Reviews | Written by Andrew Marshall 25/03/2020

ANDERSON FALLS [FrightFest Glasgow 2020]

ANDERSON FALLS / CERT: TBC / DIRECTOR: JULIEN SERI / SCREENPLAY: GILES DAOUST / STARRING: SHAWN ASHMORE, GARY COLE, DANIELLA ALONSO, RICHARD HARMON, LIN SHAYE / RELEASE DATE: TBC   Contrary to popular belief, film critics don’t enjoy tearing a movie apart. On the contrary, we do this job because we love movies and try to look for something to enjoy in everything we watch. However, every now and then something comes along that is so utterly inept on all fronts it’s impossible to even pretend to be positive about it.   The plot of Anderson Falls sees detective Anderson (see what they did there?) investigate his wife’s death despite it being ruled a suicide because he knew she would never kill herself and is convinced she was murdered, and the process realises a series of such deaths were the work of a father-son team of serial killers.   This isn’t any kind of spoiler, as the film’s opening shows a protracted scene of the luckless woman in question being forced to swallow a bottle of pills, thereby removing any sense of ambiguity from proceedings and instead leaving the audience bored and frustrated while the police come to painfully obvious conclusions.   It’s easy to highlight everything about a film that makes no sense, as all movies to one extent or another require a certain degree of suspension of disbelief. However, when a plot runs on nothing but gormlessness, stupidity and histrionic overacting, all that you’re left to talk about is its litany of shortcomings.   No character involved behaves or speaks like anything resembling a functional human being, but since every word and action is required for the ludicrous plot – for lack of a better word – to progress, the audience is forced to endure them as it stumbles along to the revelation that the killers are driven by nothing but hateful misogyny. Not even in a way that makes a point or has something to say, but rather just moronic diatribes practically copy-pasted from the online domains of MRA morons.   Some scenes will inspire a few laughs, such as Anderson getting inside the killers’ heads by staring at photos of successful women and screaming “I hate you” at them, or the image of  a pictures-and-red-string wall of crazy like Charlie Day in that It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia meme, although any humour gleaned is entirely unintentional. Its all intended to be taken very, very seriously, but the preposterous histrionics instead result in the kind of overwrought soap opera dramatics that given a minor violence edit wouldn’t be out of place screening on Sony Movies on a Sunday afternoon.   There’s no two ways about it: Anderson Falls is quite simply a terrible film. It may find an audience in midnight marathons whose audiences can laugh along with a film’s sheer awfulness, but there really isn’t anything else even vaguely positive to be said about this spiteful, incoherent, nigh-unwatchable melodramatic shambles.