Title: Pain Shack

Also known as:

Year: 2015

Genre: Independent / Comedy / Thriller

Language: English

Runtime: 87 min

Director: Marissa Murphy & Alex Murphy

Writer: Marissa Murphy & Alex Murphy


When Alex attempts to become an internet celebrity on Youtube through music reviews, he ends up becoming obsessed with a fellow Youtuber and begins to transform into a twisted persona. Will Alex ever become an internet star, or will his mind snap before he gets to?

Our thoughts:
In the current era the stars are internet celebrities. Youtubers, bloggers and even video game streamers. People are more likely to watch a new video uploaded by their favorite online persona 20 times in a row than watch a new movie. That's just where we are now. You could argue that the online video is free and buying a movie isn't, but most people have a paid subscription to a video on demand provider or simply cable TV. "Pain Shack" is a rough independent movie that explores this medium further.

Alex is trying to start up his music review Youtube channel. He looks for other reviewers online for tips, and he spends his nights awake trying to think of a persona and gimmick to go with. He gets so invested in his dreams that Alex becomes his newly found persona "The Noodle Droop". In his fight for the attention of viewers Alex goes nuts. Alex, in his new persona, starts doing anything he can to be as big of a success as Youtuber Ricky Shore (who is also their babysitter). This starts innocent but gets more severe as time goes on.

Movies like "Pain Shack" are quite plenty nowadays - a dialogue heavy independent movie with simple camera setups and few locations. It's not necessarily a bad thing if you really enjoy this modern independent style, but it is harder and harder to get into them. I say modern but that's because there are many more now than when "Slacker" and "Clerks" were made. "Pain Shack" doesn't do much to differentiate, but it has a few ideas that helped me get through it. It's a fun idea to explore the Youtube phenomenon and when a person goes crazy because of it.

You might remember "Pain Shack" a bit longer than similar movies due to the eccentric character that Alex is (and becomes). Partially the acting is cringe-inducing, but you also have to realize that this seems to be exactly what they are going for. I'd say that Youtube personalities are just as awkward for the most part, so odds are that this is created towards fans of Youtube sketch comedians. This is me saying that "Pain Shack" is not for me.

Personally I got through the first hour of the movie without being too annoyed, but it felt a bit long after that despite turning darker. I can't say that it really entertained me too much overall, but I've learned to accept that most of the current indie movies are not at all aimed towards me. If you are a fan of intentionally silly and rough independent movies from the current era, Youtube sketch comedy or Ricky Shore Sings (the filmmaker's own Youtube channel), then "Pain Shack" will scratch any itch.

Positive things:
- An interesting premise.
- For a movie about the modern medium, it does a good job at including that through-out its style.

Negative things:
- This kind of comedy has became oversaturated.
- Feels a bit long after an hour.
- Some awkward acting, but that might be intended.

Gore: 1/5
Nudity: 0/5
Story: 2/5
Effects: 0.5/5
Comedy: 2/5

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