In Los Angeles, a story about a dead girl, told in five chapters. A woman, miserable in her circumscribed life caring for her domineering mother, finds a body. Somehow, this discovery allows her to change. At the morgue, the sister of a girl missing for 15 years believes the body is that of her sister; this liberates her. An older woman, married to a man who pays her little attention, finds evidence in a storage unit; how will she handle it? The mother of the dead girl, who left home some years before, visits the last place her daughter lived and makes her own discoveries. Last, we flash back to the victim's final day.Written by
Grim set of narratives will hit the spot if you are in the mood
An atmospheric sextuplet of stories revolving around The Dead Girl makes for an intriguing, if unnecessary diversion from your standard murder mystery. Starting with this basic concept, Karen Moncrieff, the writer and director, will show how those associated with this corpse react around the event. In loosely connected stories, this body becomes either foreground or background material to each scenario's more personal, character-based meditations. What turns out is an interesting and eerie slice of independent ensemble drama, more effective as distinct portions then the muddied whole it will add into.
Those going into the movie expecting a hard fought thriller will definitely be disappointed, but people who enjoy more low key fair might have found their sleeper hit of the moment. The Dead Girl reeks of professionally depressive performances. No more ensemble work then a collection of different short films thrown together, casting here nevertheless will make this feature far more attractive then it could have been. Everyone is at their subtly bleak best, and right from the start with Toni Collette's haunted presence one knows the film will be a showcase of silence and darkness from a worthy cast, perhaps at the expense of things like facts and plot.
Those who will enjoy The Dead Girl most are those who bask in cinematic gray areas. Nothing will attempt to be solved or moralized by detailing the grim reality of this murder. Instead viewers have six dark little tales which are more character study then interlocking mystery. For sheer foreboding ambiance alone, The Dead Girl is worth a watch; film's creepiest fade out in recent memory should distinctly heighten a lasting aftertaste.
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