Friday, December 17, 2010

June 9 (2008)

June 9

Written & Directed by T. Michael Conway

Robert...Jon Ray
Boggs...Trevor Williams
Jennifer...Maggie Blazunas

Five teenage Junior Jackasses spend their summer vacation playing "pranks" on innocent people around their small Ohio town.  Looking to defeat the boredom of being young, dumb, and full of that indefinable quality that guidance counselors refer to as "potential", they also decide to visit a number of strange locales detailed on the Haunted Ohio website--a haunted school bus, an old church, and a lake among them.


After a series of encounters with locals, and a few "eerie" happenings, the kids decide they have had enough of their videotaped explorations.  But a missing purse draws them back out for one more adventure.  Probably one last adventure.

A good share of the world has grown tired of the whole "found footage" angle, as the genre has seemingly been overrun with low-budget renditions of this tried-and-true formula.  I, however, am not among this share of the population.  I have been hooked ever since the Blair Witch Project scared the man-panties right off of me, giving me second thoughts about camping for all eternity.  So when I saw this puppy available to Instant Watch on Netflix, I plopped ass on the couch and kicked up my feet.


The concept was a good one:  youngsters in search of urban legends.  I've said this before, but urban legends are so rich in history and power--even those legends that are merely regional--that it shocks me how few horror films have actually taken advantage of them.  So this movie had the potential (there's that word again) to be something good.  It's just too bad that it couldn't quite surpass its mediocre beginnings.

The main problem here is that although we're told that these places they are visiting are the locations of various urban legends, we're never actually privvy to just what those urban legends are.  Okay, this school bus is supposed to be haunted--but haunted by who, and why?  We're given the impression that these legends are all tied together in some way, due to their proximity within a single town nicknamed Hell Town.  But, again, it's never explained how they tie together.  There is not even an attempted explaination for any of the strange occurences caught on tape, either.  One of the characters suffers an inexplicable head wound, another develops sudden nosebleeds and nausea.  But once again, we're left asking the question, Why?

Had any of this been wrapped up at the finale, the ambiguity throughout the film would have been acceptable.  But don't hold your breath.  The ending is brutal and violent, but equally unexplained.

Remember the first time you watched Lost, and you had no idea what was going on, but you knew you were going to come back to find out?  Well June 9 is a lot like that.  Except that even if there was more footage, you would have no desire to tune back in.

What a waste.


--J/Metro

2 comments:

  1. hmmm sounds interesting. I think

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  2. Agreed. I'd heard so much about this one and finally watched it last night since its Instant Watch life is expiring in a few days. Eh. I like some aspects of it, but the mythology was so ill-defined that I never really knew what was going on. The worse thing was how awful the kids were. Seriously, were we supposed to like or care about ANY of them? It's one thing to be jokers, but these were just bratty teens who didn't like each other or anyone else. Ugh.

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