I was visiting family in their lovely new home when I received the screener for Le Fear 2: The Sequel from the Slack Jaw Punks. It sat there on my laptop while I explored the gardens on the grounds. I took my time, noting where the gardens were planted, comparing the empty plots to the explosion of colors and varieties of life that put most greenhouses to shame. Unlike the city, these exotic plants will be surrounded by lush woods encroaching on the large yard surrounding the property, stopped only by the waves of the ocean pushing it’s way inland. It was a beautiful sight preceded by a wonderful dinner in the warm glow of family.
When I got back to my room to finally watch the film, I wondered how my computer could get cancer.
What is the one thing a comedy is supposed to do? Make you laugh, right? You know what Le Fear 2: The Sequel made me feel? Angry. Right before I went to bed, I saw a film that made me furious about everything that went into it. I couldn’t sleep! My bed was like laying on a cloud, the pillows were as soft as marshmallows, and my down blanket was a shroud of magic and happiness, yet moments from this “film” kept raping my brain every time I closed my eyes keeping me from drifting off and having what should have been the best night’s sleep of my fucking life. You hear that Jason Croot?!? You ruined my fucking night!
Let’s break down what made this travesty to human intelligence awful. It can be narrowed down to stupid people doing stupid things, the same unfunny gag being repeated over and over again, and directing that made me believe that all instructions given by the director were “I am Croot” (pop culture reference!). I could narrow this down further by saying that this film was an all around failure like a man with a pistol in his mouth pointing it a little too far to the left, but that’s not fair because that man has a second shot at getting it right.
Le Fear 2: Le Sequel follows Carlos (Kyri Saphiris) as he attempts to make a horror/romance/action/monster/stupid movie. In order to fund this clusterfuck of dumb, he makes a deal with Dirk Heinz (Andrew Tiernan) by putting up $500,000 dollars of his own money in exchange for $10,000,000 from some South African investors. The film doesn’t go into the finances, which is fine, but that means that the film Carlos is making should have a budget somewhere between $10,000,000 and $10,500,000.
“But what if it’s all a scam and there was never any money to begin with?” You may be asking with all the logic this movie is missing. Don’t worry, I’ll get to that.
Every scene of this film goes as follows: Carlos needs something for the next scene and Efi, the producer (Seye Adelekan) or one of the other crew members (but mainly Efi) promises the moon, but delivers something that literally comes from the dollar store. LITERALLY. Carlos gets pissed and tries to get something better, but Efi (or one of the crew members) swears that what they got is perfect and that there’s no reason to get anything else. This includes taping a blow up Alien to a remote control car and trying to pass it off as the film’s monster, using an inflatable pool on a fishing line as a UFO, and putting up cheap halloween decorations around the set to make it look more frightening. Did I mention that the set of this $10,000,000 film is a caravan (trailer)? Carlos yells “This is shit!” over and over again while getting bullshit excuses why it’s fine, then a title card saying ‘Le Fear 2: Le Sequel’’ ends the scene like it’s cutting to a fucking commercial break!
Repeat for 90 minutes.
So let’s get back to the money…and the dumbness. They ties together. You see, I figured that Efi and his crew were embezzling money and trying to pass off shitty props, locations, and actors as gold since there’s no way in hell anyone but a scammer would try to convince anyone that a TV bought for maybe twenty bucks at a second hand store could be a camera monitor. Except, at no point does the movie show them trying to live it up off the $10,000,000 budget. You might be saying “That wouldn’t be realistic! Why would they steal money and flaunt it to the people who they stole it from?” To that I would say you would need to read more news coming out of Florida. Also, given the characters’ intelligence regarding their prop choices, and the fact that the audience needs to know that there’s a reason for the dollar store bullshit being thrown around, yeah, maybe point out that they bought a new ring or something. Yet, I believe they were actually dumb enough to believe the shit they were spouting? Why? Well, let me tell you about the only scene where Carlos asks about where his money is going.
Carlos speaks with Dirk about how the shoot is going when he brings up how poorly effective Efi is and how he wants to know how his $500,000 is being spent. Rather than answer a fairly straight forward question, or explain that something went wrong and all the money is gone (as you can see, I was still holding onto the delusion that there was something scandalous going on to explain, well, anything), Dirk practically strangles Carlos, telling his that his $500,000 was nothing compared to the $10,000,000 that he has on the line with his South African investors.
What does this tell us? We now know that there was indeed an investment of $10,000,000. Nobody appears to be spending it on the one thing that it should be spent on, and everyone has stakes in the film turning out well. So, why isn’t the money being spent?
Because everyone is dumb.
This is further cemented at the end of the film. Yes, I’m spoiling the ending. If you’re upset by this because you were planning to see the film, then I must ask you, how’d that lobotomy work out for you?
After seeing the shitshow that Carlos managed to produce, Dirk is happy. Fucking ecstatic. He thinks the film is amazing and really believes in it. To this point, the last moments of the movie, I still believed that there had to be some explanation behind why a group of people are letting $10,000,000 sit on the table while complaining about how no money is being spent. Nope. Just dumbness. And I hate using ‘dumb’ to describe something! It’s how middle schoolers describe anything that’s not trending on Twitter! But that’s what I was seeing, pure concentrated dumb.
Just to add the bloody polyp cherry on top of this shit sundae, you get a title card at the end letting you know that the movie failed (surprise, surprise) and that Carlos lost his $500,000, his home, and is left destitute. That’s right, at the end of the film, your main character is homeless. Doesn’t that just give you the feel good tingles all over? I for one know that it just didn’t feel realistic when The Avengers was over and Captain America WASN’T begging for change; maybe they should have pulled a page out of Le Fear 2: Le Sequel’s book when they made that box office dud.
None of this would have been possible without the testicular fortitude of the film’s director James Croot. Is this a compliment? Not really, merely an observation. I mean, you’ve got to have a giant set on you to announce TWO MORE FUCKING SEQUELS to a film, not produced by Marvel or DC, before it’s even released. Yes, there’s more coming, and why not? Look up the writer for the movie on IMDB. It’s James Croot (idea). Nothing else. Just ‘idea’. The fuck does that even mean? I can only assume that nothing was written down and they just fucking winged it. It sure makes Carlos’s line “It’s shit! Just Shit!” take on a different meaning. He probably wasn’t talking about the fake movie, he was probably referring to the real one.
This acting, while passable, doesn’t seem to have come from any external creative source. “This is the scene, now do this!” is not directing. Framing the shot didn’t even seem to come to mind as the camera sways and struggles to focus. Numerous times throughout the film, there’s a zoom in on an actor’s face that never becomes clear. At first, I thought this film was going for a poorly done mockumentary style, yet as the film went on, there were no interviews with the faux cast and crew, nor did anyone seem to acknowledge the camera. In fact, there was a character who was documenting the making of the doomed film that got acknowledgement, a perfect time to point out that there was another camera filming them, but it didn’t happen. Nothing else comes from it either. The guy shows up with a handheld camera a few times and outside of pointing out how odd it is for him to be there, he’s just ignored.
I’m not even sure what else to say. I thought that writing down my ideas would somehow mitigate my rage, yet here I am, wanting to punch things like I’ve never punched before. There was nothing enjoyable about watching a bullshit non-story be told by people trying to figure out what to say while a drunken chimp holding a camera tries to capture it all (maybe this idea will be the fifth in this apparently on going series). It’s boring, unfunny, and counter to what you expect from a comedy.
Want to have an Inception style movie night where you’re watching a film about people making a film? Watch Bowfinger or Get Shorty. Want something to aid you in your interrogation of potential terrorist insurgents? Then Le Fear 2: Le Sequel is right for you.
FOOTNOTE: While there are many more characters in this film than I mentioned in the review, I frankly only had so much time and patience to get my thoughts out. Out of respect for the careers of the actors who participated in this film (who weren’t that bad given what they were working with), it’s probably best that they remain resigned to the Le Fear 2: Le Sequel IMDB page, which was a little difficult to search for and doesn’t even have a cover photo.
That and I don’t care. I’m done.