Sunday, January 1, 2017

Antisocial (2013)

Every year, we get to the end and think “Everything will be better next year.”  It’s something that always happens.  The last year of everyone’s life seems like a disappointment and we all want to do better.  That is especially true this year, as 2016 seems to have been the least favourite year of the entire world.  This post isn’t about 2016 though.  It’s about a movie that takes the idea of a new year bringing a new world to the extreme.

Antisocial came out in 2013.  Sam (Michelle Mylett) was a recently single college student who stopped at a party hosted by her friend Mark (Cody Ray Thompson).  Their friends Jed (Adam Christie), Steve (Romaine Waite), Kaitlin (Ana Alic), and Chad (Ry Barrett) were also there.  It was the pre-party to the big New Year’s Eve bash that night.  When Chad went to hand out flyers for the party, news broke that some sort of sickness was spreading across the world.  People were advised to lock up their homes and stay inside to avoid the rage filled people terrorizing the streets.  It was up to the five people still in the house to work together to survive as the world was changing into a zombie apocalypse.

The main theme of Antisocial is that social media is turning people into zombies.  A social media website called Social Redroom was the cause of the epidemic.  An update to the site early on New Year’s Eve caused tumors to grow in the users’ brains, which then turned them into rage filled monsters.  But the movie could also be seen as an allegory for how social media is taking over people’s lives.  There isn’t a time when you are in public where you don’t see someone staring at their phone because they’re updating their online profiles.  People don’t have as much time for face-to-face interactions because they’re sharing their thoughts and life moments through sites like Twitter and Facebook.  Online has become the new life for modern civilization.

I’ve been prone to living off social media.  If you’re reading this post, you probably know me from Twitter.  I’ve been a frequent user of that site for the past five years.  Some good friends have come from my presence there, though I have yet to meet any in the offline world.  Then there’s Facebook.  I’m not as frequent a user of Facebook outside of their messaging app.  But that brings me to how my reality is similar to that of Antisocial’s, aside from the whole zombie part.  When I went back to school a few months ago, the time block of classes that I’m in made a group chat on Facebook so that we could be in contact with each other if we needed anything.  After that moment, whenever we were in a setting together, the group was talking as much face-to-face as they were talking through the chat.  That’s a fifty-fifty split while sitting in the same room.  Snapchat is the same way.  People would be putting videos and pictures up on snapchat all the time, when they could just as easily be talking to each other.  Social media has taken over people’s lives.

Antisocial wants people to look beyond their social media interfaces and see the world around them.  It wants people to know what is happening nearby.  It’s very fitting of today’s society where the world is such a mess and bad things are always happening.  We’re in our little bubbles of social media where we learn about things happening in different parts of the world, but we don’t know as much of the world immediately around us.  Everyone is busy complaining on social media about every little thing that Donald Trump does.  They don’t notice the stuff happening in their local area.  There could be a disaster in their city, and many people wouldn’t know about it because their Twitter feed is blowing up with Trump saying that America should be making more nukes to win the arms race (something he actually said right before Christmas).  There could be a school that needs funding or else it will shut down.  Someone could have been murdered two blocks away from you.  But your nose is in social media and these things don’t get as much attention anymore.  We’re so focused on the global issues that we don’t realize what will directly affect us.

The trouble going on right outside the door of the party was the rage zombie outbreak.  The outbreak was happening around the world, but the story was about the people trapped in the house.  It was about them communicating with one another.  They had to put down their phones and stay off of social media.  They needed to discuss things face-to-face to keep the terror out of the house.  Social media was the problem.  The more that they were on social media, the more likely they were to be infected.

Bringing it back to the new year, new world idea, the movie took place on New Year’s Eve.  The main character experienced one of the worst moments of her life earlier in the day.  She found out that she was pregnant, and when she tried to tell her boyfriend, he broke up with her before she could give him the news.  It was a low point.  The day would continue to get lower as the outbreak happened and her friends died.  That’s the year being horrible.  But in the new year, she found the strength to go on and survive.  She was the only friend still alive.  She did what needed to be done to make it through the night.  She was in a new world where rage zombies roamed, but she knew that she could make it.  She knew that she would be okay.  She knew how tough she was.  It took the disaster year to make her realize that.

Antisocial is the perfect New Year’s fantasy.  Sure, it’s not the romanticised version that we’re used to.  There was no drinking or kisses at midnight.  The movie was about an outbreak on New Year’s Eve.  But it perfectly encapsulated, through horror, what we all hope will happen come the new year.  We want to be stronger people.  We want to find a better version of ourselves.  We want to leave our problems behind and start fresh.  I hope that we can, since 2016 has taken a toll on all of us.  Have a Happy New Year everyone!  Here’s to a better 2017!
And here are some notes to start off the new year:

  • The other movies I’ve watched for New Year’s were New Year’s Eve, Money Train, and 200 Cigarettes.  I also watched Baby’s Day Out as a sort of New Year’s Baby type of thing, but it had nothing to do with New Year’s.
  • Have you seen Antisocial?  Have you heard of Antisocial?  If you want to discuss this movie or the post, there is a comments section below for all of that fun stuff.
  • I’m always open to suggestions for things to watch for the Sunday “Bad” Movies.  If you know a movie that I should watch for the blog, let me know on Twitter or in the comments.
  • Sometimes when I’m watching bad movies, I share clips of them on my snapchat.  If you want to see them, add me.  Jurassicgriffin.
  • Next week’s movie will see me dive back into the world of Neil Breen.  I’ve already seen his movie Fateful Findings.  Now I go back to the first movie he made, Double Down.  It’s a doozy.  I’ll tell you all about it next week.

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