Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Movie Madness Carnival

Yay! It's another Movie Madness Carnival hosted by our lovely hostess with the mostess, Jen from Daily Mish Mash! She's also having a lovely giveaway that you can find here. It's a movie junkies favorite kind of giveaway! We're talking a movie gift card, popcorn and candy! Yummmmmm......

I love these! Movies (watching, not making) are my passion. Just ask anyone.

Last time I did a general post about movies but kinda focused on Dirty Dancing a bit.

I'm changing it up this time. Today, I'm doing a review. Boo, hiss, blech...I know, reviews can kinda suck but I felt it was necessary for this particular movie.


Ok, let's get into this review.


That's it.

No? That's not considered a review. Sigh.......

I really don't know exactly how I feel about this movie. It was a last minute grab out of the $5 bin at Wal-Mart.

I remember reading in my crackazines (US, People, Entertainment Weekly, etc...) about this movie and being intrigued with the premise.

I popped it in Sunday night after light of my life went to sleep. I had the living room to myself and thought I'd pop it in to see what it was all about.

Just FYI, it's a rated R movie, so no kiddos need to be awake to accidentally catch any of this.

It stars Ellen Page of Juno fame and Patrick Wilson of Little Children fame. Sandra Oh makes an appearance but for you Grey's Anatomy fans, if you're watching this just because she's in it, don't bother. Her appearance in this movie equal a whopping total of about 4 minutes.

If you like happy endings and all questions answered in your movies, this is not a movie for you. This is an independent film and you can tell.

I don't mean that in a negative way. It's just a powerful and unique film.

It starts off with Ellen Page's character, Hayley, and Patrick Wilson's character, Jeff, chatting on IM. It's pretty obvious that the conversation is between a teenage girl and an older male. Not to give too much away...they agree to meet.

The next scene sets it up to them meeting in a cafe. They start to talk and you can sense his attraction to her but you can also tell that he's not wanting to make it too obvious since he's in his thirties and she's, well, not.

She finagles an invite to his apartment to listen to a download of a song from a concert and he (instead of backing off) agrees.

They head over to his apartment and things start taking that uncomfortable turn that all parents dread in this day and age. It appears that Hayley initiates the sequence of events by pouring both of them some screwdrivers and asking Jeff to take pics of her (he's a photographer). She pops in a c.d. and takes off her shirt to reveal a sports bra and starts to dance on the sofa while Jeff starts to take pictures. A few minutes into the session, Jeff faints.

When he awakens, he finds himself tied to a chair with Hayley watching him.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is where the movie takes a hard left and never lets up.

Hayley is convinced Jeff is a pedophile and that he's had something to do with the disappearance of a local girl.

Now, normally, in movies and sometimes in real life, there's an obvious monster and an obvious hero.

But not in this one.

As much as you want to see Hayley as some vigilante who's out to rid the world of a pedophile, she's goes way beyond vigilantism and into torture.

And Jeff, well, as despicable as he seems, there's no clear cut answer to whether he had something to do with the disappearance of the local girl or even if he's a pedophile. Sure, he seems a little too interested in Hayley and the teenage girls who's modeled for him, but we never really get a definitive answer to this question. There are scenes set up to make you believe that he has something to hide (a secret safe hidden in a piece of art that contains photos including one of the missing girl) but since we never see any of the photos except for the one of the missing girl fully clothed, there is no scene that says "Jeff Kohlver is a pedophile and here are the pictures to prove it".

I'm not gonna give any more away because, really, you need to watch the movie to really grasp the pure terror of the psychological and physical torture Hayley puts to Jeff.

Neither character is likable in the slightest. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that the most likable character in this whole movie is the one played by Sandra Oh as a nosy neighbor.

There are some surprises in store for the viewer and even though I'm not a man, there is one scene where even I cringed and felt for Jeff's character.

And really, that's what makes this movie so impossible to pigeonhole for me. I don't really have any one character to root for. During most of the movie, I feel for Hayley and support her but then there are times when I feel for Jeff.

Ellen Page is just so perfect for this part and so wonderful as a 14 (we think) year old girl. I really haven't seen too much of either her work or Patrick Wilson's so I have nothing to compare it to (I haven't watched Juno, yet) but the acting seems really tight and raw in this movie.

I really do recommend this movie. It's not a happy feel good movie but is, beyond a doubt, an interesting one.

That's it for my review.


Mama Dawg

11 really cool people who give a rat's patootie:


It sounds kinda creepy, but good.


Sounds like a difficult film to watch, I am not sure I could as I prefer my films happy-go-lucky and with good (or at least finished endings!)!

Mama Dawg

It was difficult to watch but then again, I like any and all kinds of movies so I'll watch it even if it's difficult.


Wow, sounds interesting. I'm usually one for the happy endings but this seems like it might be worth checking out.


Thanks for the review and for playing along. I do want to see this movie so I skimmed through it so as not to read too much. Sometimes I love dark movies (loved The Good Girl) but sometimes not. I guess it really just depends on my mood.


It's in my Netflix queue as of NOW. I love Patrick Wilson...

Thanks for the review...I'd never even heard of this movie, and I totally read EW, People, and Us every week. Where've I been???


I was blown away by this movie when I saw it Sundance. Ellen Page is wicked talented.

Amanda @ notsoextraordinary

from what you say it actually sounds pretty good... but I have a feeling that it crosses the line that i am never able to go past with movies. I don't know why, but movies with psycological stuff really freaks me out... but you did a good job summarizing it, thanks!


Awesome!! Thanks for the review. I had often browsed the isles of movie stored and seen it wondering what it was about. NOW..I want to see it.

P.S. Juno was really good.


Great review! I hadn't even heard of this one and if I'd seen it on the shelf I probably would have kept on walking. But after your review... well, I might just pick it up. Intriguing. I usually like nice, clear cut, just endings so this one would be a stretch for me but you've sparked my interest...


This definitely does not sound like a run of the mill movie. It does sound intriguing and creepy and fun in a weird sort of way. I'll have to check it out!!

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