Tuck Me In (2014 short movie) review…

And, somewhere in the world, Gary Larson is laughing to himself… After the break…

Tuck Me In (2014 short movie) review…

Let’s admit it to each other – We like our sensations and we want them now. The fast-forward button has been with us since the late 1970s (early to mid 1980s for most folks) and, ever since, our small screen thrills and chills have all been accelerated thanks to that little ad-hoc film editing button on our remote control. Why plod through twenty some-odd minutes of character development when all that you really want to see are the five to seven minutes of aliens annihilating the landscape in ultra-cool CGI?

Conversely, there’s only so much sensation that can be packed into such a short amount of time without the appropriate amount of context. A sword fight can only be so thrilling without the viewers having some degree of emotional investment. For that matter, even the most thrilling car chase can bore if the viewers are indifferent. A couple talking to each other with their relationship on the line? It’s not suspenseful or thrilling or dramatic if, to be perfectly blunt, we don’t care. That’s the problem with cutting out all of the “boring stuff” in a movie: It’s the needed stuff that gives us the tools and examples that we need to evaluate the characters on the screen. Without the boring stuff, the exciting stuff is less exciting.

For those people who use a movie theater as a cheap replacement for a roller coaster, even a small amount of “boring stuff” is too much: They want their highs, they want their lows, and than they want to leave for the next “sensation content provider.”

Living in a YouTube age, though, means constantly paring your cinematic vision down to a bare essentials point: Most people begin yawning at the fifth minute and flip to a cute cat video before the seventh minute.

Juan J. Ruiz decided to attempt to make an one-minute horror “movie” that has since become the typical Internet sensation. Despite claims that it would “chill me to the bone in terror” and make me “terrified very, very quickly,” just the opposite occurred.

Since the “movie” only lasts one minute, there’s no point in avoiding the spoiler: A father tucks his small child into bed and the child asks the father to check for monsters under the bed (how adorable). When the father checks under the bed, he finds the child under the bed telling his father that there’s a monster on top of the bed. The father then looks back up on the bed to see his child and, presumably, wonders which one is the real child and which one is “the monster.”

Is it intriguing? Of course. Yet “terrifying” and “chilling” (especially to my “bone”) are a way bit too strong to use. The entire movie is a nice opening sequence or even the set-up to an even larger “twist reveal” to a Twilight Zone episode. Even still, the movie doesn’t allow the viewer much information to speculate which is the real child and which isn’t. Why not have the father ask, “Hey, buddy, did you change pajamas?” or only find bloody clothing under the bed or have a shadow fall onto the father from behind him (from the hallway), or…

…Or something that really would be “chilling” and “terrifying.” Yes, the “which one is the monster?” is a puzzling moment but never rises to anything more than that because there is no introduction of stress. There is no moment of forced decision making based upon limited information.

“Tuck Me In” reminds me, more than anything else, of the old Far Side comic strip of two humanoid monsters lying on top of a bed with one of them remarking, “I think that there’s a human under the bed” with a human child clearly visible under the bed. In the case of the comic strip, it is meant for laughs. In the case of the movie, it is meant for confusion. In neither case would I consider this to be scary. In order for it to be scary, the filmmakers need to stop thinking with a “fast-forward” button mentality and allow their story to develop past a single “twist reveal.”


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