Get the Hell Out
Megan Lai, Bruce Ho, Francesca Kao, He-Hsuan Lin, Tsung-Hua Tou, Chung-Huang Wang
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… goes so fast, it continually feels just out of reach of comprehension.
A wrong movie makes you suffer for 90 minutes. So says the opening scroll of Wang I-Fan’s Get the Hell Out. It’s a bold choice of words for a director to make at the start of his feature length debut, even if it is followed up by the numbing comparison that the wrong government can make you suffer for 4 years.
Politics runs deep in most horror films, particularly the zombie genre. White Zombie stoked white America’s fear of the unknown. Night of the Living Dead simmers with race relations. Hell, even the dreadful 2008 remake of Day of the Dead tackled war and vegetarianism (or something). So, setting the undead loose in parliament seems like a zombie’s worst nightmare: a no-brainer.
Hsiung (Megan Lai) is a young, dynamic politician trying to shut down a plant that’s pouring toxic waste into the water supply of her hometown. This cocktail of waste has led to a cluster of people contracting ‘idiot rabies’. However, seemingly only effecting the great unwashed, the Government’s policy appears to be “out of sight, out of mind”. That is until the Prime Minister contracts the aforementioned rabies and is soon chomping down on his party members during the middle of parliament. The Taiwan parliament has a reputation for breaking out into fights in the real world, so what’s a little bloodletting between friends, eh?
With the building on lockdown, Hsiung must fight her way out alongside dopey security guard turned junior MP, Wang (Bruce Ho), whose only strengths appear to be having a massive, gooey-eyed crush on our hero.
Get the Hell Out feels like Edgar Wright’s Scott Pilgrim Vs The World crashed horrifically into the computer game, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. The film is 90 minutes of unrelentless onscreen graphics and screaming. It doesn’t seem like a bad thing to begin with. When a film opens up with Hsiung going full on Zangief from Street Fighter 2 on a misogynistic journalist, you’re right to think that this going to be a juicy, well-cooked slab of pop culture. However, the sugar-coated adrenaline will have you rolling your eyes into the back of your head as you’re pummeled with re-enactments to memes you thought had died years ago.
It could be argued that this is a satirical stab at the way modern audiences consume their politics; in handy bite sized chunks filtered through a tiktok video, and that could be the director’s intent. However, scratch that neon veneer away and there is nothing else to get your teeth into. Sure, Get the Hell Out is only 100 minutes, but there’s always an option to let your film take some downtime and give your audience a chance to breathe. As it is, like a child dizzy on lemonade, the film goes so fast, it continually feels just out of reach of comprehension.