Filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock once talked about the concept of the Refrigerator Test.
Whether or not you know what it means, I’m sure you’re familiar with the concept. You go see a movie, and while you are in the cinema watching it, you’re enjoying it. But later, once you go home and as you’re opening the fridge to get a snack, it hits you. “Wait a minute! What about one part?”
The idea is that after you leave the cinema it doesn’t matter if you start to find plot holes, it worked in the moment, and according to Hitchcock, the film passes the refrigerator test and that is what matters.
I bring this up because I’ve had a movie I went to see that initially passed the refrigerator test, but the more I think about it, the more it bothers me.
I went with a friend to go see Morbius this weekend. It’s a Marvel movie that is made by Sony. Morbius is generally a Spider-Man villain, and it is yet to be seen if it will have anything to do with the MCU. I’m doubtful of any direct connection, but who knows, Marvel may want to use him in the future.
As I watched the film with my friend, the only thing that really struck me as poor was the final battle which was a CGI mess. Remember in Loony Tunes when the cartoon characters would fight and all you would see is a cloud surrounding them as they fought, that is the best way I could describe how the final battle went.
But otherwise, I didn’t hate it. I didn’t think it was great either. It was a decent popcorn movie.
However, this weekend as I thought about it more and more. As I began to try and process certain scenes and performances, all of a sudden I started seeing more and more wrong with the movie. Instead of thinking Matt Smith gave an eccentric performance, I’m now thinking it was quite silly. Instead of thinking Jared Leto was brooding, I’m not thinking it was wooden. Instead of thinking this was a film with a dark theme, I’m now thinking it’s just a film that has a “dark theme” like a computer or website has a dark theme.
I would go on, but I don’t want to spoil the movie for anyone who hasn’t seen it, however I’m sure you get the idea. Somehow, Morbius passed the refrigerator test for me. Maybe it was because it was billed as a Marvel movie that might tie into the MCU. Maybe it was just because it was a superhero movie and it’s been a while since I’ve been let down by a superhero movie. Whatever the case may be, instead of a middling movie that I had initially thought, it’s now feeling more like a pretty poor effort.
Have you ever fallen victim to the refrigerator test? Tell me about it!