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Day 5: American Psycho II: All American Girl

Day 5 of Calloween Movie Month

Content warnings: mild blood/gore, attempted animal death, teacher-student relationships, cheating, suffocation/strangling, hanging, suicide, eye trauma, large age gaps, elderly death, ableism/ableist language, mention of sexual assault

Recommended?: No

Spoilers and discussions of many of the above topics await you. You have been warned.

Mila Kunis plays Patricia Fakeman.

X 上的 Stephen Gibbons:「American Psycho II: All American Girl ☆ In defence of  #MilaKunis, she never knew this insult to the original was gonna be a  sequel. It wasn't until after production

Considering this movie's leads are Family Guy voice actress and white knight for rapists Mila Kunis and whiny washed up old transphobe William Shatner and the fact that it's a direct to DVD sequel to an extremely tightly written and well executed psychological horror that lays into the pathetic reality of toxic masculinity and the ultra consumerism of 80s yuppie culture, I didn't go into this with high hopes. But I tried my best to give it the benefit of the doubt. Despite my efforts, I was not able to enjoy this movie.

American Psycho II is about a girl named Raechel who, after her babysitter brings her on a date with Patrick Bateman and she promptly murders him, becomes single-mindedly obsessed with becoming an FBI agent. When she's in college, the way that she attempts to get closer to her goal is becoming the teacher's assistant to former FBI agent and current criminal psychology professor Richard Starkman (played by William Shatner), and she'll do anything to get what she wants.

Supposedly this wasn't initially created to be a sequel to American Psycho and was originally just it's own original thriller called The Girl Who Would Not Die. I believe this, considering how ancillary the original is to this entire plotline. What I don't buy is Mila Kunis saying she didn't realize it was going to be a sequel. Considering she narrates the entire story of her character, Raechel, killing Patrick Bateman at 12 while he murdered her babysitter (no, I was not kidding, that's how this movie starts.) And the fact that he's mentioned all through out, including by her. But I digress.

It's not entirely relevant to compare this movie to its pseudo-predecessor. Because this movie stands on its own in its commitment to being complete trash.

I was ready to give this movie a chance to stand on it's own. Hey, maybe it could push past it's unfortunate choice of name into something fun. The premise very much gives off the same vibe as a cult classic dark-yet-girly blood soaked black comedy along the lines of something like Heathers or Jawbreakers or Jennifer's body. But around the time Mila Kunis tries to microwave a cat and chokes out a boy with a condom is also around the time I lost any hope of this movie being even generally watchable much less enjoyable.

The movie I chose for day 2, Snow Falls, wasn't particularly good. But at least it was competently produced and decently performed. This movie doesn't even have that going for it. Pretty much every actor is phoning it in, but especially William Shatner. His performance is cringeworthy, but not moreso than Kunis' terribly delivered one-liners after every kill. For instance, after the aforementioned condom strangling, she half-assedly says "ribbed for HER pleasure" as she tosses it away. And it doesn't get much better from there.

The editing is pretty bad too, particularly during the first scene where she talks to her therapist (who of course, after one session, diagnoses her with potential serial killer and breaks doctor-patient confidentiality) has a baffling amount of dissolves. It's constant. I suppose it's to show passage of time but it really just seems like an underpaid editor was fucking around with Windows Movie Maker.

The kills are lame and weirdly bloodless. The most blood we see is a terrible digital blood pool that I guess is supposed to show that Patrick Bateman successfully killed the babysitter. Usually I don't advocate for movies to be gorier, especially since I'm somewhat squeamish. But at least a little gore would've given this movie some tooth. Instead it's the film equivalent to a dull cheese grater being used to grate the dullest block of cheddar cheese by an old man who's sent a grandkid to locate his misplaced dentures.

It has a real bad case of 2000s teen movie syndrome where everything has to lead into an angsty alt-rock song. The songs they chose are generally pretty decent in and of themselves, but the lyrics are so on the nose in a way I haven't seen since I tried to watch The Vampire Diaries. The original score is baffling. None of it even attempts to sound scary or menacing. It's anywhere from Desperate Housewives background music to Spongbob slapstick music. This includes the music that plays during the lamest car chase in cinematic history, which sounds like if you searched "funny cowboy music royalty free no copyright" and looped the same 20 second song for 5 minutes. Even more ridiculous is that Raechel is listening to this in her car, which implies she was the royalty free cowboy all along.

It even has the audacity to end on a poor attempt at a twist. Raechel drives herself of a cliff to avoid being caught by the police and dies in a poorly animated CG explosion.

This is what the world and the investigators believe, and Raechel's psychologist even writes a book about this. But then, at the last minute, Raechel shows up at the book signing. Not as Raechel, an identity the film previously explained she already stole to get into college, but another woman. Elizabeth McGuire (yes, that is her actual name), Starkman's former TA and current FBI agent. There's some more lazily delivered narration that doesn't explain how she avoided dying and still crashed the car, but at least that ends the movie.

The concept, a woman so driven by the power killing a killer gave her that she obsessively piles up bodies to get herself to a position where she can do that for the rest of her life, isn't a bad one. But good ideas don't make good films unless they're well executed. And this is about as well executed as a crucifixion done with plastic Fisher Price nails.

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