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Angela is a young hairdresser thrown out of home by her puritantical mother after too many nights out. She quickly falls in with the modeling crowd and does some modeling work herself, while it seems she is being stalked by a mysterious figure driving an ice-cream van. Written by
I had a very strict upbringing.
So did I. But I was banging like a bunny before I was out of my first training bra. Trouble is, it wasn't until I was your age that I discovered I was banging the wrong gong.
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Slow but watchable, moderately interesting Australian oddball drama
Snapshot is a film that seems to generally get pretty short shrift from viewers and though I liked it I can't say as I'm surprised. The main thing holding it back is its marketing and advertising, especially in America. Renamed The Day After Halloween despite having nothing to do with Halloween and tagged as a horror film when it isn't, this one would probably be appreciated more were it better known for what it is, a slow burning, nicely shot and acted drama with some oddball touches, a splash of paranoia and a mildly shocking climax. The film concerns the young and restless Angela, convinced to quite her hairdressing job and become a model by her free wheeling friend Madeline. But the fashion industry isn't a terribly nice place to operate, her ex boyfriend is menacing her with an ice cream van and her inexperience and high strung nerves lead her to assorted fears and bad decisions. Its a coming of age tale essentially, populated by intriguing characters and fresh and committed acting, though a certain mysterious unease snakes through the film. Not tense or well developed enough to be a truly engaging psychological piece, it is at least fairly compelling, or at any rate I thought so. Sigrid Thornton is agreeably vexed and spiky as Angela, though outshined by a brassy belter of a turn from Chantal Contouri as her friend Madeline, Hugh Keays Byrne has a good offbeat turn as a kooky photographer and Julia Blake (also in the superior Patrick) has an impressively cruel and domineering if brief appearance as Angela's mother. I'm not usually a fan of melodrama, even melodrama with a slightly creepy psychological edge, but Snapshot pulls through. The undoubted main components in its mild success for me are a typically neat script from veteran Everett De Roche (and Chris De Roche), with plenty of lively characters, earthy humour and as much intrigue as can be wrung from the slim events, also the direction of Simon Wincer (who later made the superior Harlequin with De Roche) with neat visual flair and good eye for angles. A slightly overwrought score from Brian May (as in the respected composer) also helps, just as Angelas own insecurities and youth lead her to make more of the insignificant than she should, so the score and the occasionally tense direction go right along with her. If only Angela were more interesting and the film a little more meaty or inspired in its events it could have been pretty interesting, but as it is it is merely quite watchable, elevated above being close to a miss by a cool finale. Altogether then, I dug this odd little ditty for what it was, not terribly impressive but bearing some little charms. Most horror fans should steer far clear, but Australian cinema completists, fans of melodrama or merely fans of the slightly unusual may get a few kicks out of it like I did.
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