Thursday, June 23, 2011

Slices Of Life (2010)

The Seemingly Neverending Story

After being treated to the delightfully distasteful anthology Little Deaths, I was hoping I'd be in for another treat with Slices of Life, a film that weaves three gruesome tales about work life, home life, and sex life from the mind of one girl and her sketchbooks. Unfortunately, I had to force myself to sit through the entire film, just so I could come here and review it for you guys and warn you to stay away from this one. While it may have looked good on paper (it probably didn't), Slices of Life ultimately fails due to poor acting, terribly extended usage of CGI, and just all-around predictability, to name a few. But for those of you with an insatiable appetite for torturing me, continue on and I'll do my best to stay awake while describing the film with as much conviction as the story allows.

The three stories in the film are tied together by Mira, a young girl who wakes up near a seedy motel, where she's told by the owner that she's been working at the hotel for years, but suffers from fainting spells where she loses her memory. Discovering three sketchbooks that apparently belong to her, Mira begins to read each one, titled Work Life, Home Life, and Sex Life. Soon, Mira believes that she's witnessing events described in her sketches and writings right before her very eyes.

What you'll look like by the end of this movie
Work Life's story, entitled "W.O.R.M.", revolves around William, a low-level employee at a nanotechnology corporation who just wants people to like him. Of course, all of his coworkers are prudish assholes and hardly pay him any attention. When his boss criticizes the work of one employee working on a project that allows you to control the minds of others through the internet with a click of the mouse, his work is dumped into William's pushcart. After being turned down by numerous women via an online webcam site in the style of Chat Roulette, William decides to use his coworker's project in an attempt to get people to like him. At first, it seems to go well as William begins to receive the attention of a woman who had previously rejected him, but soon, all of his coworkers who received his email are turning into zombies. Shitty, non-scary, boring zombies. In another minute or two, the story has already reached its climax with little-to-no real excitement or resolution.

What?? Can't a bad actor get some privacy??

Easily the worst in the anthology, "W.O.R.M." suffers mostly from extremely bad acting, as every character delivers their lines like they're struggling to read from a teleprompter that just went blank. One sexually bizarre moment featuring a keyboard turning into gooey skin and the mouse becoming a vagina could have been a lot more graphic and effective had they just bought sex toys and proper latex instead of whatever dreadful substance they used. Zombie stories are also becoming more and more ineffective these days as every five-out-of-ten horror films feature the undead in some form, leaving "W.O.R.M." highly unoriginal and easily forgettable.

In Home Life's "Amber Alert", Vonda, a mother-to-be, begins having visions of a young girl who is part of a string of missing female children in the area. The only problem is that the girl isn't listed as missing, and Vonda is the only one who is seeing her missing posters and picture on the news. As Vonda begins to question her sanity, her police officer husband begins acting more and more suspicious, leading to an uneventful climax that was predictable from the first minute of this entry.

While the acting in "Amber Alert" starts to take a (very) slight turn in the positive direction, it's still filled with numerous failures. The entire ending is easy to figure out within just a few moments of watching, leaving little room for actual mystery or suspense to emerge. There's also this horrible use of computer effects to smudge people's face into evil demonic expressions that has nothing to do with the rest of the story whatsoever. Only slightly better than "W.O.R.M." by a smidgen, "Amber Alert" still falls flat due to sheer predictability and horrible (and unneeded) visual effects.

Come onnnn....Give bad CGI a hug.
The final sketchbook, Sex Life, gives us the story "Pink Snapper", which like the rest of the film, gives far too much away without allowing the viewer to make his or her own assumptions about the story. The tale follows Susan, a girl who's sexually abused by her uncle, and has hidden the secret from her brother, Eric. When he arrives home to find her being raped, the two knock out their uncle and go on the run. Looking for a safe place to hide, they ditch the highway and follow a dirt path where they discover a large manor and an unconscious old man. After bringing the man to the hospital, they return to the large home only to discover his daughter imprisoned in the cellar. After freeing her, they soon learn that the family's bloodline isn't what it seems, and that his daughter was locked up for a reason.

Easily the best of the three stories, "Pink Snapper" is still boring and predictable. Though it features far better acting, gore, and visual effects, it somehow manages to lose your interest because again, you can already see what's coming from a mile away. The only real highlight of this entry is Deneen Melody, who plays Susan. Very pretty and easily the best actor in the film, Melody is the only salvation in a film that began to slowly kill my appreciation for low-budget horror and tire me out more than a bottle of painkillers mixed with vodka and and a large dosage of melatonin. Plus, seeing her topless was a nice way to end the film.

Altogether, Slices of Life is a dull and boring anthology that wastes the viewer's time with stories that have no surprises whatsoever, dreadful acting, shoddy effects, and technical issues like some poor overdubbing and sound editing. Unless you've seen every other horror film in the entire world and need something to fill that void, I'd think it's safe to say that your personal work life, home life, and sex life are far more entertaining, surprising, and suspenseful than this film could ever hope to be.

1/5 Stars

Interesting Pointless Note: The title for this review came to me after finishing my writing and stuck thinking up something to name it. Feeling like this movie lasted forever and consisted of three stories, I came up with "The Seemingly Neverending Story". Looking on Google to see if the original film was spelled "Neverending" or "NeverEnding", I came to find out that The Simpsons had an episode called "The Seemingly Never-Ending Story". The reason I find this funny is because the television show also has an episode called "Take My Life, Please", whereas I thought I was just clever for putting a spin on the old comedy bit "Take my wife, please!". I suppose South Park was right when their notorious episode claimed "SIMPSONS DID IT!"

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