17 June 2011
Deadgirl 2008 - REVIEW
Without a doubt, times are a changing. Things that weren't acceptable before are becoming more and more tolerable. Film makers are taking more liberties and pushing the limits of the ratings system. It was just a matter of time before a film like Deadgirl came about.
Rickie (Shiloh Fernandez) and JT (Noah Segan) skip class one day to explore a crumbling mental hospital. What seemed to be business as usual becomes anything but when the two boys break through a rusted door leading to a boiler room and discover a naked woman tied to a gurney and covered in plastic. When the body shows signs of life JT immediately suggests that he and his pal should have a little fun with their helpless captive. But while Rickie may be somewhat reckless, his moral compass still points in the right direction and he wants nothing to do with such sordid affairs. Later, when word of Rickie and JT's discovery gets out, tensions flare as events take a darkly disturbing turn.
Beyond a shadow of a doubt, the best performance of the film came from Jenny Spain who spent 95% of her time naked and strapped to a gurney being poked and prodded but never speaks a line of dialogue. The acting from the largely unknown cast is really good. Segan transforms effortlessly from likable geek dude to perverse sociopath, while Fernandez's vulnerability helps sell his flawed character. It's really hard not to see him as a young, sane Joaquin Phoenix. Blast me if you will but it's my opinion. However, even a strong cast can't save the clumsiness of the dialogue. There's so much useless rhetoric and repetitive dialogue that it bogs it down. I get that some things need to be explained but with a film of this nature simply implying certain things would've been a better route.
The problem I have with this one is that I'm not quite sure if I liked it or not. Some points I liked... the story line was different and it's always refreshing to see something that's not just the "same ole shit". I had a lot of problems with the dialogue. The writers tried to throw in one liners and things that were suppose to be funny but it missed, heavily. It's a film that tries to be a teen drama with divided loyalties, peer pressure, bad parenting, girl trouble and wanting what you can't have all worked into one and it just gets to be too much. Most of it takes place in an abandoned mental hospital and I thought cinematography wise, it looked good. What I could see of it at least, it was so damn dark I had to adjust the brightness on my TV just to see what was going on. The effects are done well. There's some blood splatter, a chopped off hand and someone gets their lip bitten off. Too many questions were left unanswered and I would imagine most people will be pissed that they sat through it waiting for a payoff that never really comes. I would recommend solely on the fact that it's different and a bit disturbing but it's definitely not a horror so don't go into it looking to be scared.