Movie Review: “Fading of the Cries”

Written by Brent Holmes August 31, 2011

Tommy Wiseau’s The Room is widely regarded as one of the worst films ever made. However, the introducing and dropping subplots, horrible editing, bad acting, and a constantly reappearing picture of a spoon are sorely missed in Fading of the Cries. Fading of the Cries makes The Room look like it deserves an Oscar. Devoid of any creativity and logical narrative structure, this independent fantasy/horror film lacks even  the unintentional comedy effect Wiseau’s The Room making it almost unwatchable.

After a brief thirty second prologue and some obscure opening credits, the first five minutes of this film establish the lack of narrative focus and use of over-the-top cliques. There are a handful of scenes in which important macguffins are obnoxiously flaunted in front of the camera, no idea of what these things are is given until halfway through the film and these objects lose all of their importance by the end.

Sarah (Hallee Hirsh), the female protagonist puts on some kind of necklace at the start of the film and then goes out with a friend only for them to be attacked by a horde of Fades stolen from Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time. Her friend is killed, a fact that she will mourn long after the character’s five minutes of existence has lost all significance. Sarah is saved by an emo kid with a sword named Jacob.

Jacob, (Jordan Matthes) who acts like Twilight’s Edward Cullen, fights like The Force Unleashed’s Starkiller, and has the combined angst factor of every character of Glee, is a compilation of every one of the worst male protagonists in popular culture. For this reviews purposes, he will be called Not-Edward Cullen. Primarily, because Jacob is a carbon copy of Edward Cullen and because it is impossible to keep track of the names of characters since three or four of them all start with an ‘M’ and sound pretty similar.

Everything about the first act of the film is insanely frustrating. The first act (being the first 28 minutes) should be laying the foundation for the rest of the film to make sense, but instead the action of the film starts with less than ten minutes in and there is no exposition or justification for what is happening until the middle of the second act. Three of the characters end up having essentially the same backstory, and we have to sit through all of them in the last half-hour.

The plot tries to balance about four plot lines throughout the film. Sarah and Not-Edward Cullen running from zombies, Sarah’s uncle Michael (Thomas Ian Nicholas) going insane while learning how to use occult magic, Sarah’s mother, Maggie (Elaine Hendrix), and sister, Jill (Mackenzie Rosman) trying to defend their house from zombies, and Not-Edward Cullen’s backstory. There is also a few bits with Brad Dourif playing some kind of evil necromancer named Mathias who somehow started all of the plot’s events.

The timelines for these plots make The Terminator’s continuity errors look accurate. The uncle’s character seems to be going mad and dying fourteen years before the events of the film and yet the start of the film acts like he just died. Not-Bella Swan’s mother sees pretty much everything the uncle is doing and does nothing about it, and then lets her daughter wear the evil necklace. The holdout strategy against the zombies is questionable at best and what it actually takes to ‘kill’ one is impossible to determine.

What the hell that necklace is supposed to do is another thing the film leaves gracefully to our imagination. The first half of the film treats the necklace like it is the One Ring, but halfway through the third act it has lost all importance. The film implied that Mathias needed this necklace but during the final battle, it is not considered important.

The third act is probably the stupidest: Not-Edward Cullen’s fight with Brad Dourif makes bugger all for sense, Sarah and her mother abruptly die and Sarah’s sister takes the role as the heroine from then on in. The audience is expected to accept this substitution without batting an eye. The film ends with no exposition, leaving Not-Edward Cullen beating on a old guy with his sword as the camera pans out to reveal that the entire town is shaped in some kind of occult symbol that has not been seen before in the film.

Never watch this film. This may not be a film that is horrible on any massive  ideological or artistic basis. It is simply bad: a poorly constructed narrative compounded by bad acting and too many unexplainable tangents. It just falls short of being ‘so bad, it’s funny’ and as a result is nothing more than a terrible movie.

My Rating: 0/10

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About Brent Holmes

Brent Holmes is a Film Studies and English Major attending Huron University College at the University of Western Ontario where he is working towards a PhD in Film Studies. He currently writes for We Eat Films and The Western Gazette (on the latter, he serves as Arts & Life editor).

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