5 December 2013 6:09 AM, PST | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Filmmaker Zach Clark's first two features, the scrappy nurse-turned-dominatrix comedy "Modern Love Is Automatic" and the wicked beach party noir "Vacation!," paired restless formalism with Clark's penchant for deadpan humor. By contrast, his touching Christmas tale "White Reindeer" funnels Clark's darker sensibilities and erotic themes into a decidedly more complicated vision of suburban unrest. With a mixture of pathos and dry wit, Clark delivers a solemn twist on the holiday movie formula that simultaneously inhabits the genre and turns it inside out. At first, "White Reindeer" looks like the set up for a routine studio comedy, with giddy real estate agent Suzanne Barrington (a superb Anna Margaret Hollyman) in good spirits as she closes a major deal and celebrates her weatherman husband's upcoming new gig in Hawaii just in time for the holidays. In a safer movie, things might go awry with the couple in their new surroundings; instead, »


- Eric Kohn

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Zach Clark (I)
Anna Margaret Hollyman
White Reindeer (2013)


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