is looney toons.
  • The blurring keeps you from noticing how far apart those fists really are from faces. You can't see that until you frame advance, although it's still really hard to catch.
  • I didn't notice until I slowed the movie down that my brain had totally filled in the blurred areas. What some people call bad filming is really very clever.
  • I actually jerked at the end of the fight and I'll tell you why when we get there.

I do have to say at this point SPOILERS COMING.

It's important to pick up that Theo is almost squeamishly resistant to violence, although he does pull a decent fight. His anxiety shines through brilliantly.

I'm the sort of person who will stop and look at everything on surfaces and walls.

Zell relishes what he's doing a little too much. He knows he's got all the time in the world to kill.

Nice detail. Now I want to know if he counts the people he's killed to eat. There may be no other way to gauge the passing of time.

You didn't just see me skip a major flurry of violence. Theo isn't faring well.

Told ya.

Zell loving his boots getting some action. The camera usually pans to the victim more, so I'm wondering what they're wanting us to see about Zell. The thing I keep noticing is that he takes his time, like a cat with a mouse.

And now here comes the knife.

We also keep getting angles like this. You can't quite see what's really happening, like a hidden witness... (That bad review guy totally missed the psychological point of this entire movie. Just rubbing that in.)

Because I was so immersed in this scene, I caught this look immediately. Something happened. Something's  wrong.

There's our hidden witness.

This was obvious, I thought, but especially moreso when you frame advance. This reaction doesn't fit Zell's motivation. At all.

I mean AT ALL.

This is a quiet 'oh crap' moment.

And this is when you realize...

you just saw the first real death in the movie.

I stopped there even though the movie wasn't quite done yet because that was the last of Tom, rest in peace. ✝ We could speculate all day on the ending and what it all means, but I'm not here to go that far.

Ok, so Tom didn't shave or brush his teeth in this film, alas, but it's ok because we got to see a side of him we don't usually see in other projects, and that's grimy. 😂 Get this boi a bath, stat!

I've got a couple more shows in mind for lead up to Halloween. I've gotta brace myself at some point and watch Sublime, and I found an old episode of Cold Squad wherein Tom's character is being investigated for murder. Will Tom shave or brush his teeth? I'll definitely find out.

I found other reviewers doing 400 Days, here's one if you want to check it out. I disagree with his conclusion because I don't think there is any kind of intended or embedded answer.

If you'd rather have a Tom Cavanagh interview, here you go, not quite 3 months old. You're welcome.

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