Bad Things

Bad Things
Bad Things
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If a complete hotel were given to you, what would you do: retain it or sell it? Or maybe, party with friends for some time before? These are the issues at hand in Bad Things (2019), the latest feature film by the writer and director Stewart Thorndike following her 2013’s Lyle. It is part of her trilogy on motherhood. For this reason, the recent psychological horror movie with some violence and occasional humor becomes more about the protagonist’s intricate connection with her mom than about a hotel deal.

Or they are just one thing as well, aye? What exactly is actuality and which things are imagined in this business premises? Is our protagonist “good” or she has committed too many “bad acts” that we cannot support anymore? We give our take.

As Bad Things gets underway, one might think about the most famous work –which is arguably The Shining written by some late genius– of a certain filmmaker who directed it. Ruthie (Gayle Rankin) visits an inherited hotel at its outskirts towards city. She has brought Cal (Hari Nef from HBO’s The Idol), Maddie (Rad Pereira), who never fails to coin funny phrases and quotes; and Fran (Annabelle Dexter-Jones). Without femme fatales scandalous thriller would not be complete!

Ruthie considers whether to sell off property or renovate it before selling while they all have fun inside an empty inn. Meanwhile, Fran keeps spying on Ruthie privately and implying that he wants them back together despite already being paired up with someone else. Who happens to be right there on campus?

And that’s where Stanley Kubrick comes in even stronger so much faster. It won’t give out so much information at this point to say that spirits appear to haunt the hotel when they get here for their weekend getaway. One example of these spirits is in form of two joggers, who frequently appear before Fran. As in The Shining, where the whole Torrance family saw ghosts in Overlook Hotel, rather than being only Ruthie as the central character, each personality in Bad Things sees these spirits. To avoid revealing too much they are all gradually drawn into the hotel’s atmosphere which ultimately leads to bad things being done among them…

Two of the main attractions in this movie Bad Things do not belong to a group for females that comprises four individuals. These two are a woman played by Molly Ringwald and her younger lover embodied perfectly by Jared Abrahamson.

Abrahamson (who is also known from Ramy and American Animals) portrays a somewhat oblivious character looking for Ringwald while dealing with Ruthie and her friends within just few scenes on camera. “I hate it when guys try to act fatherly and be flirtatious at the same time,” comments one of them when Brian comes around looking for Ruthie’s mom. This is an example of humorous and relatable conversation between girls throughout Bad Things, another strong aspect about the entire film.

Molly Ringwald, who looks and acts superbly on this one, enters as a motivational speaker that doubles up as the mother of this film’s main character. In Act I, Ruthie watches clips of Ms. Aeurbach, her business-lady-mother, from her phone, and later she comes to their hotel to meet them for some business discussions. Molly Ringwald is the millennials’ breath of fresh air that grew up watching classics such as Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles in the 80s and 90s. Molly Ringwald has taken over the movie hence it shouldn’t have been called Bad Things.

Otherwise, Bad Things works well with its haunting musical score while Daughter which starred Casper Van Dien in a minor role came out earlier this year sounds like an equally disturbing indie flick. Nonetheless, Thorndike revealed that she just spoke about another new film beginning with Daughter during an interview at MovieWeb only recently; she noted that there will be three films in total on motherhood themed movies.

They would definitely be talking about Bad Things after seeing it in school or colleges where such subjects are taught now. For instance The Shining has many symbolic representations within the walls of the hotel while Bad Things too has had most motifs made explicit or implicit in it which can result into arguments among friends who adore films about what is their point? What is the significance of Ruthie’s CPAP machine for instance? Was everything just a dream? As Cal catches on that Ruthie may be rekindling her romance with ex Fran, is the third-act violence all in Ruthie’s head? Do we all have violence in our head? Are we all capable of very bad things?

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