Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Quick Synopsis: Misfit youths find that nothing cures boredom like a girl to call their own.
A coming of age tale that finally asks the question on all adolescent minds: What are we going to do with the catatonic naked girl we found chained in the basement of an abandoned hospital? And really, one could easily make the argument that this is, at its core, about first loves, a central theme to almost all coming of age fodder, albeit with a little more bite.
There is little exposition before she is found and mere moments later the words are uttered, "We could keep her." A chilling line if ever there was one and a highlight to what makes Deadgirl as genuinely disturbing as it is. With as much graphic imagery that lies within, what really stands out is how quickly and with little thought the boys delve into the deepest recesses of their baser instincts. There is some reluctance from Ricky, one of the two central protagonists, but this likely has more to do with his deep-seeded affection for JoAnn, a living girl, as he never puts forth much of an effort in putting a stop to a situation quickly growing out of control. Believability of the character's intentions is key and I, for one, bought into all of it (well, most of it). These are dead end kids, as J.T., the more singularly minded of our (anti) heroes argues, all prison would mean to them is missing out on a couple divorces and a lifetime of pumping gas. He is completely sincere when he says that this body is the best thing that will ever happen to them. Again, chilling.
Upon first viewing, the ending bothered me as it too greatly discredits the intentions of Ricky as they were built upon from the beginning and just felt like a cheap shock not rooted in anything. This has lessened slightly though I am still not completely content with it. There is most definitely a real affection within him that we never see with J.T., but it is in this moment that the movie still loses its believability for me as I simply cannot imagine that Ricky does not see the fatal flaw in his "relationship" with the girl he has always pined away for.
Still, there is a distinct realism to the writing, a rarity for modern horror whose main cast are teenagers and the direction is solid outside of one set up (the gas station scene) that throws out a lame attempt at humor at the worst possible time. A new favorite despite its minor flaws.
And, please, don't use the 'Z' word. It doesn't apply here.