Dark full movie review - Shades of "Repulsion" set in a NYC blackout
A young bisexual former-model-turned-yoga-instructor (Whitney Able) is in a deteriorating relationship with her girlfriend (Alexandra Breckenridge).
When her girlfriend leaves town in the midst of an unresolved argument, she is left alone in their run-down NYC loft just as the famous blackout of 2003 occurs. She has encounters with a couple of potentially sinister men--a weird, overly friendly neighbor (Brendan Sexton III) and a guy she unsuccessfully tries to pick up at the bar. She may be being stalked and externally threatened in real-life, but judging from some quick-cut flashbacks and scars on her wrists, the worst danger may really be in her own mind. . .
I suspect when this movie is more widely released, it may have some trouble finding an audience because it looks enough like a horror movie to chase away a lot of the art crowd, but a lot of horror fans may not appreciate its artier trappings and its slow, subtle and largely psychological approach to horror. This movie falls in the school of horror typified by films like "Repulsion", "The Tenant", "Let's Scare Jessica to Death", and "Session 9". These kind of films are rarely made, especially these days. The last two I remember both came from south of the US border--"Magic, Magic", which I thought was unfairly panned, and "La Casa Muda", which was successful enough to inspire an American remake, but was then overshadowed by the failure of said remake. Personally though, I LOVE this brand of arty, slow-simmering horror. I wish they made more of them, but they are both hard to pull off and a hard-sell once produced.
The two actresses here are real revelations, especially Whitney Able. They are both known as typical "hot" actresses who take their clothes off a lot (actually they do that here too in an opening sex scene), but they have both gone through some physical changes for this movie and look quite convincing as a NY lesbian couple. Breckenridge's acting is spot-on in her few early scenes, and after she goes, Able has to really carry this movie herself, perhaps even more than Catherine Deneuve does in "Repulsion", where SHE could fall back on the talents of great director Roman Polanski. I don't mean to oversell either the movie or the performance, but it really works, and it really works because of her. It's also good to see the once-busy East Coast indie actor Brendan Sexton III, who was in "Welcome to the Dollhouse", "Boys Don't Cry", and "Session 9", but largely disappeared after that. This movie was also actually filmed in New York City, and like a lot of genuine NYC-filmed movies, the city itself is an important character.
This movie is not an easy sell to anybody, but people that really like "Repulsion"-type movies will definitely appreciate this.