This movie reminds me of a failed relationship.
When it first starts out, it seems really intriguing. There’s something different about this movie, you can tell, even though you can’t quite put your finger on it. Whether it’s going to end up being good or bad, you can’t tell, but you’re interested enough to find out that you keep watching.
Pretty early on, something strange happens. It makes you uncomfortable, and you wonder whether you should keep watching, but you’re still intrigued enough to keep going. You can always just quit if things get too weird.
Of course, they get weirder. Multiple things happen that scare you, but at the same time, they make you think this could really be something great. You’re confused about the overall message, and you’re worried you’re going to end up disappointed, but deep down, you’ve also convinced yourself that this is going to be a terrific movie–possibly one of the best you’ve ever seen, even if only for its uniqueness and quirks. You can’t remember if you’ve ever felt this strongly about any other movie and you know for sure it’s an experience you don’t want to end prematurely.
Things continue to build steadily, but at the same time, you’re on edge pretty much all the time. You know at any instant this could all blow up in your face, and the potential this movie has to turn out to be amazing could suddenly disappear. But you stay with it, clinging to your conviction that if you just keep giving it a chance, it could prove to you that it’s worth your time. Besides, you can’t give up now. You’ve already invested so much into watching this movie that you feel you owe it to yourself to see it through.
Then suddenly, it happens. In what appears to be the movie’s attempt to wrap up the plot nicely, it all comes crashing down. You’re left with the feeling of emptiness, and the impossible task of trying to piece it all back together in your mind.
Inevitably, you go over every detail, wondering why the ending had to be like that and why the line had to be that one, knowing full well that if only the plot had twisted slightly the other way, or if only the character hadn’t said that last thing, you could have continued to love the movie. You could have backed it up entirely and without regret.
But instead, when others criticize the movie for the exact things you used to enjoy, you have to say softly, “Yeah, I know what you mean, but I still liked it.” That admission of disappointment is what hurts the most, because of all the emotions you felt during the film, disappointment is the most devastating. It’s what you go into each new movie hoping never to feel, and it’s what you really think, at the beginning, you will never have to feel. It’s what you claim, in the middle, you aren’t getting closer to feeling. It’s what, even near the end, when all signs point down that path, you still vow you don’t have to end up feeling.
But you do. You defend it to its detractors because you don’t want to hear anyone else speaking badly about something you once loved, but you know in your heart it didn’t live up to the potential it had. It could have been exquisite, but instead, it was just another horror movie. No. Not quite. Even though the outcome was the same as all the others–it ended with disappointment–there was a time when it did hold all of the possibility you dared to desire. And that makes it something special. It was something special. It just didn’t last.