Monday, April 26, 2021

Don't Bet On It


I should know better by now.

It's not that I shouldn't take a chance on newish horror movies with dumb premises that are streaming on Amazon Prime. It's that I should know better than to dare watch them on a cell phone at the gym because virtually every newish horror movie with a dumb premise streaming on Amazon Prime will inevitably be dimly lit, and I'll spend a solid chunk of said film trying to find the right angle to see...anything.

Anyhoo, Odds Are... you won't watch this film anyway, but if you do give it a spin, avoid the elliptical.

Quick Plot: Tracy and Ryan are a hot college couple whose dates keep getting crashed by Kelly, Ryan's ex. The trio spend a fun day at a beachside amusement park, but Kelly and Ryan (DAMNIT WHY COULDN'T TRACY BE NAMED REGIS?) keep falling into their own obnoxious games, namely, "Odds Are."

Combine Truth or Dare with Pick a Number and that's basically it. One person issues a dare (or rather, just a rude thing to do to a perfect stranger) and if the other player guesses the same number between 1 and 10, that player has to do it.

A few rounds in, Ryan plays a pretty cruel trick on Tracy, heading into icy waters for a swim and faking drowning so she runs in after. In 58 degree weather.

Ryan is what we nice people like to call "an asshole."

The trio agrees to one more game: knock on a random stranger's door and enter. Kelly gets inside and disappears, and Tracy and Ryan quickly discover they picked the wrong doorway.

Directed by TV veteran Peter Markle, Odds Are... is one of the strangest paced direct-to-streaming-dimly-lit genre films I'm seen in some time. Once our leads are in the house, it seems as though we're in for a Don't Breathe meets Saw medley. We get something of it, before the story takes a slightly different turn.

For better and worse, Odds Are... is not your standard "attractive people trapped in a house and hunted by a brilliant sociopath" tale. Based loosely on a real-life murder (Wikipedia lists it as happening in "Eastern Europe," so the details are scarce), it takes a bit of a turn that's both interesting in theory and disappointing in its result.

I won't spoil the twist (though you'll probably figure it out fairly easily) because hey, maybe you'll want to watch Odds Are... It's decently put together with an adequate enough young cast, and some might find its direction to be surprising in a good way. I don't know how anybody could stand these characters for more than 10 minutes (much less the overlong 100 that is Odds Are...), particularly with their texting style:

Look, I get that at 39, I'm of a different generation than these kids, and nothing is more dull than a person complaining about today's youth, but, does NO ONE born after 1995 know how to use words? Was there a side effect of also vaccinating against punctuation marks when they got their chicken pox shot?

Thank you for your time. If you'll excuse me, I have to run to make sure I get a dinner spot at the early bird special.

High Points
It goes without saying that the scariest part of Odds Are... is the fate of the beautiful chocolate lab puppy, and I'm pleased to report that not only does Choco-Latte make it, he also gets bonus likability points to Tracy for taking the time to return him to his mother

Low Points
Of course, Choco-Latte's male owner is, without question, the only pleasant character in the film, so the fact that he meets such a sad fate and the rest of these jerks get to swim another day is pretty disappointing

Lessons Learned
Nothing tastes better after millennial murder than a fresh fireside s'more

The colder the water, the better your hair will look after an impromptu swim

Checkhov's Law of Breath Holding Techniques will obviously pay off (meaning if a character discusses holding their breath for 14 minutes in the first act, it shall indeed be held somewhere around the third)

If you're itching for a good horror film on Amazon Prime about attractive young people who invade the wrong house, watch Crush the Skull. If you want a mediocre version that turns into a dull mystery, here's Odds Are... 


  1. I'm a big fan of this blog so when I say this is my fave post of yours, that's saying a lot. I lol'd at least three times! And I never laugh! You've got some good curmudgeon in you, and I appreciate the hell out of that. Bravo.