Cube Zero director Ernie Barbarash’s generic 2007 supernatural clunker They Wait is exactly the type of second-rate, slapdash motion picture you’d expect from executive producer/Internet hate object Uwe Boll. In addition to being highly illogical and beyond boring, the film provides little in the way of actual entertainment, effectively lulling the prospective viewer into the sort of life-altering coma generally associated with those unfortunate souls who have crashed through the windshield of their overpriced SUV and collided head-first with an enormous brick wall covered with fast food advertisements. If nothing else, at least you’ll get a good night’s sleep out of the deal. That’s got to be worth the price of a one-day rental, right?
While fighting a perpetual stream of eye-watering, jaw-popping yawns, you’ll eventually discover that the picture stars Jaime King (Sin City) as the mother of a Chinese version of Haley Joel Osment who just so happens to have the ability to see dead people. Evil dead people, mostly, but dead people nonetheless. Using an abundance of stereotypical Asian fiddle faddle and her son’s unnatural gift to aide them, King and company must unravel the mystery behind a grisly murder before a creepy ghost has its way with her offspring. It’s as offensively predictable and cliche as it sounds, giving you absolutely nothing to chew on as you venture forth into what can only be described as the uninspired work of a true Hollywood hack. Trevor Markwart has seen a lot of horror movies, and he’s definitely not afraid to borrow from all of them in order to make a quick buck. How impossibly kind of him…?
There’s a dark, uncharted part of my soul that would love nothing more than to drag this film into the proverbial street, demand that it bite the curb, and then stomp the unholy humanity out of the back of its cinematic skull. Why am I so up in arms, you ask? The answer: They Wait inspires frustration and anger and irritation from the viewer simply because is never attempts to do anything remotely original over the course of its exceedingly dull 90 minutes. The nods to Shyamalan’s classic The Sixth Sense are honestly too numerous to catalog, leaving one to ponder why, exactly, anyone thought this script would make an enjoyable genre-related experience. Wait a second — didn’t I see Uwe Boll’s name in the opening credits? Sadly, I’m sure that explains a lot.
As an actress, Jaime King makes a great door knob. Watching her massacre line after line of dialogue is almost comical at times, though it does become quite tiresome once you realize that the film itself is going absolutely nowhere. Regan Oey wins the Osment of the Year Award, Michael Biehn is completely wasted, and Colin Foo was much better in Ryan Nicholson’s atrocious torture opus Live Feed. In other words, watching this particular flick for the quality of its cast is probably not in the best interest of your entertainment dollar. For a more refined example of how truly miserable the performances are, please tune into your city’s public television channel at tough two in the morning. That’s all I’m saying.
To be fair to all involved, They Wait does offer a few moments of genuine creepiness, though most of it is probably unintentional. For example, why does that old Chinese guy violently shake his cheap wooden abacus at the evil spirits dwelling nearby? Why do ghosts erotically consume oranges while sitting in the streets? It’s true Lynchian material, to be sure, leaving everyone brave enough to ask these important questions feeling dazed, confused, and, yes, entirely ripped off. The jump scares, I might add, do manage to work on occasion, though they’re certainly not enough to hold this garbage together. Barbarash does have a knack for interesting visuals, but, unfortunately, they’ve been constructed around an extremely poor script. That’s akin to wrapping a fetus in tasty bacon.
If you happen to enjoy wasting your not-so-precious time on uninspired drivel, They Wait is the perfect opportunity for you to do so. And while I cannot entirely blame Uwe Boll for this disaster, I’m sure he had his stinky pinkie all over the recipe, effectively contaminating the dish and giving everyone who consumes it a wicked case of the runny squirts. I’m sure Ernie Barbarash had good intentions when signing on for this project, but they somehow got lost along the way, forever spinning in the Sea of Poor Decisions. As it stands, this pathetic supernatural thriller is both an intellectual insult to just about everyone on the planet and a swell guide on why you probably shouldn’t work with Uwe Boll.
However, I am still incredibly excited about Postal.