‘The Outwaters’ Dries Up Quickly

There was a Family Guy episode in which Brian Griffin is a seeing-eyed dog for blind people at a theater screening The Blair Witch Project. A movie like The Outwaters wouldn’t need someone to tell what would happen on screen because someone with perfect 20/20 vision couldn’t make it out. As a matter of fact, I would like to see someone try to make heads or tells through a descriptive audio on the DVD.

The movie has been getting a lot of press for the fact that people are leaving the theaters to vomit and I can see why. There’s too much shaky cam that people with motion sickness would get sick. The same thing happened with Blair Witch back in 1999. But at least that movie had a coherent plot. You can’t tell a single thing that is going on here. It’s one hour and 50 minutes of a glorified student film.

Half of the movie is filmed in the dark with a crappy flashlight that doesn’t show anything much. But I guess that’s what makes critics’ dicks so hard. I can just hear someone trying to explain to me, “You see, man, you don’t understand what the director was trying to do.”
No, I understand completely. It still doesn’t make it great. I didn’t care for Blair Witch but everyone telling me it’s not what you see that makes it great. It’s one of those “You got to listen to the notes they’re not playing” analaogies.

The movie currently has a 73 percent rating on RottenTomatoes and a 49 percent audience score. It has a 4.2 rating on Imdb.com, which is more than it deserves. I think the problem is too many critics look at the novelty of an idea or the tricks of the trade the filmmaker does without realizing that it’s nothing more than a polished turd. I had a small extra role in the schlock low-budget Denizen and during a scene that was supposed to be gruesome, the audience started laughing over the foolishness of it. The same is here in a scene a persons endtrails are shown.

The premise involves Robbie Zagorac (Robbie Banfitch who wrote, directed and did just about every other thing on the crew) as a filmmaker in Los Angeles who is chosen by his brother, Scott (Scott Schamell), and his friend, Angela Bocuzzi (Angela Basolis) to make a music video for musician, Michelle August (Michelle May). Since the movie does the same trick Blair Witch did by giving the characters the same (or same first names here) as the actors, I immediately cringed.

The first half of the movie is even more cringeworthy as we sit through footage of them talking and singing tunes as they head out to Mojave Desert to film. Also, the only way you tell Michelle and Angie apart is Michelle has brown hair and Angie has blonde. But there’s odd things in the desert. They hear noises. The wind is so heavy it overpowers their own audio at time. Then there are four donkeys in the distance who bray.

Then, the next thing that happens is confusing. The movie makes it look like someone is running around with a hatchet attacking people. But did Robbie lose it and attack the others? It doesn’t really matter. You can’t see much of what happen. There’s even some indication that there is a huge beast around, a mutant wild boar or bear hybrid and even a demonic voice heard on the audio at one time instructing Robbie.

The most ludicrous part is these tentacles that are often seen just off the camera that screech like orcas. It’s hilarious and almost Ed Wood style with the octupus on Bride of the Monster. The movie delves too much in The Tree of Life surreal images mixed with the head-tripping final act of 2001: A Space Odyssey. But even Terrence Malick would get bored by this movie.

The movie was made on a reported $15,000 and looks it. It’s currently streaming on Hoopla if you don’t want to spend money to see it in a theater. Even watching it for free through a library card seems like a waste. This might be the worst movie of 2023. And we still have nine more months to go through. Some might say the independent filmmaker should get a pass but this movie is too long, too repetitive and not at all watchable but not for the gruesomeness and the shaky-cam. I didn’t care about the early scenes either.

What do you think? Please comment.

Published by bobbyzane420

I'm an award winning journalist and photographer who covered dozens of homicides and even interviewed President Jimmy Carter on multiple occasions. A back injury in 2011 and other family medical emergencies sidelined my journalism career. But now, I'm doing my own thing, focusing on movies (one of my favorite topics), current events and politics (another favorite topic) and just anything I feel needs to be posted. Thank you for reading.

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