Friday, March 20, 2009

Right to Die (2007)

Right to Die can be summed up by the title of Shakespeare's play All's Well That Ends Well. Not that the rest of the movie didn't go well, but the final scenes left me entertained and satisfied. This is a great example of how to make a horror movie clever and fun while maintaining a strong level of seriousness and repulsion.

The plot is interesting and holds up for the duration of the film. A scheming, cheating husband escapes a car crash, but his wife suffers terrible burns and is placed on life support. Each time she flatlines her spirit comes for her unfaithful husband, seeking revenge and uncovering his dark secret. He reacts by urging the hospital to drop the DNR he originally issued, desperately trying to keep his wife alive in order to thwart her murderous intentions.

The special effects are spectacular. I've seen countless burn victims in movies, but this one is definitely in the top echelon. The wife's lips and eyelids have been burned away which allows for a disturbing pair of eyes and set of teeth behind the gauze wrapping. Each time she looks at someone (directly at the camera/audience) it sends chills down your spine. A notable scene involving the burn victim is where the husband walks in on the hospital workers picking tattered clothing from his wife's bloody body.

The first time she dies, she visits the husband in their home and an intimate scene quickly turns grotesque. This is when we first start to learn that her spirit comes for him when she physically dies. In another scene, after he has foolishly slept with his mistress again, his wife flatlines. The mistress leaves the bedroom to fetch some glasses of wine and starts sending him risqué pictures from her camera phone. As he scrolls through the snapshots, his wife suddenly appears in the background. This scare tactic has been used repeatedly in movies, but it is still highly entertaining.

The movie found its rhythm just after the scene where the husband decides to use the skin from his mistress to save his wife's life--she needs the skin or she will die; the hospital cannot find a donor. He takes her to his office where he works as a dentist, straps her to one of the operating chairs, and gives her some gas. Then, he starts cutting along the dotted lines he has drawn to easily extract large sheets of her skin. The husband and the mistress have this comical dialog that lights up the screen with personality.

In the next scene, the husband is racing to the hospital with a cooler full of human flesh and his mistress's body parts strapped to the roof of his Smart car. Irony: He swerves to miss a fallen tree--the same fallen tree that set the whole movie into motion, I think--and body parts start falling from the roof. He stops the car and begins picking up the pieces when a cop approaches with his lights on, but goes zooming by, and from the speaker we hear, "Get out of the road buddy!" I don't know about you, but seeing a guy standing in the headlights of a police cruiser, holding a severed human leg that has just fallen from atop his Smart car is just plain funny.

The final scene of the movie is equally entertaining. The wife dies before the husband can arrive with the skin. We watch as he sulks back home and neatly disposes of the body parts in a garbage bin and rolls it out to the curb. For just a moment, I wondered why he would leave it somewhere so obvious, but as the ramifications of his wife's death dawned on me, the front door of his house opened and she was standing there with this priceless triumphant smirk. He hangs his head and walks past her, and everything about his body language says, I know I've been bad and there's no escaping the punishment I'm about to receive.

Oh, and one more thing. I noticed that the news station was WMOH-4. Nice!

Review Soundtrack:
Sepultura - "Breed Apart"
Meshuggah - "Glints Collide"
As Blood Runs Black - "My Fears Have Become Phobias"

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  1. This one sounds good (I stopped reading after a few paragraphs because I didn't want to spoil it for myself). I kinda gave up on MoH for a while (as you are about to do) - I guess the idea was way cooler than the product. Nevertheless, I would rather it be on tv than not - it beats Lost or whatever other dumb shit is on at the moment.

    Roll on Demons (I only saw one of these, and it was so goddam cheesy and cheap, I just couldn't take it - let me know what I'm missing, if anything...)

  2. Gore-Gore Gore - Definitely worth watching! Enjoy!