I’m Just Fucking with You (2019)

Posted by Mrs Giggles on September 5, 2021 in 3 Oogies, Idiot Box Reviews, Series: Into the Dark

I'm Just Fucking with You (2019)
I’m Just Fucking with You (2019)

Main cast: Keir O’Donnell (Larry Adams), Hayes MacArthur (Chester Conklin), Jessica McNamee (Rachel Adams), Charles Halford (Gerald), and John Marshall Jones (The Sheriff)
Director: Adam Mason

Yes, there is an asterisk instead of a “u” in the official title of this episode, but I am not going to pull that same nonsense here. The character that utters the line containing the title phrase, repeatedly too, says the asterisked word in full clearly and loudly, so I don’t know why I need to censor the word if the episode itself didn’t. Plus, if that word is the only thing that offends certain folks, in an episode with a pretty decent body count, those folks really need to examine their priorities again,

Now, about the episode. Larry Adams is a mild-mannered pushover that avoids drama and confrontations, and he also has a phobia of germs. However, he is a different person when logs online as ProgrammingFlaw3489. Wait, do social media platforms typically allow such a long username? Anyway, as that online persona, he is a rampant troll, leaving rude comments on the social media of friends and strangers alike. Unfortunately, his flames and trolling comments are sadly limited to mentions of genitalia, sexually transmitted diseases, and other juvenile stuff that most trolls would have outgrown once they reach 15. Maybe Larry is just a late bloomer.

At any rate, in I’m Just Fucking with You, he checks into the Pink Motel and Lounge, having reluctantly to agree to attend a wedding of someone whom he is currently leaving insults to on her twitter feed. He doesn’t care to meet his parents; in fact, the only person he seems halfway eager to catch up with is his sister Rachel, who has agreed to meet him at his motel later that evening. In the meantime, he meets Chester, the sole staff doing double duty as both the motel manager and the lounge barkeeper. Chester keeps making these practical jokes that are more cringe than anything else, much to Larry’s increasing dismay. Worse, Chester’s “jokes” accelerate to increasingly zany and even dangerous, maybe lethal levels, as the evening continues. Poor Larry really should have just stayed at home…

Now, this is a polarizing episode, I suspect, because there is plenty of cringe to be had here. The flames of Larry’s online persona are more akin to amateurish rage bait of first time troll than anything else, which is made even more awkward when some people in this episode exclaim about how funny these hit-and-run insults are so-ooo-ooo hilarious. That’s when it becomes hard for me to optimistically assume that Larry’s low-tier trolling efforts are deliberately made that way by the people behind the screenplay.

Chester is also a walking cringe machine, as Hayes MacArthur is camping it up, practically ripping the scenery apart with his teeth, but his lines are just as terribly unfunny and inept as Larry’s insults. However, as the episode unfolds and especially especially the credit sequence (seriously, folks that skip the credit sequence of this episode will miss out on an unoriginal but crucial puzzle piece of the plot, although most folks will likely to be able to see that one coming early into the episode), I understand why Chester is the way he is. Unlike Larry, Chester is more convincing as a more dangerous troll whose “jokes” are made deliberately bad in order to get the plot going.

Still, things really become more interesting in the last 30 minutes or so, culminating with a confrontation between the two terrible jokers that is so absurd that it actually comes off as brilliant as a result. This episode also tries to delve into the motivations of people like Larry, who are seeking attention and the dopamine high of getting to do things they normally won’t without the protection of anonymity, although that doesn’t really work, because for this entire episode to happen, one has to believe that Facebook, Instagram, et cetera don’t allow their users to block trolls or protect their own profiles.

Also, this entire episode has this loud, garish color scheme going on that fits the whole theme perfectly. Visually, at least, this episode gets everything right.

Anyway,  I’m Just Fucking with You is far from perfect, and it often stumbles as often as it pulls off a brilliant moment or two. Nonetheless, this one tries to rise above being another trope-heavy, generic horror fare, and I give this one quite a bit of love for that alone.  This is definitely one of the more memorable entries into the series to date, alright, cringe-inducing humor and all.

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