Proxy (2014)

proxy 2013 movie poster zack parker

 

This is one of the most bizarre movies I have seen this year, and at the end of it all, I don’t think I liked it. However, I felt like it definitely needed a proper review, so lets have a look at this weird, disturbing, and all together weak, movie. This review will have spoilers, because meh. Anyways, here’s the IMDB synopsis :

 The life of three parents who have all shared the loss of a child. Motives are not what they seem and sanity is in short supply in this thriller.

This movie is really bizarre. It opens with our main character Esther, played by Alexia Rasmussen who has the strongest performance in this movie, being viciously assaulted by a mysterious assailant on the way home from an appointment with her OBGYN. The attack is disturbing, and startlingly graphic. Esther is knocked unconscious by a brick, and her assailant uses the same brick to smash her (very pregnant) stomach, repeatedly. It’s such a jarring opening scene, and considering where the movie goes from here, it’s totally unearned and unnecessary. It seems to be played hard for shock value, and I personally found it to be pretty upsetting.

After this, the movie seems to change to a drama, as we follow Esther in her recovery from the traumatic event. She meets a woman in a support group, and the two develop a bond over their shared tragedy.

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It becomes very clear that Esther’s character is extremely unbalanced, and as events unfold we learn more about Esther and her new friend, learning that the two of them are unbalanced, and while I give the movie credit for slowly building up the characters and unraveling what becomes a pretty twisted film. However, the movie also is hindered by silly dialogue, and pretty weak acting. For a movie to open so brutally, and so strong, it needs to make a point and it needs to earn that opening. It doesn’t, in fact the opening of the film could have been cut and Esther could have woken up in the hospital. However, the film maker’s decided to keep this brutal assault scene in and it really comes off as cheap.

Bad writing and mediocre acting do really hold this movie back, as does the fact that it runs for about 2 hours and really drags in places. However, the movie does boast some genuinely surprising moments, and some fantastic special effects. As well, we are treated to some beautiful cinematography that makes the movie kind of captivating. I certainly didn’t turn the movie off, though I was tempted a few times to do so.

Another issue I took with the movie was the ending. I won’t say what it was, but the movie ends on a totally unearned cliffhanger. It doesn’t feel like sequel baiting, but it does feel like a “OHHHH WHAT HAPPENED MANNNN” and, much like the scene in the beginning of the movie, just felt totally unearned and lazy. There’s NO reason this movie couldn’t have come to a full resolution. I know people get irritated by the endings of movies if they don’t deliver, but honestly, just not having one doesn’t work either. This isn’t a TV show, or a definite trilogy, end your movie. Just make a decision, and end it.

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There were several things that could have changed about this movie, and it might have made it a stronger film. I do see some potential from this film maker, but the content this time around just didn’t do it for me. I’m sure plenty of folks out there are going to like this movie, and you can feel free to tell me how wrong I am, I just really didn’t care for it. It may have actually benefited from a female director, given some of the subject matter, that could really have offered a perspective, and helped in rewriting the script.

As I mentioned, there was something here, but this movie just really didn’t work for me. Please feel free to leave comments, and let me know what you thought. Is this the worst of the year? Absolutely not. It was however, really not great.

 

FINAL GRADE : C

 

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