Claire (Kate Miccuci) has landed a great new job at a PR company. She lives with her boyfriend, Paul (Sam Huntington) in their new apartment in L.A., but unfortunately Paul is unemployed so they can’t take their relationship to the next level. They’re amazed at the location and the cheap rent at their new place, that is until they find out why.
It turns out that the apartment complex houses a suicide cult whose members randomly break in so that they can kill themselves in their bath tub. Their leader, Storsh (Taika Waititi) committed suicide several years before the couple moved in, yet his faithful followers keep on coming and as Claire and Paul decide to embrace their new living arrangements, their grip on reality goes right along with it.
Seven Stages to Achieve Eternal Bliss by Passing Through the Gateway Chosen by The Holy Storsh, (to give the movie its full title) is a dark comedy directed by Vivieno Caldinelli. Unfortunately, this surreal black comedy comes across more like an experimental movie where the writers were given a few topics (suicide cults, unemployment and soulless PR companies) and made a bet to try and make them funny. If this indeed the case then they probably lost because the movie is not funny.
The premise for the movie may seem amusing because it may seem so subversive and it could have been the modern day Natural Born Killers, commenting on the empty lives of suburban living. However, the script doesn’t have that depth. Instead what the audience gets is a series of sketches thrown together which start to make less and less sense as it the movie continues.
Fans of Rick and Morty and Community may love that creator Dan Harmon is a supporting character as the detective investigating every murder/suicide that happen in the couple’s apartment. However, his cliched character just comes across as mean spirited as his sub plot doesn’t go anywhere.
Considering the comedic talents of Micucci, Waititi and Harmon, it’s baffling as to why they were involved in Seven Stages to Achieve Eternal Bliss and why they didn’t have anything better to do.
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