Susie Salmon (Saoirse Ronan) is a 14 year old girl who has a camera, a bike, a hat that her mom made for her (just like Jayne in the Firefly episode “The Message” if you’re into canceled science fiction shows, which I am) and a Saturday mall date with a smooth talking poet in a turtleneck.
Unbeknownst to her, she lives next door to serial killer George Harvey (Stanley Tucci). I don’t know why everyone is so surprised he loves to murder, he’s got the murderer’s mustache, murderer’s glasses and murderer’s light tan jacket combo going. Plus he lives alone and builds dollhouses.
George builds a hole in the middle of a cornfield and somehow convinces Susie to crawl down a ladder into it at dusk. To be fair, you just can’t keep a teenage girl out of a dimly lit grave-like hole dug in the middle of a lonely field. Didn’t Seventeen just come out with their bi-monthly “Guide to Pits in Desolate Fields” issue?
Well, crawling down into an ominous hole a creepy stranger dug and is nervously trying to get her to explore doesn’t work out so great and Susie gets serial killed. She ends up in the afterlife between Heaven and Earth which looks a lot like how I imagine the virtual world Second Life would look if you died and went there, except nobody is trying to charge you 1000 Linden dollars to have sexy chat with a human-fox lady.
While she’s hanging around in the hereafter Susie meets the other girls that George Harvey murdered. Is that really how the transit system to heaven works? All aboard to heaven! Hope you like getting reminded of how you were killed on the trip. I think the last person I’d want to see in the afterlife is all the other people that died the same way I did.
Also, how do all those murdered girls know that the white light they’re heading into is heaven? It might be a trap! They might be skipping giddily along into serial killer heaven for all they know. Just because you’re in a magical field with roses blooming under icy lakes, fancy dresses any time you want and a happy little dog pulling you around on a bobsled in a winter wonderland doesn’t mean it’s safe. In fact isn’t that how you got lured to your horrible deaths in the first place, with promises of awesome things?
You know, speaking of lovely bones, Skully Skeleton (the skeleton from a shipwreck at the bottom of the ocean I mentioned in my review of Wonder Boys) won “Best in Skull” at this year’s Skeleton Ball held at the world’s biggest graveyard.
Just so I’m clear on this, the serial killer murders all he wants, hides the evidence successfully and then gets killed by a freak icicle accident in his late middle age? Sounds to me like the final score is serial killer 1, victims 0. That murderer really slam dunked all that murdering he wanted to do. He’s like the Babe Ruth of serial killers.
That’s what Babe Ruth was famous for, right? His slam dunk? “Slam one for the Gipper!” he’d yell from the back of his baseball horse, golden rays of sunlight illuminating his long golden hair. I heard that people sometimes play basketball while they ride around on donkeys, but I hate to ask about this “donkey basketball” because if it turns out to be just a turn of phrase and there are no donkeys I’ll be disappointed. I wonder how they get donkeys onto a basketball court. Probably the old carrot and stick. Here’s a t-shirt design I did of a space travelling donkey: