Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Monkey In The Mirror - Movie Review

The Monkey In The Mirror

I used to be a big fan of horror movies. Watching a possessed girl’s head turn 360 degrees while spewing pea soup across a room scared the hell out of me. Then there was Jason, the psycho with the mask who ran around hacking up promiscuous teenagers. Man, that bad boy was unstoppable! But the most frightening movie I’ve ever watched never aired at any movie theater. It was an obscure, low budget horror film called The Monkey In The Mirror. The monkey and I co-starred together. We were really bad actors and the film never made it to the big screen. In fact, the monkey, a dude named H.P., and me were the only three to ever see it.

The plot was pretty typical. Some guy named Addie wakes up one day and feels this evil energy clinging to his back. At first, Addie thinks he’s imagining things and pretends it’s not there. He hopes ignoring it will make it go away. It doesn’t work, of course, and the dark entity becomes even more persistent and creepy. None of Addie’s friends or family can see or hear the demon and they think he’s gone off the deep end. Although nobody else believes him, Addie knows it’s there, because he can feel it breathing down his neck. It keeps whispering sinister words in his ear, like “Hey, buddy, let’s party. Take the day off from work and we’ll go out drinking. Let’s snort a line. It’s you and me, brother, forever and always”.

Well, after a while, Addie’s life becomes a real disaster zone. He's not sleeping at all well and begins to wonder if he really is going crazy. He gets up in the middle of the night and goes to the bathroom to splash some water on his face. You know, just to snap out of it and try to make some sense of the whole nightmare. I’ll bet you know what happens next. He starts running the water, and as he’s washing his face, decides to look in the mirror. There it is – a damned red-eyed monkey, staring back at Eddie with a twisted grin. It’s got huge fangs and has its long, yellow claws dug firmly into Eddie’s throat! Eddie’s horrified, naturally, and freaks out. When he finally works up enough nerve to look again, the monkey’s gone. But, as we all know, the monkey will be back, bigger and badder than ever.

To make a long, bad movie short, Addie tries all sorts of ways to shake the monkey off his back. He tries ignoring it, running from it, and even fighting it, but nothing works. It’s not until he tries a completely different tactic that he’s finally able to beat the monkey at its own game.

Addie decides to ask for help, realizing that he is no match for the monkey's power. The monkey’s after his soul and is out to destroy him. Addie needs help and he needs it fast.  He remembers a phone number he jotted down in his little black book a few years earlier. One of Eddie’s friends had told him about some guy that specializes in dealing with lowlifes and other undesirables. Geez, these cheap movies are always so predictable. Anyhow, the dude apparently keeps a low profile. He’s only known by his initials, which are H.P. So Addie dials the number and tells this guy the whole sordid story, begging for help. H.P. listens and assures him that he can help, but there’s a catch. Addie is going to have to meet the monkey face-to-face, alone, wearing a surveillance wire. H.P. will listen and watch, and then help Addie to ambush and overpower the monkey.

But, before Addie can engage the monkey, he’ll need to ask himself why the monkey chose him as its victim in the first place. And he better be honest with H.P. about it, or the deal’s off. Take it or leave it. This is where things start to get really scary. Addie is going to have to take a long, hard look in the mirror if he wants H.P.’s help. 

Addie doesn’t like the idea one bit, of course, remembering what he saw the last time he looked in the mirror. He finds himself between a rock and a hard place. Face that damned monkey again or die. Finally, he works up the courage to look the monkey straight in the eye. But, there’s a twist to the story. (there’s always a twist) He finds himself locked in the monkey’s embrace and is unable to breathe. It’s far worse than the first time he looked. The monkey is really pissed off and has grown even larger. The more Addie tries to pull away, the harder the monkey clings to him. The monster digs his claws into Addie's throat and starts choking the life out of him. Just as he's about to draw his final breath, H.P. runs up and blindsides the monkey, knocking it to the ground. Realizing it’s no match for H.P.’s super human strength, the monkey retreats into the woods and is never seen again. I know - there's usually a 10 minute battle royale, but that's not how it happens in this movie. Turns out the monkey's really a wuss and H.P. handles it easily.

In the closing scene, it’s as if nothing bad ever happened. The sun is shining as Addie sits on a park bench watching the birds and listening to children’s innocent laughter as they run and play. Life is wonderful and Addie lives happily ever after. So predictable.

Oh, did I mention the movie was based on a true story?  

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