Time and time again Rob Zombie proves to be the guy I would LOVE to sit and talk horror with (I guarantee there isn’t a horror movie out there he hasn’t seen), yet if I were the head of a studio, I would refuse money for his films because, they’re just not any good. This one is SLIGHTLY better than his previous output, as his sense of dread is all over the place. But each onscreen character is still putrid, and 31, more than any of his other films, feels like it was filmed with a GoPro held by someone on ritalin.
Always known for his style, Wright pulls back a bit to try and invoke a little suspense. And for the first 40 minutes or so he’s pretty successful. The problem is once it gets crazy, you need the slickness to help the movie flow. And Soho’s main issue is it doesn’t mesh the story and giallo type craziness successfully. The cast is terrific, and Wright is still obsessively evocative in his shots (a reflection in a knife comes to mind) but the movie is an overall unfortunate misfire.
I really respect movies that have the nerve to not over complicate their plot in order to build fake tension. That make its protagonist someone who we get to know not through unreal situations, but interactions with other characters. That builds to a conclusion that isn't a 'happy ever after' scenario as much as a new beginning.
Needless to say, I respect Eighth Grade A LOT.