Saturday, July 9, 2016

DARLING (2016)

Written & Directed By: Mickey Keating 
Cinematography By: Mac Fisken 
Editor: Valerie Krulfeifer 

Cast: Lauren Ashley Carter, Brain Morvant, Larry Fessenden, Sean Young, Helen Rogers

A lonely girl's violent descent into madness

The film is more experimental then anything and has an original and assured style. The problem is that we have seen this type of film before done better. So that while the film at least tries something different the end result is something familiar and not as impressive as it seeks to be. All in Stark Black and white.

Instantly films such as Roman Polanski's REPULSION and even THE TENANT come to mind.

So that by the end of this feature which is short by hose standards only 77 minutes. It comes off almost as an accomplished student film.

What doesn't help is that the film is supposed to be about a woman who is care taking a home who slowly goes crazy. Though from the beginning the woman already seems a bit off. So her gradual breakdown seeks to have already started. So it is no real shock watching her go down that road. It is just us In the audience waiting for when it will manifest itself to others outside the house or if/when she will hurt someone else because of it.

The beginning is a slow slide as we get to know her somewhat or at least the film introduces it's style and her hallucinations that come across as rapid editing. Which might be the one touch to admire about the film.

As the film goes along a chance encounter with a man on the street. Soon seems to become and obsession, one that she feels a need to put her attention into full time. This is where the film seems to come alive and become the film it was Intended to be when an actual story begins to take shape.

At this point the film, finally starts to have some action to it. Revelations are made that are Both shocking and expected. This is where the meat of the film is after chewing on bones in the beginning.

It is here that the film flirts with a bit of horror tropes as there are quick scenes of violence and maybe even a haunting. That seems there and makes sense, but also seems to give the film a certain shocking thrill for those who have been waiting for some kind of violence.

The film also tries to make you wonder if this is actually happening or all in her head. Though by the end they pretty much make it clear. Even though w reindeer if her memory are more delusions or true events.

Though one unintentional laugh for me in this film. Might come from being a New Yorker. Where the characters meet in a bar for seduction. They are dressed to go to a more classy bar. When they are obviously filming in DUFF's bar in Brooklyn which is a popular notorious heavy metal themed bar. I don't know if it was just a location he secured or an inside joke.

The film does have a David lynchian vibe, but has an attitude all it's own. One only wishes he film was as special and revolutionary as it already thinks it is. I will admit once you get past the twenty minute mark the film becomes really engaging. Or at least as much as it is going to, but you really need to watch those first twenty minutes to set the mood and get all the power out of the set-up. Even though if you ski the first twenty minutes you wouldn't exactly be lost when it comes to comprehension of the film.

Though it always amazes me in films. How characters who are so innocent automatically know how to supposedly get rid of it destroy dead bodies. Is it an idea or something they copy from watching films such as these?

The film also gives off the idea that this place does something to people and makes their inner guilt or mental problems manifest themselves and that this will continue. Yet none of the young ladies who take the job seem to consider this warning. Even though again at lest the main one here should have known better with her past trauma. 


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