Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Hi. Can I take your order?

Just do it.

Three simple words made famous by Nike, but more or the less the mantra of authority across the world. From bosses to parents, siblings to spouses, countless times in our lives we are expected to act simply because we're told to. Often we fear what will happen if we don't do as instructed. But, as history has told us time and time again, the real problem doesn't stem from us questioning authority, but from not questioning in enough.

Inspired by true events, Compliance tells the gut-wrenching story of decidedly normal people simply following orders. And while that may sound boring and monotonous, the film is anything but (though, the same awful thing seems to happen over and over).

Set in the awful yet ideal location of a fast-food restaurant on a Friday night, things begin in tragic fashion. Somebody left the freezer door open the night before, resulting in a $1500 mistake. Translation: they're out of bacon.

While that seems laughable at first, it's one of the reasons that things escalate as far as they do. See, when something bad happens, even those not involved inherently feel guilty and do their best to make up for it. And when the police call regarding the unscrupulous actions of a young, female employee, everyone is quick to pitch in and help. Too quick, in fact.

I really don't want to say anymore, as I think that the less you know the better (or, um, worse) the experience will be. Even knowing essentially the entire story beforehand did little to soften what I saw play out before me. It will shock you. It will anger you. And then...it will get worse. 

All that said, there is an intelligent discussion to be had after this one (if only my wife had made it past the five-minute mark), and please feel free to start one in the comments below. If you haven't seen Compliance and plan to do so (it's streaming on Netflix) you should probably duck out of here now. It's a touch watch, sure, but it's also pretty short, too.

Like a high-caloric meal at Chickwich, the Yays and Boos may go down easy, but you sure as shit don't want to see how they're made. Trust me, you don't want to see what's going on in the kitchen.

What he did to her, is likely being done to him. In prison.

  • Man, meat delivery guy (like, that's his actual job) was pretty hardcore. You're f--ked without bacon. Damn, dude.
  • I think anyone who has ever had an older boss can relate to that sad moment when they try to fit in. 
  • Speaking of Sandra (the manager), she's quite the slut, huh? I mean, sexts?
  • Marti. Thank God this lady worked there. She had at least most of a brain. Sometimes.
  • I also kind of liked the angry black girl at the registers. Sure, she was annoying for the most part, but you got the sense that she wouldn't have taken any of the shit that Becky did.
  • Kevin, my man. This kid is a typical a-hole high school kid, who probably half-listens to whatever anyone says to him. Here? That's an admirable trait, to say the least. Yeah, well it's a f--ked procedure.
  • Running out of minutes on your phone card. Haha, dickhead.
  • Harold. It's a good thing they've got some special milkshake on the menu, because that's what brings back the only f--king sane person on the planet. This man gets hero status, simply for not being a thoughtless moron.
  • I always love when someone on screen says exactly what I'm feeling. This happened before? You gotta be shitting me.
  • And finally, as evil as it is, I almost enjoyed the moment when Sandra realizes she's a f--king idiot. I hate what Becky (and to an extent, some of the others) went through to get there, but when it all finally dawns on her, I (sadly) took a little joy out of that.
You're almost like a real cop.
  • I'm going to be honest with you, Becky is kind of hot. This conflict of interest is a gigantic Boo.
  • Secret shoppers. F--k those snitches.
  • Sure, the guy on the phone is a psychotic f--k, but the one move he uses proven to piss people off more than anything? Telling someone who is calm to calm down. 
  • Sandra, the manager, seems to be given at least a half-dozen opportunities at redemption and she deep fries all of them. If you want a character to hate, here she is.
  • But actually worse than Sandra, if that's possible? Is her f--khead fiancee, Van. This guy is the biggest piece of garbage ever. If only Officer Daniels had told him to jump off a f--king cliff. 
  • The reveal of Officer Daniels felt very odd, and lacked the impact that I expected. Maybe I just wanted it to be more dramatic and sinister, or maybe I wished I was making a sandwich, too.
  • While we're at it, how about Officer Daniels' real job? 
  • How anybody didn't hang up the phone when they heard: 
    • What about her rear?
    • How big are her nipples?
    • Have her do jumping jacks.
    • Yeah. Just lay the phone on her back.
  • A spanking. No way that happened. Um...not to mention the other thing....
  • And finally, humanity. We do some awful shit to each other, and I can deal with it somewhat when there is a reason. But this? This is simply inexcusable. I don't know what's worse, the idea of someone willfully ignoring their conscience, or someone who truly lacks one altogether. It's maddening either way.
 5 Things I wrote in all caps while watching Compliance:

I've often lamented on this blog how the whole inspired by true events hook bothers me. That phrase makes everything on screen more meaningful sure, but in an extremely shocking story, it also casts a thin layer of doubt over the many more perverse things that occurred. While I'm sure that much of what we are shown is accurate, there are a few things I want to know in particular. Sadly, most of those revolve around Van, and what transpired between him and Becky. Did he really do that to her? And holy shit, did she really so that to him? I'm sure the answers are out there, but I don't want to look it up. I want to know, but I don't really want to know. You know what? You do it. You find that out for me.

Because I said so, that's why.


  1. I actually looked it up online after I saw this, because I felt the same way that you did about how accurate this was...and apparently it was WORSE!

    The shit that actually happened is utterly ridiculous. I never in my life wanted to punch so many people in the fucking face.

    1. Well, shit. Now, I have to look into that. Though, I can't imagine how it could possibly be worse. Well, I can. I just don't want to.

      Indeed. They should make a sequel where the Rock goes to that fast-food joint and just devastates everyone inside. No dialogue. Just punching. And kicking.

    2. Aw, Hell...I here's the article...

      The one where everyone pisses on each other is baffling.

      I think I'm going to move to the woods now. Maybe find a sweet cave.

    3. People are just horrid, horrid creations.

      On that note, NOAH comes out in a few weeks! Kill them all!!!

  2. I too wanted to hurt multiple people while watching this. I wanted to smack Sandra repeatedly. I think I actually tried to reach through the screen and choke the shit out of Van. No need for ghosts and goblins, THIS is a horror movie and sadly based on way more fact than fiction. People suck.

    1. Pretty much all truth here. Van was an awful excuse for a person, and Sandra wasn't much better.

      Yeah, maybe I'll put this one in every Halloween. Sounds like a good plan.

  3. If I saw this as double feature with The Hunt I think I'd just start punching random people on the street.

    Seriously stuff that goes on in the world is horrific, that's why I enjoy locking myself in the house and watching McConaughey rom coms so much :)

    1. That would likely be the worst double feature possible, but the punching spree might be enjoyable.

      Hey, nothing wrong with a little naked bongo playing. Nothing at all.

  4. The things you wrote in all caps, I was screaming those exact things while watching them plus Are. You. Serious? on repeat. Even I didn't believe for a second that any of this can be true, that people can be so ridiculous. But then, like you, I went online and searched for it. Sigh, Humanity!

    1. Yep. I went a little crazy underlining some lower case WTFs and WTHs. As much as I enjoyed the film as an emotional experience, it's almost too infuriating to really appreciate.

  5. I wanted to rage after I saw this. I cannot believe this ACTUALLY happened more than once! Then the real life Sandra had the audacity to sue and claim she was a victim too? No, the only thing she was a victim of was being a stupid bitch.

    1. Right, once is truly absurd, but 70+ times? It speaks to how we live in a society that refuses to think for itself.
      You're absolutely right about Sandra, too. I almost opted for the ol 'c u next tuesday' description, but we're too classy for that around these parts. Well, we're not, but still.

      Regardless, I owe you a high-five, because every time I read that last sentence of your comment, I can't help but laugh.

  6. When they showed Pat Healey's face, I wasn't too happy. I felt like if they kept us in the darker for much longer, than we probably would have had a more memorable reveal when we found out just who this guy was. Other than that, it's all pretty tense and shocking stuff that sadly, is actually real. Good review M.

    1. I agree. There was something jarring about the reveal, but not in a good way. It just happened, as opposed to knocking me on my ass.

      Thanks, Dan.

  7. I'm glad some of the commenters helped shed some light on the "realness" of the film for you. When I first saw this, I was very annoyed with the whole "based on a true story" thing too. No way this could actually be real, right?

    When I found out it was worse in real life, I was mortified. Unbelievable shit.

    1. I didn't really want to know, then I had to know, now almost wish I didn't know. Maddening.

      Why do they make so many zombie movies when it appears that a portion of society is pretty much undead already? Braaaaaaaiiiiiinnnnnsssssssssssssssss....are definitely what they need.