Posts Tagged 'gloriously crap films'

Scary Movies

Still from The Strangers with helpful additions from me

Megan of Hearing Sparks asks are actors mumbling in movies? I can confirm that this is most definitely the case after watching ‘The Strangers’ starring Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman last night. The plot was simple: an attractive, but rather inaudible couple have a cosy night in at a remote holiday home. They hear some strange noises. They get terrorised by a woman in a Betty Boop mask, and a man with breathing difficulties and a sack on his head. A couple of Mormons stop by with leaflets and find them dead. The End.

In the best silver-screen simulation of Cookie Bite hearing loss in the dark I’ve come across since Seven, both of them mumbled their way through the entire thing illuminated by an energy-saving 20W lightbulb. Unfortunately Scott Speedman’s lips move like a slit in a tennis ball, so are not of much use for giving clues to the dialogue. Ditto hers, which were all puffed up with too much hysterical crying and botox. Ironically, the only people who spoke clearly were the ones with the silly masks on, but they didn’t get to say very much, and the knives wielded above their heads meant they didn’t really need to anyway.

After coming out with a constant stream of “He’s away to get a what?” type enquiries to the spouse, I was most put out when my human subtitling service eventually snapped that he couldn’t make out anything either, despite the volume being cranked right up. Since it’s one of those scary movies that rely on sudden loud noises to give you a fright because the plot’s so thin, the increased volume brought problems of its own. Whilst the spouse was jumping at conventional noises such as sledgehammers going through car windscreens and hands loudly touching the back of shoulders in close-up, etc, I was jumping at the terrifying sound artefacts coming from the hearing aid circuitry every time an electronic noise appeared on the soundtrack.

The movie tagline says Lock the door. Pretend you’re safe. I’d like to add Take your hearing aid out.

Dining Din

The degree show is up, the marking has been done and last night’s formal dinner with the external examiners is almost a distant memory. I ended up seated at a table for eight, and the seating arrangement was girl-boy-boy-boy-boy-boy-boy-boy. Unfortunately my dining partners were all rendered completely inaudible thanks to the combination of my cloth ears and the acoustics of the cavernous and noisy venue. There were tantalisingly audible screechy female conversations going on at the next table and I cursed whoever it was who had briefed the front of house staff to prevent rogue diners, like the shifty woman with the hearing aid, from switching the namecards on the tables before everyone else arrived upstairs.

I already had a bit of a headache when I arrived at the restaurant and the intense concentration required to work out what the heck everyone was talking about, especially the football bits, turned it into an absolute blinder before the starter even arrived. Then, when some completely unnecessary background music was switched on by a person who clearly wasn’t finding eighty people talking in a ceramic-tiled echo chamber loud enough, I had to dig even deeper into my fake nodding and smiling routine in order to avoid digging my fingernails right through the edge of the table. My eyes assumed a terrifying fixed stare of concentration and, as the molecules of my brain responsible for listening overheated like porridge in the microwave, I was uncomfortably reminded of the previous evening’s entertainment, where the spouse and I had guffawed our way uproariously through David Cronenberg’s Scanners. The film’s main protagonist has an intense telepathic gift for exploding people’s heads by the power of thought, and after two hours at the table I felt as if he was now working on me.

Fortunately, I avoided the fate of the balloon-headed victim in the film, but I hate to think of what might have happened if I hadn’t put my jacket on and left when I did.

Spot the original...

Back to the drawing board

I dunno, the things I think about at four in the morning...

I dunno, the things I think about at four in the morning…


Yesterday’s audiological optimism was extremely short-lived. I wondered where my footsteps had gone as I walked down the corridor on my way out of the hospital, and once I got home and turned the telly on, it was rather apparent that despite John’s best efforts yesterday, any remaining amplification in the ever shrinking bands available for voices had gone too. I reminisced briefly over the giddy excitement of turning the tv down for the first time ever after first getting the Siemens in January, and then promptly went into a petulant sulk which lasted for most of the evening.

The students are on holiday but I thought I’d give it a second chance this morning. Sadly the boiling kettle no longer sounds like a DC-10 taking off, the children’s voices in the playground opposite are gone, the office clock is silent and the computer keys don’t rattle cheerily any more. A brief accidental burst of the fire alarm didn’t even wake my beige bte friend from its slumbers, so me and it have parted company for the first time in three months.

On the upside, I’ve got somewhere to tuck my unruly tufts of hair once again.


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