Entrance

This Entrance Leads Nowhere You Want to Be

Main Cast: Suziey Block

Directors: Dallas Richard Hallam and Patrick Horvath

Entrance posterOkay, so that was nothing at all even close to being 1% what I thought it would be going by the Netflix description: “After mysteriously losing her dog, a Los Angeles barista decides to leave the city, but she finds that the city just might not let her go so easily.” Now, I’m expecting some kind of surreal nightmare world where the city is actually keeping her trapped within its borders. At least, that’s how I would have written it if given that description as a writing prompt.

What I would NOT have written is an hour-long description of a woman who is bored with her mundane, monotonous life who, after her dog disappears, decides to go back home to Michigan. And I then would not have written the last 20 minutes of an intruder at Suziey’s going-away dinner party wire-tying her hands behind her back while he kills her friends and roommate with an ax. I mean I MAY have thought of that part and explored it a bit in my mind, but, come on, “the city just might not let her go so easily” is so much more interesting an idea.

But no, writers Karen Gorham, Dallas Richard Hallam, Patrick Horvath (Hallam and Horvath also co-directed), and Michelle Margolis had other ideas. To them, the banality of Suziey’s everyday life walking to and from work was much more interesting an exploration. Only to then devolve into a very restrained form of torture porn. I will give credit for that final unbroken 20-minute shot; that was a nice touch. But holy crap after an hour of nothing and more nothing, I think I deserve a little more than that for my time and effort.

Entrance (and let’s not even start on what the hell the title has to do with ANYTHING about this movie) is designed as a slow burn character study as we watch pretty young Suziey (played by Suziey Block, “Monk”) come to the realization that LA just isn’t for her. She goes through the motions at work, she comes home and feels even more alone, even though she has a roommate who lives downstairs, and even the one guy she brings home and sleeps with, she looks utterly bored during the entire encounter, probably going through with it simply because it beats falling asleep to DVDs. The only bright spot of Suziey’s entire existence is her blue heeler Darryl, and when he vanishes one day without a trace, she sinks even deeper into depression.

With nothing keeping her in LA any longer, Suziey decides to return home to Michigan, but midway through the dinner party her roommate Karen is throwing for Suziey’s going-away, a mysterious man appears in the garage, binds Suziey with duct tape and wire ties, then goes on a murder spree throughout the house in an effort to be alone with Suziey. He knows she doesn’t love him, and admits he probably doesn’t love her, either. But, he says, she is a part of the fabric of his life, and even though she doesn’t know it, he’s been a part of hers for a while, too. So this is just how it has to be.

Now if only we’d seen some evidence of what was to come a lot earlier. Yes, there was one scene after Darryl vanished where Suziey was sleeping and we see someone is taking pictures of her in the middle of the night, but this was the ONLY intimation that something was amiss in Suziey’s life. Sure, it sets up the film’s climax, but it’s not like its used earlier on, or even throughout the movie, as a catalyst for Suziey’s growing unease in LA. In fact, Suziey seems, to me, to just be too timid a person to properly function on her own, has absolutely no ambition in life to be anything at all, and is simply on a course of going through the motions until the day she drops dead. She’s just got a very very bland personality which remains pretty consistent through the entire movie. And that’s not a character I’m the least bit interested in and certainly don’t root for when the killer appears AN HOUR IN.

I admit I have no idea who Suziey Block is, haven’t seen her in any of her 25 other acting gigs, and couldn’t even begin to guess at what her actual personality is. But for this character, who shares a name, a day job, and a house (to save money the film was shot in Block’s own house and her character has the same barista job as the actress who plays her), Block certainly didn’t go out of her way to make her the least bit sympathetic or relatable. Get a hobby, I wanted to shake her and tell her, find SOMETHING that interests you and pursue it, stop being such a friggin buzz kill all the time. Holy God, woman, no wonder you lead a boring life, you’re BORING.

The peripheral characters barely make a dent, either, most of them coming on screen only for a minute or so before disappearing back into the ether of not being in Suziey’s direct line of sight. Even her roommate is “on vacation” for a good chunk of the movie, leaving Suziey even more alone than normal. And, sure, Block is easy on the eyes so it’s no big crime she’s front and center for most of the movie, but when you don’t necessarily LIKE the person you’re watching, fat lotta good “pretty” does.

Then again, hell, maybe I’m just disappointed the movie went the route it did instead of the route I’d envisioned when I added it to my Netflix queue. Maybe it’s because I wanted something surreal and dreamlike and what I got was “realistic” and slow. Nah, it’s just a boring movie no matter what expectations you came in with. Entrance is not the first time I’ve been surprised to find what I thought a movie would be was way off the mark from what it actually was, but sometimes those movies surprised and delighted me with what they DID offer as opposed to what I expected they had to offer. In this case, however, it’s just a total miss on every front. An uninspired story coupled with …was that acting? Hmm. Every character here is named after the actors who play them, so WERE they acting? The world may never know. Either way, that coupled with the lack of real STORY here and all I’m left with is feeling exactly like Suziey looked during the sex scene: Yawn, is it over yet?

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