Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Deadgirl (2008)

Deadgirl is about two high school boys who break into an abandoned mental hospital and find a seemingly dead girl locked in the basement. When the supposed dead girl moves the two friends find themselves in an odd situation, sensibly Rickie wants to call the police but JT suggests a perverse taboo that hybrids necrophilia and rape fantasies to a horrifying extreme. Rickie rejects the idea but doesn't stop JT from delving into a sadistic addiction, or from encouraging others to join in. The boys now pressed even more as they are exploring dark passages and repelling against each other find that their new 'toy' is not all helpless, as a bite may give you her illness.

Deadgirl is a surprisingly deep horror film about the human mind paired with the desire of sexual need. It also has a supernatural element about it which adds to the films, surprisingly complex, layers. In one respect we see the chilling portrayal of the dead girl by Jenny Spain, a newcomer who has no films to date but this one, but she gives a creepy performance, and I'm not entirely sure if it's solely because of her facial structure or her ability to work her unconventional looks to her advantage. Then on the other end of the spectrum we have friends Rickie and JT who are committing a horrible act of rape repeatedly by keeping a sex slave, and while JT's true nature comes out under his fantasies Rickie's stays repressed and is fighting against his sanity. I have no idea if the writer and the directors had any intention of making Deadgirl more than just a disturbing film but it came out as a rather deep insight into human nature. The final scene with Rickie being strong proof of that.

As I've been doing research for the review I saw a few people mention how it was degrading to woman in it's brutal rape scenes. I have to disagree with both statements, degrading to woman would be more if they portrayed the sex slave aspect as a light subject that JT and Rickie should be proud of in contrast to the disturbing and sick one that was put out for us. And the rape scenes aren't brutal, in context yes, but highly explicit and graphic? No. There is really only two parts where we see any physical carnation of rape and the second one is treated so casually that it'd be hard to miss if you hadn't been following the film. The acting is also, surprisingly, good. And the character development, once again, surprisingly deep. The director of photography uses a color hue of greens and blues to capture the hospital basement in almost a musty feel for the darker scenes, and in contrast a cloudy sun day for the moments of character reflection.

I may be going too far for Deadgirl as I said that I have absolutely no idea if the film had any intention of being so deep, but seeing that's how I saw it that's how I'm reviewing it. There's also a bit of humor as the scene in the parking lot is good for a laugh. The soundtrack has an indie vibe to it which makes it feel more like a teen horror flick that may be tolerated. The negative I'd say about the film is that it's not a repeat watch, as good and as developed as it is, I don't have any desire to go back. But like all films about rape or a brutal nature as such you don't want to go back. A very good edition to the horror genre, one that I'd recommend to those who are looking for something unique.

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