Monday, October 14, 2019

31 Days of Halloween - Day 14 - Movie

In an almost completely abandoned city of decaying houses, where nature has rapidly begun to reclaim the land, a mother and her two sons struggle to eke out an existence. Now, essentially lawless, the city is claimed by brutal, scissor wielding, Bully (Matt Smith) , who has it in for the elder son (Ian De Caestecker) for stripping properties, he claims now belong to him, of their copper pipes and wiring. Meanwhile, the mother (Christina Hendricks), desperate for income to keep them from losing their home, takes a job at Grand Guignol styled nightclub. Their one neighbor (Saoirse Ronan) who lives with her grandmother (Barbara Steele) claims the place has been cursed ever since the reservoir was put in decades earlier.

The synopsis may not make it seem like much of a horror movie, but Lost River (2014) bears a strange, dreamlike quality and plenty of horrific elements. There's something of a Twilight Zone quality to the story, too, that suggests that the world outside this essentially post-apocalyptic city is normal, and the characters are torn between wanted to remain in their homes and a desire to want to leave that is made nearly impossible for one reason of another, while their world becomes more and more hellish.

This film, written and directed by Ryan Gosling, did not find a lot of love and quickly fell through the cracks, but I rather liked it. It does occasionally feel a bit slow going, but there are some really strong performances here, and Detroit, standing in for the city of Lost River, is used to great advantage providing some extraordinary scenes of urban decay and isolation.

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