400 Days (2015)

(Netflix Streaming, January 2017) As horrible as it sounds, sometimes it feels good to hate a movie. While 400 Days is so-so with occasional intriguing moments for most of its duration, it firmly plans the nails in its own coffin in its final seconds, as it races toward an answer to all of the film’s mysteries—then cuts to black before offering any satisfaction. At that point, viewers are more than justified—encouraged, even—to throw soft things at their TV, curse the name of writer/director Matt Osterman, burn whatever Syfy fan club card they may have and vow to one-star the film on all available social media platform. If hate is your thing, they go wild—400 Days practically begs for polarized reactions after building itself as a mystery and withholding answers. As a younger man, I may have done any of these things. Nowadays, however, thanks to David Lynch, Nicholas Windig Refn and the Coen brothers, I’m more the kind of reviewer to shrug and move on. I have other things to do than to play whatever game the film is playing, and there are far better movies available from the same places that offer 400 Days. Had there been a better ending, I may have spent some time talking about the visual polish of the film, some interesting moments, adequate character works by the actors and how the movie could have pushed some intriguing themes further. As it is, though, I’m just tempted to just watch something else and forget much of 400 Days, with a note to my future self saying “don’t watch this again, it’s not worth it”.

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