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Are You Afraid of the Dark?

Are You Afraid of the Dark? is a show that you were contractually obligated to watch if you grew up in the ‘90s. Kids like to get scared, and this was the scariest thing on TV at the time (that your mom would let you watch). Each week, another member of the Midnight Society would tell a scary story around a campfire. And each week, you would be terrified of going to bed that night.

            I recently found a bunch of old episodes on YouTube and it’s been pretty awesome reliving my childhood. And you’d be surprised at how many of the child guest stars went on to become famous. Ryan Gosling, Hayden Christensen, Neve Campbell, Emmanuelle Chriqui, and Jay Baruchel were all responsible for making you afraid of the dark at some point.

            If All That is a family-friendly SNL, then Are You Afraid of the Dark? is a family-friendly Tales from the Crypt. It’s family-friendly because there’s no swearing or nudity (god-fucking-damn-it). But it’s still creepy and scary and I wouldn’t recommend it before bedtime. It’s a little dated now, but it’s a classic show. You probably wouldn’t like it if you didn’t grow up watching it. But that’s your fault.

Critically Rated at 13/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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I remember when Drive came out in theaters last year, a few people told me that I needed to see it, and I didn’t believe them. And now that I finally have seen it, I know that I was right. Drive is a pretty craptacular movie. It’s about a stuntman/mechanic who works as a getaway driver on the side, and he stumbles into a plot and gets in over his head and has to fight his way out. It sounds cool. It’s not.

I’ve never heard of the director, Nicolas Winding Refn, so I looked him up on Wikipedia and he hasn’t directed anything good and he looks like a doofus. I don’t like him. Ryan Gosling stars as the Driver. You never learn his name and you don’t care. He goes around wearing a stupid satin jacket with a giant scorpion on it. He works as a mechanic and as a Hollywood stunt driver, but his main thrill is driving getaway cars. The Driver works at a garage. His boss Shannon (Bryan Cranston) arranges his getaway jobs. The Driver has a few rules that he abides by: he never does a job for the same people twice, and they only have five minutes to do their shit before he drives off.

The Driver meets a girl in his apartment building named Irene (Carey Mulligan) and her young son Benicio. The Driver and Irene have some chemistry, and the Driver likes little Benicio and it seems like the love story will move along nicely, but then Irene’s husband Standard gets out of prison and comes home. Standard (Oscar Isaac) owes an Albanian Gangster named Cook some money, and Cook forces Standard to rob a pawnshop for him. The Driver decides to help Standard and offers his services as a getaway driver.

Standard, the Driver, and a random bitch rob the pawnshop, but things go wrong and Standard gets shot and dies. The Driver and the random bitch flee the scene with the money, but they are being chased by another car. So the Driver outdrives the other driver and they escape. And the Driver deduces that the random bitch set him up. And then some hitmen show up and kill the random bitch and the Driver kills them and escapes again.

The Driver tracks down the gangster Cook and he finds out that Nino (Ron Pearlman) is behind the heist. Ron Pearlman might be the ugliest guy in Hollywood. He looks like Eric Stoltz in Mask. Nino sends a hitman to kill the Driver. The Driver kills the hitman by repeatedly stomping his face into the ground, before looking at Irene with puppy dog eyes and wondering why she is so freaked out by him.

The Driver tracks down Nino and kills him and then goes after Nino’s partner Bernie (Albert Brooks). After he gives Bernie back the money in exchange for Irene and Benicio’s safety, Bernie stabs him. The Driver stabs him back and kills him. And then he doesn’t die, and he celebrates by driving off into the night without the girl.

This movie drags on and on. It was marketed as an action movie, but there’s not much action. There’s not even much dialog either. It just creeps along at a snail’s pace, pretending to be smarter than it really is. Compare this movie to Reservoir Dogs. Reservoir Dogs is an action movie without much action. But it’s riveting, it’s got a nice flow and pace, it never drags. Michael Madsen slices off a cop’s ear and it’s terrifying and you can’t look away even though you want to. In Drive, Albert Brooks kills a guy by stabbing him in the eye with a fork and hacking at him with a butcher’s knife. It was much more gruesome, but had no impact on the plot, and therefore is unnecessary and stupid. Tarantino’s Death Proof had much better driving scenes and stunts. This movie seems likes it’s trying to emulate Tarantino, but it fails miserably.

It’s false advertising to call a movie Drive when they don’t do much driving. They should call it Bore, because boring is a much more accurate description. This is not the worst movie ever, but I can’t respect you if this is your favorite movie.

Critically Rated at 10/17

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