Thursday, 23 May 2013


I wanted to write a little something about this film, because I can almost guarantee you that in five, ten, fifteen years it'll be some kind of mega cult phenomenon, and I figure that now is as good a time as any to document my opinion.

For a start, it's a very original movie. It does a very good of blending two genres; lo-fi indie character study/coming of age tale, with a gristly body/surreal horror movie. If Napoleon Dynamite and David Cronenberg got into a blender together, or even a Telepod (ho ho ho), then this is the kind of film that would be made. It's quirky, quite funny, a bit dark, and absolutely relentlessly unnerving and terrifying. I'd even be tempted to push myself and say that actually, the film is a masterpiece. It really was a very special film indeed.

The plot is quite a simple one, and the film itself is relatively short; a young girl, Pauline, a wannabe surgeon, is discovering the trials and tribulations of puberty and growing up. She has issues with her parents, who are having a tough marriage, and her relationship with her mother is... Strained at best. Her sister has cystic fibrosis and it is clear from the outset that this is one very disturbed family unit. However, the tone is set by the very first scene which I can't really describe. It's one of Pauline's many dream sequences, which all look like this, and are very creepy.

So yeah. That's pretty much the rest of the film before the climax, which I won't ruin here. We follow Pauline, her interactions with her family, her dream sequences, and each of these three strands work very well. If you removed the horror, then the film would work very well as a drama on its own, and vice versa; the two together create an interesting juxtaposition and in the end deliver a truly powerful conclusion. It's powerful because we've come to care about these characters as normal people, and when what happens happens, it's lent a more human bent (you might have gathered, I quite like people in films, they're much more interesting than explosions).

The film works on a number of levels, but the whole thing can be taken as a sort of acid-trip version of a girl discovering her own sexuality. It's a little bit like a modern-day Carrie. Despite what that picture might represent, the film is a very human drama at the core, but I've said that already. It's an odd one, but I think that's what gives it such excellent potential for cult-dom- films like this do not come along very often, and when they do they are to be treasured by people with a wide and varied interest in the genre.

Finally, it's the performances that make this film great. Annalynne McCord is amazing as Pauline, toeing the line between geeky, awkward and scary very well, and Tracey Lords as her mother puts in a staggering turn- as a woman at odds with a daughter she knows she has to love, but can't.

9/10 from me, it blew me away.

(side note, John Waters and Malcolm McDowell have cameos in this film, and they are excellent)

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