The Horror Honeys: 'Eyes Wide Shut': It's About the Faked Moon Landing, Right?

'Eyes Wide Shut': It's About the Faked Moon Landing, Right?

A Revenge Honey Erotic Thriller November Review with Linnie

Eyes Wide Shut (1999)

I've often blamed Basic Instinct for killing the erotic thriller, but perhaps Lyne's film shouldn't shoulder that weight alone. Released in 1999, at the literal end of the decade in which the erotic thriller thrived, Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut may just be the final nail in the coffin of the genre... and I don't know if it will ever truly recover.

Which is why we're wrapping up Erotic Thriller month with Eyes Wide Shut: a eulogy to the genre I love.
The Story: Dr. Bill Harford (Tiny Tom Cruise) and his wife Alice (Nicole Kidman) are having marital problems. Apparently, these are the kind of marital problems that mean when Alice confesses her attraction to other men, Bill has the right to go wander the city looking for some strange tail, because men. What follows is two and half hours of Tiny Tom Cruise almost boning a bunch of women, but then, not. But then also, about five subplots that don't mean anything, along with this whole sex cult thing that's supposed to be thrilling, but is really just... boring.

For a married couple, they REALLY don't seem to like each other.
Life imitating art.
Now, I like Kubrick, but I am not a KUBRICK FAN, in the way that requires one to sit down and analyze every damn scene of every damn movie to death, until everyone you love shuns you like the pariah you are (and deserve to be). I think some of Kubrick's films are amazing (A Clockwork Orange, Paths of Glory, Lolita, Dr. Strangelove, Full Metal Jacket, 2001), I think some are good (Barry Lyndon, Spartacus), and some I don't like at all (The Shining, The Killing). But Eyes Wide Shut falls into an entirely new category: let's call it, "What's the goddamned point?"

Methinks you're barking up the wrong tree, ladies.
I have heard the all of the theories about the Illuminati, the NASA sex cult, or that Eyes Wide Shut is actually a condemnation of Scientology (which is INSANE. Would Tiny Tom Cruise really star in anything that portrayed his precious cult in a negative light?). And I maintain, this is a movie about nothing, in the way that Seinfeld was a show about nothing. In this case, however, just because the parts add up to something you can watch, that doesn't mean you should.

That's probably the most lifelike thing she's woken up next to in years.
Even if you discount the fact that the film is a crashing bore, the core concept at the heart of it is utterly idiotic. Alice confesses that she considered having an affair with a man, so that gives Bill permission to go dip his wick in every woman at a cult orgy? And a prostitute? And to flirt with a teenager? And feel up a stranger? And make out with a mourning woman? If the purpose of his douchebag odyssey was revenge, it's moronic, because all Alice did was be honest about the problems in their relationship. Bill responds by acting like a spoiled child. If Kubrick was trying to make the point that men are shitheads, then he succeeded, because that's the only message I walked away from Eyes Wide Shut learning.

At least he's not laughing hysterically for Xenu.
Or maybe he is. The mask makes it hard to tell.
Further, if you removed that obnoxious six note score that was applied over every scene without dialogue, I think Eyes Wide Shut would unequivocally be one of the dullest films ever made. I would rather watch Tiny Action Tom Cruise run away from his gay thoughts for twenty-four hours than watch Tiny Dead-Faced Tom Cruise amble mindlessly through the streets of New York. Any attempt at intrigue just seems forced, and when Sydney Pollack arrives at the end to explain everything to the audience like some third-rate Bond villain. I was just embarrassed for him. Pollack, and the audience, deserve better.

People in robes. Terrifying.
So in the end, Eyes Wide Shut ushered out the age of the erotic thriller, and ushered in a decade's worth of this mask bullshit we've been saddled with ever since. Thanks, Tiny Tom Cruise. Thanks a lot.

Throughout Erotic Thriller month, we are going to be working on a far more stringent rating scale than usual. That means that if I REALLY like a film, it will probably get a three star rating. If I love a film, four stars. If I want to take a movie behind the middle school and get it pregnant, that's a five star rating right there. So with that in mind, Eyes Wide Shut gets:

Erotic Thriller Rating: 0 dropped panties out of 5. Curse you Tiny Tom Cruise.

And subtract an another point for perpetrating one of the biggest trailer scams in history.

Eyes Wide Shut is available via iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, YouTube VOD, Vudu
Google Play, & blu-ray/DVD

Want to yell at me about how I don't understand
the genius of Kubrick?
You can do so here!