April 19, 2014

Theatrical Review: Enemy (2014)

Not many movies truly mesmerize us these days. Maybe we're hard to please, or maybe the truly clever films of the world are just extremely few and far between, but Enemy had us hypnotized like a cobra at the hands of some Indian guy with a wonky flute.

It blew our minds that a movie could be so insanely complex and yet be delivered in such a simple and incident-free way. Because it really is a simple, straight-forward movie... then again, it's really not.

When the movie ended -and let me tell you that it ended on a truly hair-raising note-  we were left thinking two things: 1- Wow, and 2- What in the hell did we just watch?

The crazy thing is that Enemy isn't really a Horror movie at all, and yet it had us all bunged up as if it were the creepiest of psychological Thrillers, because that's exactly what it was... or was it?

I can't really say what in the hell Enemy truly is, but one thing is for certain; with Prisoners and now Enemy, Denis Villenueve is on one hell of a freaking roll with his films.

Jake Gyllenhaal #1 is a quiet and awkward College Professor, who is somehow banging Melanie Laurent, despite him appearing to be a total geek. One night after work, he rents a movie and sees himself playing a bit role in the background, and he freaks out. He does some research, finds out who Jake Gyllenhaal #2 supposedly is, and goes and rents all of the guy's movies. Obsession and paranoia ensue.

The answers to everything are written on that board...
Jake Gyllenhaal #2 is a sexy actor who is married to his own hot chick, in Sarah Gadon, who is pregnant and seems to think that her hubby is cheating on her. When Jake Gyllenhaal #1 calls the house and talks to her, she freaks out and gets even more paranoid, which prompts her hubby, Jake Gyllenhaal #2 to follow suit.

Also, there are spiders all over the place.

"Spiders! Spiders everywhere!"
Is Jake Gyllenhaal crazy, or does he really have some sort of doppelganger running around, cramping his style? If there is a doppelganger involved, then which Jake Gyllenhaal is the real Jake Gyllenhaal? Is this a tale of other-worldly invasion, ala Invasion of the Body Snatchers? Is this a movie about spiders finally deciding to take over the planet for themselves?

To say any more about the plot, or how it unfolds, would ruing things for you, or at the very least, lessen the impact of this crazy movie; after all, you deserve to feel the same dread and paranoia while watching this one as we did.

WTF is going on here!?!
This movie is an absolute mind trip. Mind fuck, even. It's hazy & ethereal, and feels like some sort of waking nightmare, and though it's contains no death or even any violence, it had us on the edge of our seats until the screen went black. As for the last shot in the movie, the one right before the screen went black... well, it made us whimper a little.

Enemy is an Indie Film that plays like a high quality episode of The Twilight Zone or Night Gallery.

As good as this movie was, I can see how it might be lost on some people, as it makes you think more than it entertains. Mostly. I don't know, we're still messed up over the whole thing. We'll definitely need to see it again to see how it plays now that we "understand" it.

I used to flinch every time I heard Jake Gyllenhaal's name mentioned in connection with a movie, because he always annoyed the piss out of me. Don't know why, he just did. I personally turned the corner on my Gyllenhaal hatred after his impressive work in Zodiac, and after seeing End of Watch and Prisoners, I found myself really liking the guy. With Enemy, he raises the bar on anything he's done previously, and turns in one hell of a dual performance. This movie is truly a showcase of his talent, and it's a great showcase at that.

Melanie Laurent and Sarah Gadon are both good here too. Sure, they both get naked, which is a spectacular thing to behold, but their nudity does not undermine their acting talent. Sarah Gadon was more impressive here than was Laurent though, mainly because she had a bigger role.

Can she ever learn to love a doppelganger?
We actually had to do some Internet browsing after watching this one, to try and clarify exactly what it was about. Not because we're stupid, but because we just had some questions... alright, maybe we're stupid.

The point is that Enemy is about more than it really seems to be about, and if you're not paying close attention to the minutiae throughout the film, it's very easy to miss the point completely. Or maybe you get the main point, but you just aren't sure how everything that happens fits in with the main point. Or maybe you still end up all confused and needing a hug.

It messes with your mind!

That is actually Jake's twin brother, Chaz Gyllenhaal.
That ending...

I wish we could post a picture of the final shot of the film, but we really can't. Some reviewer somewhere said that the ending to Enemy was "The most terrifying movie ending of all time" or something to that effect, which isn't exactly true, but it comes close. It's shocking and even confusing more than it is terrifying, although given our biggest phobia, it was pretty terrifying too.

We definitely cringed, and had creepy dreams that night.

The answers to everything appear right in that sign...
None, whatsoever.

To see both Melanie Laurent and Sarah Gadon naked in the same film is nothing short of a Hallelujah type of moment. Both are gorgeous, and both are apparently comfy with nudity, so, bravo, girls!

We really hate spiders. Also, you can never completely trust an Actor, mainly because they're shady as fuck, and always up to something nefarious!

Shady as fuck.
Enemy is one hell of a suspenseful Thriller that I really hope gets some much deserved recognition come Awards Season. That's not to say that it's a perfect film or anything, but it's crazy effective, and Denis Villenueve's artistry is in high gear throughout. Gyllenhaal's too.

If you like creepy movies that play with your mind and leave you feeling used and paranoid about everything, then you'll definitely dig this one.

Enemy is available now on Direct TV & in Limited Theatrical Release.


Melanie Laurent and Sarah Gadon are two of the hottest hotties in Hollywood, and neither of them are American. Go figure.


  1. oh Cool, going on my must watch list!

  2. Was Sarah Gadon really pregnant during the filming of the movie or was that a prosthetic pregnant suit?

  3. It looks like that was a prosthetic suit, Anon, because Google shows nothing about her being pregnant or having kids. It sure looked impressively real to us.

  4. Guys, I can't believe you neglected to mention any parallels to DAVID LYNCH's best work in your review. ;-) Anybody who likes BLUE VELVET, MULHOLLAND DRIVE and/or LOST HIGHWAY absolutely needs to see this fantastic film.

  5. I personally didn't get a Lynch vibe from Enemy, but now that you mention it, the movie does feel in the same vein as Lost Highway.