Horsemen (2009) Jonas Akerman

Production Budget: $20 million

Gross: $1 million

Recently widowed police detective Aidan Breslin (Denis Quaid) is brought in for a set of murders which follow somewhat with a passage in Revelation…sort of…well no.

SPOILERS IF YOU CARE

I wasn’t expecting to see a bunch of Se7en rip offs this month but with Suspect Zero and Horsemen it seems to be the case. Except this is Se7en with a bit of an emo tinge to it. So there are supposed to be four murders and four killers which assume the mantle of one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. Revelation is themed all throughout but what does it factor into as far as the plot? Absolutely nothing. I’m serious. For all the quotes from the Bible and all the religious subtext when you find out what the killers are really after it has nothing to do with the Bible. You would think this has to do with devil worshipers or some religious cult. Nah. Okay, I guess I better go into the plot.

So when we first start out Breslin is looking after horrible torture deaths with no apparent motive behind it. All of the victims have a family member that is somewhat associated with the murder. Each victim has a killer which is linked to some personal tragedy in the family. For example, Ziyi Zhang plays a daughter of a sexually abusive foster father played by Peter Stormare (yeah, Peter Stormare plays a creepy guy, original). So Ziyi murders Stormare’s wife…who was completely innocent of everything. You see how this doesn’t make sense? Ziyi explains it by saying “What would hurt worse: killing the man responsible, or having him live with the pain of losing his wife forever?” I’m pretty sure death hurts worse. Plus it doesn’t change the fact he could still be sexually assaulting you. How bout this, how about you actually imprison or kill the person who is raping you all the time?

The second suspect kidnaps his brother who hates the fact that he is gay. The suspect hangs up his brother and kills himself in front of him. What purpose does this serve? Nothing, because he still hates gay people. Meanwhile, Detective Breslin is taking his wife’s death very hard and has been detached from his family life. And if you haven’t guessed the twist, don’t worry, they slam you over the head with it about a billion times. Yes, it turns out Breslin’s son is the head of the Horsemen and is also the head of an online group in which thousands of others have pledged to be Horsemen. Breslin’s son started the group and has been organizing the crimes so that deadbeat parents all over the world can realize the harm in not being there for their children. And with that, he commits suicide in front of Breslin and Breslin promises to be a better father to his much younger child.

Oh my aching ass. So let me get this straight, this guy takes care of all your needs. He feeds you, clothes you, puts a roof over your head, and works his ass off because he is the sole provider of a family of three. This is the same guy who was a loving and caring parent up until about a year ago when his wife died and he is having emotional problems because of it. So because this guy has not been as good a father as he once was and is having difficulties, he is AS BAD as a rapist father and a bigoted brother who probably physically abuses his sibling? Bite me.

The thing is, I don’t really have a problem with a horror movie about kids rebelling against deadbeat parents. In fact I think it is an interesting idea. Upon reflection, this seems like a theme which is handled better by the Asian film market. With a movie like Pulse, you have the kind of alienation felt by the Internet age represented as ghosts that take away your will to live. Or for another example, Suicide Club, even though I wasn’t a huge fan of that movie it is for other reasons. Point is, I think it takes a skilled writer/director to pull off a theme like that and not some whiny kid who complains that daddy doesn’t take him to a Red Wings game. Again, I’m serious.

Okay, let’s talk about the acting. Ziyi Zhang’s casting is a complete mystery to me and I have no idea why she is in this movie. I almost think they were surprised she even signed on they had to rewrite the script to make her the only adopted 30 year old girl in an all white family. She doesn’t do well since she has to struggle with her English and there really is no reason for her to be in this movie. Dennis Quaid is also miscast in the lead role. Quaid tries his best, but he does not strike me as the career driven detective who is a hard on his luck deadbeat when he is off the clock.

The movie tries to keep the interest of the viewer with a bunch of different red herrings. The director distracts us with gory images, a sub plot about a hanging fetish, and red herrings about the Bible but he can only distract you for so long. The movie only runs about 80 minutes and even there the plot feels stretched to the limit. The movie is competently made and I guess I can give the director credit for trying. I didn’t really HATE this movie, but at the end of the day it is a bad and forgettable movie.

 

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One Response to “Horsemen (2009) Jonas Akerman”

  1. I thought this would be a review of the Australian movie “The Horseman”. Ptiy…

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