Hilary Duff called her role as Sharon Tate this film an "incredible opportunity" and "a true honor", viewing Tate as an "amazing" woman. See more »
William Garretson was the caretaker, not Stephen Parent. Parent was Garretson's friend, who just happened to be visiting on the night of August 9, 1969 (wrong place, wrong time.) Parent was shot in his car and Garretson was questioned as a suspect. See more »
An unremarkable horror film exploiting a real-life tragedy
Daniel Farrands' latest film tells the tragedy of Sharon Tate, one of 5 deaths in an infamous real-life mass murder committed by the members of Charles Manson's cult. The release comes close to the 50th anniversary of those events.
I entered hoping for a fact-based biopic of Sharon Tate and what happened that night, giving life to the people that were killed and showing us who those people were during their short lives and final days. What we actually get is a rather dull sensationalistic take on the facts, used purely to create a horror film off the back of the tragedy. Had I seen his previous film based on Amityville murderer Ronald DeFeo (which I watched after this and is better executed while feeling narrowly less exploitive), I would've know what to expect - a mostly fictional horror story based on real victims of a real tragedy.
While it uses the real life events as an influence on the characters and story, there's clearly a lot of artistic license used and the result is a sub-par horror film that leaves a bitter taste in the mouth due to its exploitation of the real tragedy that took place. There was an opportunity to pay respect to the people that lost their lives, but unfortunately we get a forgettable home-invasion horror film with a particularly odd plot point, which feels absurd for a film which wants to give the impression that it's a fact-based biopic.
I can appreciate why Sharon Tate's sister was so against the film.
There's nothing particularly interesting about this film and it doesn't do justice to the innocent victims, nor reveal much of anything that we didn't already know. It invents more than it enlightens. Without revealing spoilers, Farrands could have easily made this horror film as a fictional story, with fictional characters, and the result would probably have earned slightly better ratings. But at its core it's a by-the-numbers horror with attempted jumps, moments of suspense, and cat-and-mouse chases, but it definitely does not give the impression (to me at least) that it wants to pay homage to the victims, nor deglorify Manson.
The acting is okay, but it's hardly top class, and Duff seems to fade in and out of using an odd accent in her portrayal of Tate. Some of the script feels unnatural, the characters are underdeveloped and some of the acting and dialogue is wooden. The story moves along at a decent pace, but it doesn't really offer enough to hold interest or build suspense, possibly because we know what's coming.
Farrands seems to have found himself a new niche, making films about real life tragedies, the next of which will be the murder of OJ Simpson's wife. Unfortunately, the tragedy of Farrands' new-found inspiration for his films is that they're exploiting these horrific real-life events for entertainment and profit.
I give it 1/10 due to the combination of it being an unoriginal and dull horror film, as well as an insensitive exploitation of the tragedy. Had it been presented as a fictional story, with fictional characters, it may have earned closer to 3 or 4 out of ten, but it still wouldn't have been anything special.
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