May 1, 2005 - by mcpickles
This isn't going to be a traditional movie review-we've had plenty of those, both good and bad. But I found myself so strangely affected and confused when I left the theater after seeing House of D, that I want to try and express those feelings here to see if anyone shared this experience. I can't remember ever feeling exactly this way about a moviegoing experience, and I think it's entirely because of the Internet!
First, like all devoted DD fans, I have been anticipating this movie for two years. I wanted to like the movie way before I knew almost anything about it, and recognize that that level of emotional involvement prior to seeing it is certainly unusual, at least for me. If it hadn't been shown here, I would have driven or even flown to the nearest city to see it. Obviously this is due to following DD's career and the development of the movie as it unfolded, here on the Haven and other sites.
Second, I was completely spoiled. I read all the reviews and synopses, watched clips, promos, interviews, etc. to the point that very little of the movie was new or unknown to me. In retrospect, I think this was a mistake. It was like seeing a movie made from a favorite book and getting too involved in analyzing whether the movie accurately depicted everything, or if the visual images matched the mental images created when I read it. I'm not saying I was disappointed in the visual imagery- I wasn't. But I didn't feel the emotional connection I expected to feel, because while looking at various scenes all the words I had read about them kept flooding in. The closest analogy I can make to this is how it feels when you're having sex and can't turn off your brain. You're there, going through the motions but not the emotions! I didn't feel this way with the scenes that were new to me, and enjoyed them more because of that.
Last, I think that if I had just wandered into this movie without any of this Internet "baggage" I would have seen it in a similar light-there were perfect moments and flawed moments. But I would have been more confident that my reactions were wholly my reactions. As it is, I'm unable to fully separate my devotion to DD and my desire for him to succeed, and my anger at the critics for being unfairly, IMO, brutal to this sweet little movie.
That said, I have no intention of abandoning my Internet fandom or the Haven! And I'm going to see the movie again. But for the next project(s), I'm planning to be spoiler-free.