5.7/10
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41 user 87 critic

Proxy (2013)

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2:05 | Trailer
The life of three parents who have all shared the loss of a child. Motives are not what they seem and sanity is in short supply in this thriller.

Director:

Zack Parker
2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Kristina Klebe ... Anika Barön
Joe Swanberg ... Patrick Michaels
Alexa Havins ... Melanie Michaels
Alexia Rasmussen ... Esther Woodhouse
Jim Dougherty ... Store Manager
Adam Stephenson ... Mr. Verdel
Erika Hoveland ... Mary Wilkens
Melissa O'Brien ... Receptionist
Faust Checho ... Detective Allen
Mark A. Nash ... Anchorman
Bruce Spielbauer ... Marshall Michaels
Dianne Bischoff ... Moderator #1
Kitsie Duncan Kitsie Duncan ... Support Victim
Angel Kerns ... Support Group Attendee
Glenna Reinhardt ... ER Nurse
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Storyline

While walking home from her latest OB appointment, a very pregnant Esther Woodhouse is brutally attacked and disfigured by a hooded assailant. This horrible event seems to be a blessing in disguise when Esther finds consolation in a support group. Her life of sadness and solitude is opened up to friendship, understanding, and even acceptance. However, friendship and understanding can be very dangerous things when accepted by the wrong people. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 April 2014 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Доверенность See more »

Filming Locations:

Richmond, Indiana, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Esther's last name Woodhouse is a tribute to Rosemary's Baby (1968) character Rosemary Woodhouse. See more »

Connections

References Rosemary's Baby (1968) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Leads you in by curiosity and grips you by its ambition
17 October 2014 | by StevePulaskiSee all my reviews

At first thought, Proxy isn't a horror film because it doesn't concern elements we commonly associate with horror, such as serial killers, demons, and supernatural occurrences. However, it contains the horror elements some of us tragically face as human beings, such as rape, miscarriage, distrust, betrayal, and loneliness in such a way that makes for an experience thriving on fear and uncertainty. I love when films, independent or mainstream, go off on tangents and completely catch me off guard with their intelligence and craft.

We are first greeted with Esther Woodhouse (Alexia Rasmussen), a pregnant woman who, judging by the looks of her stomach, is very close to her due date, emerging from a clinic to only be savagely attacked by a random mugger. She suffers a miscarriage and is left physically deformed, and, due to obtaining the sperm from a sperm bank, has almost nobody to help her through her tragedy. On an off- the-cuff decision, Esther visits a support group for grieving parents, where she meets Melanie Michaels (Alexa Havins), who claims her husband and son were killed. Esther becomes close with Melanie, much to the dismay of Esther's jealous lover Anika Barön (Kristina Klebe).

This is all of the plot I'm willing to give away, for Proxy is one of those films where the line between basic plot summation and spoiler territory is so incredibly thin that another few words added to a sentence could spoil more of the movie experience. It doesn't matter, though, for I'm in the business of opinion and not synopsis. From the moment it kicks off, Proxy is potent and terrifying as a horror film, always engaging the viewer with elements of mystery and character insincerity and keeping them immersed by moving quite frequently and scarcely letting up. In addition, the performances, specifically Rasmussen and Havins, convey a detached and disconnected sense of reality that is almost necessary in a film where the audience is unsure of who is honest, as well as the characters themselves.

On top of that, there is a serious feeling of contempt and loathe that looms over the viewer with every scene, making this a deeper and more investing horror film than I initially imagined. The way the film plays with your emotions by taking numerous social tragedies and lumping together, not for shock, but for the sake of narrative potency and the near-personification of fear is just delightful. Director and co- writer Zack Parker (working alongside writing partner Kevin Donner) take their time to allow slowburn tension to develop, as Proxy occupies a liberally-used two hours, sometimes focusing on conversation, character interest, or events, depending on the current mood of the writers. At two hours, there is ample amount of time to spend on all these aspects, assuring we never get a thoughtful film that races by too quickly to even be analyzed.

Proxy's only issue is that not every performer can make the transition from disconnected to fiery and fuming with anger, most notably Joe Swanberg, one of my favorite directors, who has played low-key for so long perhaps his attempt at sudden rage just feels off-kilter for that reason. There is an understandable mixed reaction to Proxy for more than just its performances, but above all, like many films released under the IFC Midnight label, it's a nasty but thoroughly commendable piece of work illustrating fine- tuned components in a genre that so desperately needs not only some subversiveness but some age-old ideas done correctly rather than haphazardly.

Starring: Alexia Rasmussen, Alexa Havins, Kristina Klebe, and Joe Swanberg. Directed by: Zack Parker.


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