This film reminded me of envelopes, you know before we had emails.
Myth (2020) written and directed by Brian DiLorenzo, is about a teenager named Alex (Played by Justin Andrew Davis) who is an aspiring writer stuck in his suburban town. He is your typical doe-eyed kid who somehow managed to survive for 19 years at the height of naivete. By some twist of fate, Alex runs into JP Smith, the director of one of his favorite films (Played by Nicholas Tucci who sadly passed away after losing his battle with cancer), who takes him under his wing. Myth also features Sadie Scott, who plays the antagonist’s love interest, Ruby, who taunts Alex with the alpha male foil, Josh (Played by Connor Dylan). About halfway into the film, the audience figures out what’s going on and braces for the trainwreck that we hope is coming around the bend. What happens after that is a twisted story about love, intrigue, jealousy, unethical business practices, and a testament to the old adage, “Never meet your heroes.”
It is important to note that this film is not frightening, and I don’t think it is meant to be a horror film. The characters are not very dynamic so there is not much development going on, even Alex, who should be having the wake-up moment of his life, doesn’t learn a thing. It was disappointing because the premise of the film is really good and I liked the ideas and thought experiments behind it. I think the scariest part about the movie is that it gives off cringy incel vibes throughout, but I don’t think that was the main theme or focus to this picture. I kept wanting the film to descend into horror and madness, but it didn’t try to push that boundary at all. I wish it had because it would have highlighted the themes in the film, at least the themes I thought I saw.
Are you still thinking about envelopes?
I like it when a movie has a message that I can identify and analyze, which I think Myth (2020) has. Without spoiling anything, Myth is about the writing process and what it takes to be a creator. Art comes from our experiences, and if we don’t have experiences we can’t create art. Alex starts out the film trying to write about something, but he has spent the last 19 years in tabula rasa mode. He can’t hope to create anything so he decides to sneak out of his house to see what happens. To the audience, he makes a couple of really dumb choices. He takes a drink from some sketchy kids, and after getting a bit drunk he gets into a stranger’s car. To a normal human being, he is acting very irresponsibly. To a writer, he is taking all the necessary risks to become an artist.
Oh, I almost forgot! Envelopes.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr., one of the greatest writers in all of human history (fight me!), once told a story of how he only buys one envelope from a newsstand when he needs to mail a letter. He understands it would save him time and energy to just order a box of 100 and drop the letter off in his home mailbox. However, that was not Vonnegut’s rationale. He only bought one envelope at a time because it gave him an excuse to leave his house and open his eyes to any strange and wonderful experiences that might happen to him on the way to the post office. He might meet some interesting people there, and he might even witness something remarkable on the trip back. He would be missing out on all that inspiration and writing material by staying in his house. Vonnegut was saying this after being asked about living in an increasingly computerized world. Vonnegut said that computers and such were robbing people of the envelope experience, and even now, COVID-19 is making it worse as we are quarantined in our homes. In the film, Alex shuts off his computer to go outside with a pen and paper, and JP uses an old VHS video recorder, furthering the connection to Vonnegut’s idea of technology. I wouldn’t be surprised if DiLorenzo is a Kurt Vonnegut fan. If he isn’t, then I hope he reads this and picks up Cat’s Cradle, or any other of Vonnegut’s titles.
Both characters in Myth are navigating the plot with that envelope rationale in their pockets, they are searching for that slice of reality that makes life unique. JP knows that everything he creates is fake and wishes to capture something pure an uncontaminated by acting. Alex is trying to find inspiration in a dull and uninspiring world. They both are in a karass, they find value in the lies, and they need each other to create something beautiful. It is this dynamic that makes Myth worth watching.
Myth becomes available this Friday, July 24th on Amazon Prime Video. Check it out.
Born and raised in San Diego California, I grew up loving the action horror and sci-fi genres. The first R rated film I saw was Predator back when I was 8 years old. Aliens blew me away as a youngster and I made a M41-A pulse rifle out of paper towel rolls and rubber bands. I ran around for hours avoiding face huggers and blasting xenomorphs in my back yard and I am bringing that big imagination to Nevermore Horror.