I went to go see Bloodshot in the local Cineplex-15 on March 17th, 2020. It was an okay movie, I was the only one in the theater so I had plenty of time to myself. I personally liked how Vin Diesel was strong at the start of the film, but became stronger at the end of the film. When I got out of the theater room, it was a ghost town. All the lights were turned off. I went to the front door, it was locked up. I went to all of the exits, those were locked too! I suppose I could have taken an emergency exit, but this wasn’t really an emergency.
I survived the first night off of stale popcorn. After spending twelve dollars on the bucket when I walked in, I figured they owed me that much. I made sure that if I got something different out of the fountain or took some candy, I would write it down so I could pay for them properly later. When 10AM rolled around on March 18th, I was expecting someone to open the doors and start the business. Nobody came! I wondered if it was a holiday or something. Using what little phone reception I had at the time, I decided instead of calling someone I should check if anything was going on with the theater. Now, I don’t really know what’s going on out there now, but in March of 2020 there was something called “COVID-19.” I guess Cineplex-15 decided they would rather close up shop than go through with it. I read some forums online, some people are saying it’s probably just like the flu. I mean, the flu has an average mortality rate of like 50,000 a year. That’s not really worth closing over, right? It would have to be at least ten times worse to actually justify shutting down. I figured the whole thing would blow over when they realized what a silly mistake they were making. Just wait out a few days and enjoy some delicious movie theater food.
Anyways, I survived the next few days eating the hot dogs that would rotate to keep warm. They were absolutely delicious, though a tad dry. I had to wash it down with some of the movie theater artificial butter. Three days in and the fountain machine for the Coke had ran out of syrup. I could in theory have something like water, but the artificial butter had a real nice flavor profile to add to my hot dogs.
I would try to put on the films that were in the back of the theater. I got to see Harrison Ford in Call of the Wild. I love Harrison Ford, I wonder why he wasn’t in the Han Solo movie. I realized the theater would surely open up soon, because there was going to be a new James Bond film in April. Christopher Nolan was making Tenet! If anybody was going to revive the economy, it was going to be the guy who directed Interstellar (2014).
So I spent the next few weeks waiting. I ran out of the stale popcorn already cooked, I ran out of the nachos, I ran out of those tiny pizzas. I started to hang out with some of the cardboard cutouts. I pulled out the Sonic the Hedgehog cutout and called him my friend. The Jim Carrey side of the cardboard was going to be the guy Sonic and I would gossip about behind his back. I would occasionally check my phone for reception, but I would only get it at the weirdest times. I would look at my phone and see texts from my wife like “Why haven’t you come home?” or “You know they haven’t seen you at work in over a month?” and “Your kids miss you, please call me.” It really tugged at my heart strings and made me think about how tragic this whole situation was, but Sonic the Hedgehog was a true friend and told me to put the phone away.
The last thing I could eat was the vast amounts of popcorn yet unpopped. I spent months eating popcorn, and supplementing it with rat protein. The rats had started to multiply now that there was nobody around. I eventually started to use the popcorn as bait. I made sure to eat alone, though, I’m not sure if eating a rat in front of Sonic the Hedgehog is offensive or not.
Once in a while I would check the outside world through the glass. Or, I would go up to the rooftop and try to see if the world had died or something. The mall across from the theater had a completely empty parking lot. I would see a few cars arrive in the morning, and they’d get out with these weird masks over their face. I was trying to understand what that meant, then I realized the air might be toxic now. I had slowly started to feel my senses betray me, and I wondered if I was going insane. It had to have been the air. It explained everything.
The only way to keep myself safe from the horde of rats that had become my rivals was to make a torch using my clothes and movie theater butter as the fuel for the fire. It was the last of the butter reserves, but essential to my survival. After a few close encounters, I eventually agreed to a truce with the rat king and surrendered my Sonic the Hedgehog cutout. He was at that point the love of my life.
It became January 2021. I no longer went to the bathrooms, partly because the rats had annexed that territory, but also because I couldn’t stand to look at myself in the mirror anymore. I had became ghastly pale. My eyes had sunken in. I had seen Onward so many times I felt like that was the only frame of reference for reality anymore.
Someone opened the door that month, and their voice echoed in the hallways. I used my developed auditory senses to echolocate them in the darkness. They wore a mask, just as those people did in the mall months before. The air must still be bad. I must not breathe the air. When they drew their flashlight on me, they screamed. Clearly, one is not meant to be trapped in a movie theater for an entire year. I begged for them to wait, but they ran away back into the unknown, where it isn’t safe.
The police eventually found me cradling Jim Carrey’s Robotnik in my arms. He was all I had left. They took me in, and I was filled in on what I had missed for an entire year. Did you know that the New York Times published an article saying Donald Trump only paid $750 in taxes for 2016? Did you know that apparently nobody cared? Or that Taco Bell removed potato options from the menu? I asked them if there was a COVID vaccine or anything, but apparently that’s a controversial topic and people don’t trust Bill Gates enough to take the vaccine. Is Bill Gates the owner of Pfizer? What is going on?
I was charged with trespassing, indecent exposure, and child abandonment. My wife was pretty upset at me, though none of this was my fault. Eventually they decided to put me into a hospital instead. Probably because of the strong testimonial the cardboard cutout of Jim Carrey had provided to ensure my sanity and upstanding character.
I’m not going to say this theater experience ruined my viewing of Bloodshot, but I think it gave me time to think that maybe the film wasn’t that good. All in all, I’d say it was worth a watch, but not worth a ticket price.
*Editor’s Disclaimer: Due to questions of editor Brogan’s sanity during the time he spent locked in the Cineplex-15, the score for this review is being disputed and is under evaluation by local representatives from the Critics Association of America. Furthermore, Brogan’s legal team has asked us to post this review in full, hoping to provide crucial evidence for his impending custody and divorce trials.