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Mollywood Main

Mollywood Movie Review

Written by Joanna K. Neilson

Released by Entertainment One

Mollywood Large

Directed by Morocco Vaughn
Written by Ken Hoyd
2019, 90 minutes, Not Rated
Released on June 7th, 2019

Starring:
Nastasia Zorin as April
Micah Fitzgerald as Chase
Arianna Lexus as Angie
Vinicius Machado as Zach
Waka Flocka Flame as Bijou

Mollywood 01 Mollywood 02

Review:

Haven't we had enough of cheerless darkness? Is there still a market out there for unwatchable, gritty visuals and a story that basically condones being a serial killer as someone creepy, righteous and mysterious? And are these murders even any fun to watch? Why am I even here?

The problem with Mollywood is the killer himself isn't much fun – in the sense that you're curious about what he's doing, or where and when he will strike next. He just kind of turns up, lures someone in with a special drug, then waits for them to wake up and kills them. And that's it. This guy is a hooded, Mickey Rourke-esque drug dealer, who reluctantly (hah!) kills to save souls, while ranting about the loose morals of today's hedonistic youth. Though he continues to deal drugs, I guess? And hangs out on the scene and is best mates with a clubbing DJ...and...

Wait, what the hell is it trying to say, again?

Mollywood 03 Mollywood 04

Parts of Mollywood really are confusing to follow. And there's certainly a special place in hell for whoever decided gritty was the best thing you could do with too many horror movies. Skeeving along in the dankest gutter of urban decay, Mollywood perhaps has a decent movie in between its bleak outlook and Seven-esque yellow filters. It's just quite hard to see - and not just because the studio watermark took up the entire screen for the whole duration of the screener when most of the events happen against a night-time background.

Yeah.

Thanks guys.

So, it's already hard to see what's going on, and even harder to care when you can. That's just the start of my issues with it. Let's try and deal with the plot. The serial killer has started to kill clubbers at a drug-and-rave fest, the titular 'Mollywood'. It pummels us with both the serial killer's religious morality rants, claiming he has to 'save' these asshats from themselves, and lingering over and over on the club and drug scene's toxic, emotion-free emptiness. So it's a huge shame that no one comes across as having a soul to save in the first place, making the serial killer's endless, Marv from Sin City monologues ever more infuriating.

I can see what it was going for, and to its credit, this really is on the cusp of being OK, with some decent gory effects and a lot of very nasty kills which, in a more entertaining script, could actually have been good fun (or shocking, but who's shocked by 'saws' anymore, amirite?).

Mollywood 05 Mollywood 06

The performance by the serial killer is actually really good, despite his very limited range of motivation for what he does. And I think I even figured out what he was trying to do at one point. Kind of. But what killing he does do seems gratuitous in the worst way. Kind of joyless, even. And it's very much a personal taste, but getting through ninety minutes of watching highly unlikeable, mostly innocent, dumbass clubbers getting cut up by an over-exposed, ranty-religious nutjob is just hard fricking work.

There's a briefly creative moment where some lethal drugs are injected in about the last place you'd expect, or want them to end up, but, again, it is hard to give a single damn when that happens too.

Perhaps we're spoiled by the current trend for high-gloss terror. Perhaps I've just seen too many good and more elegantly scary horror flicks to have patience with this one. And this isn't scary at all. It's almost entirely made of boringly bleak torture and murder, then throws a little bit of a hero-cop genre movie in when it remembers you need someone, anyone at all, to root for. The fight scenes are good, if a little out of the blue, too.

Still, if it eased off on the green and yellow filters and spent a bit more time caring what happened to its victim characters – especially its wafer-thin female characters, (come on guys, you can do better than this) – then it would be edging towards something fresh and properly disturbing. There is a great effort made here, and I'll keep fingers crossed the filmmakers use the potential from this to create a more charismatic horror follow-up in the future.

Mollywood 07 Mollywood 08

Grades:

Movie: Twostars Mollywood Small
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About The Author
Joanna K Neilson
Staff Reviewer
Favourite film ever watched is Alien (1979), but usually prefers to ingest her horror with a dollop of comedy relief…though the dusty charm of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1971) and the black and white lure of Psycho (1960) continues to draw her in. Found Baskin weirdly hilarious. Finds Finding Nemo godawful. Adores H.P. Lovecraft and has sort-of pilgrimed to his grave in Providence - very tidy. Very long walk. Half-expected cats and cultists to be set up all around it but sadly, just signs saying ‘no photos’ in the cemetery.
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