film reel image

film reel image

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Habit 2021 * Star


"Good day sir, so kind". Me, well I'm not gonna be so kind to 2021's Habit (my latest review). Habit is like a Gen X movie made with millennial-s (if that makes any sense). It's also over-stylized, over-directed, bible-thumped, full of itself, and pretty kitschy. It's as if rookie director Janell Shirtcliff dares you to hate it. Yeah I'm not joking here.

So OK, Habit's plot is so murky I had to look it up on the flick's IMDb page. It's about a heroin addict who gets involved in a bad drug deal and poses as a nun to keep out of trouble (huh?). Habit paints helmer Shirtcliff as the poor man's Darren Aronofsky and/or the poor man's Terry Gilliam. The imagery here is striking and ornamented but the overall result is a hollow mess.

Produced by over 20 people and clocking in at 81 minutes (that's with credits), Habit is a cinematic acid trip, the worst kind of trip. There's nutrition-less flash cuts, bad filler low camera angles, and even a couple of freeze frames (ugh). Yeah that's fine and dandy if you knew what was going on, you actually cared what was going on, and the troupers didn't come off as so darn irksome.

Honestly I'd like to know what went down at the meeting when Habit was formally green-lighted. Did the studio execs think it might turn into a cult film? Maybe. Did they owe the filmmakers a favor or were strong-armed? Probably.

Actors/actresses featured in Habit are Bella Thorne, Gavin Rossdale, Josie Ho, and Ione Skye. Throughout the proceedings they think they are being witty but they come off as total dolts. The dialogue given to them by Libby Mintz and Shirtcliff is so rife with annoyance it suggests an inner circle sitcom a la the Disney Channel (with profanities added). Um, please make a "habit" of never watching movies like Habit ever again.

Written by Jesse Burleson

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