dirs: John Adams, Zelda Adams, Toby Poser
If hell, as Jean Paul Sartre once opined in between abusing amphetamines and literary groupies, is other people, then families are a unique form of hell. And to be trapped with your family during a pandemic, well, we keep discovering lower and lower circles of hell all the time…
But imagine if your family, all its members, were immensely talented actors and filmmakers. Well, out of these despicable last few years, you could have made something quite special if you’d really tried.
When I mention that this flick is a family affair, it makes it sound like an amateurish set of home videos. It is nothing of the sort. Before I get carried away – I’m not implying this is the most heartwarming and uplifting movie made since Schindler’s List – I am however trying to say that this is a quite accomplished and pretty well put together horror film made by people who know what they’re doing, and they do it very well.
Yes, on the other hand you could see this as a director’s audition to try to convince metal bands to let the Adams – Poser family make all their next album’s film clips – I can see them making clips for Mastodon or Opeth or Baroness quite easily.
A lot of this flick has that vibe, and not only because the two main characters, Izzy (Zelda Adams) and her mother (Toby Poser) play doom-heavy music with lots of make-up on in their spare time.
They have a lot of spare time. They are a mother and daughter living in rural isolation. They play music, they do foraging stuff, they seem to get along okay, they do arty stuff. It seems like the perfect life if you like that sort of thing. The mum seems to fear… something. Either she’s worried about Izzy straying too far from the property, or she’s worried about something encroaching upon their hillbilly paradise.
Of course I’m leaving out the very beginning of the flick, which shows an array of women trying to hang and burn a woman that looks a lot like the mum, in those pilgrim / witchburning times, and yet it seems like they didn’t get their wish if she’s swanning about in the present age.
Izzy is a teenager, though, and bored, which is a dangerous combination. It seems like she’s never spent time with anyone else other than her mother. It could be because she has some kind of allergy or dangerous immunity condition, but like in real life that’s just some bullshit parents make up to keep their kids obedient.
As is inevitable, Izzy finds some teenagers doing some dumb stuff, and is drawn to them, and knows enough to keep this from her sainted mother. Of course a teenager would want to hang out with other teenagers. No matter how awesome one’s parent / parents are, you seek out peers, to compare, contrast, drink and have sex with etc.
I hesitate to say that it’s natural, as in a natural curiousity and urge, because this film is not about the natural urges all people might possess. It is, after all, a horror film.