I am genuinely uncertain whether what I just watched was terrible terrible, or hilariously awesomely terrible. And I’m not sure if the director and cast know either. But I wasn’t bored.
I attended a screening with a Q&A from director Richard Shepard and stars Alison Williams and Logan Browning, and Shepard said the film was shot in 24 days, cheap and fast, from an idea he developed himself for Williams, and that seems about right. Shepard also said his inspiration was partly the films of Park Chan-Wook, and that seems about right too. Though to me, less Park’s recent work and more the earlier bits like Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, and mixed in with things like Ebola Syndrome and Audition and Black Swan.
Tonally the film is all over the place, I had no idea what to expect (all I knew going in was “Alison Williams and cellos”) and it felt like the film shifted genres from styled “chapter” to “chapter” – psychological thriller, body horror, gory revenge, exploitation. It’s deeply silly, occasionally beautiful, more often goofily conceived and performed. Steven Weber (of Wings fame) is a highlight, building on his fun turn as an Armenian mobster in Party Down to show his chops as a great character actor. It definitely left me curious what others thought.
And one last note. Without spoiling anything, how weirdly fitting and ironic that this particular narrative would come from the now disgraced Miramax.
2 out of 4 stars (average). Honestly, this film is very hard to rate. In some ways it’s a 1 star movie, in others it’s a 3 star movie. So I averaged it out.