Reviews written by registered user
|3 reviews in total|
Hittman's beautifully composed sequences could function as still
photographs. Not a good choice for a casual viewer looking for a
"Spring Breakers" thrill, Hittman's film puts a very fine point on the
heavy, achingly quiet loneliness of adolescent girlhood.
Certainly not an experience shared by all, it will still resonate with some: fourteen year old Lila navigates Brooklyn neighborhoods both alone and with her best friend two years her senior, Chiara. In the sweaty late summer nights, she boasts untruths to her younger neighbor and frequently finds herself a third wheel with Chiara and her boyfriend. She chooses to focus her attention upon the older Sammy, a local college kid who grudgingly lets Lila insert herself into his hard-partying scene.
Ebert, in his review, compared the film to the oeuvre of Larry Clark and Harmony Korine: "Clark and Korine's work, whatever their other virtues, often seem to take place in a universe of users and abusers that's devoid of real love, indeed any possibility of anything but a fleeting connection. " It is an apt comparison. It isn't obvious what Lila is looking for, and we as the audience aren't sure if she got what she wanted, either.
This film is not structured in the traditional narrative fashion: there
is no hero, not even an anti-hero: only the fetishized victim. Thus
this piece is relegated to being "art" or "porn" or some combination of
Definitely not for theaters or casual viewing; it'll strike a chord with a few viewers and perhaps titillate others. I don't think it should be dismissed. It quite effectively invokes memories of JonBenet Ramsey and the fashion industry before descending into pure gore. While I find the latter less than watchable, the entire piece brings up the question of what can happen to real people who sell themselves (or are sold) in the real world.
I'm so incredibly tired of the sequel-slash-remake factory of Hollywood
horror. This film is a very welcome change.
I've heard some criticism of the performances, and I cannot concur. The lead actress who portrayed Cheryl Dempsey did a really wonderful job. The slight unevenness adds to the realistic feel of the film. Without giving anything away, I must say that the true horror is not to be found within the videotaped torture. As brutal and horrific as that is, the real frightening stuff lies in the aftermath.
The writer & director Brothers Dowdle were present at the Tribeca screening which I attended along with two of the actors. The brief Q & A after the film was thoroughly enjoyable. Envisioned as the first part of a trilogy, this is not to be missed by fans of the serial killer genre. I'm looking forward to the next installment.