A confused religious girl tries to deny her feelings for a female friend who's in love with her. This causes her suppressed subconsciously-controlled psychokinetic powers to reemerge with devastating results.
A couple in a troubled marriage locate a meteorite, initiating an encounter with a mysterious creature. Their lives are turned upside down by the discovery of the creature, which is a source of both pleasure and destruction.
Two upper-class teenage girls in suburban Connecticut rekindle their unlikely friendship after years of growing apart. Together, they hatch a plan to solve both of their problems-no matter what the cost.
Most Beautiful Island turns the American dream into a gruelling nightmare.
Directorial debut, producer, writer and leading actress. Asensio delivers a contemporary thriller utilising desperation as its thoroughly constructed buildup to its uneasy conclusion. What I will say, for the very first time, is that I leapt up from my sofa exclaiming "Nooo no no I can't do this!" and hid behind it with fear. Whether or not the same effect will occur to you depends on what conjures up your trepidation. As I write this, my skin is tingling with anxiety...it was that powerful. An immigrant who moves to New York to chase the "big dream" rapidly discovers that the idyllic lifestyle isn't so easy to achieve, thus resorting to desperation to earn money. Asensio's stripped back simplicity allows the dialogue to remain prominent throughout. Whilst it may lack sharpness and astute vocabulary, it does remain natural. Brave long takes of conversational pieces that slowly manifest into dread. In the back of your mind, you know something is going to happen...you just don't know what. Fear of the unknown is a commanding tool, and Asensio masterfully manipulates this concept to create a memorable thriller. Purposely avoiding the cynical issue of immigration was necessary to avoid being biased, and I appreciate that. It's not so much a character piece, but more of an event perspective where we follow the character of Luciana for just one day. Much like the thematic narrative, she remains unknown to us. Whilst I do appreciate the ambiguity, crucial back story elements needed more exploration in order to enhance the emotional investment of Luciana. This becomes apparent during the unspeakable final act. Honestly, I'm surprised I didn't have nightmares or violently vomit from anxiety. Powerful, just pure visceral imagery. Acting was solid all round and the casting of unknown stars elevated the natural environment even further. Will this appeal to everyone? Not at all. A slow contemporary independent thriller that relishes in its occasional pretentiousness. But what a payoff!
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