Another one of those movies that officially came out quite awhile ago, but wasn’t officially released until this year. A pleasant surprise really, I’m pretty glad I stumbled across it to be totally honest. So, lets start with the plot as we always do :
Ann, a reclusive elegant lady, with an obsession for butterflies, is surprisingly befriended by the eerily beautiful young Alice. Using her seductive innocence, Alice establishes a disturbing mother daughter relationship with Ann. Lured into her twisted world, Ann soon discovers that she is not the only recipient of the girl’s affections.
Actually, that plot is pretty misleading. It sort of sets up Alice as the villain and/or main character, but the movie is pretty substantially focused on Ann, which I guess is pretty clear from the poster. This is a pretty great little hub of great horror actors, and the movie really works well for what it is. First and foremost, thanks to a pretty great performance from Barbara Steele who remains one of the most striking looking women I have ever seen. We also get appearances from Heather Langenkamp (A Nightmare On Elm Street), and Ray Wise (RoboCop). Overall, it’s a pretty likable cast, which really goes a long way with this movie.
The movie was directed by the man who wrote the novel that this is based on. I’m not positive whether or not that worked out in his favor or not, occasionally the performances are a bit hammy in inappropriate spots, but other times… they really deliver. Barbara Steele definitely has moments of being incredibly menacing and creepy, and overall the tone for the movie is pretty great. However, the storytelling is a bit strange, and feels disjointed and at times a bit hard to follow. That being said, it doesn’t work against the movie too badly.
Another thing to note about this, is that the child actors are pretty great. Julia Putnam as Alice does a great job, especially with the pretty bizarre and disturbing content of the movie. Ellery Sprayberry is also great as Julie. Overall, they both do a good job, and it’s very much worth noting.
The story is good, creepy, and at times incredibly disturbing. Even when the way the story is told works against it, it some how manages to get under your skin. Very likely this comes more from the subject matter than anything else. I don’t want to go into too much detail, or tread on spoiler-territory, because I do think that the movie is worth seeing if you haven’t yet checked it out. The times the movie falls into cheese don’t make it less likeable at all.
It’s not especially gory or even graphic, with some definite exceptions, and like I said the subject matter of the movie is quite dark and disturbing. Anyways, if you’re looking for a cool little movie, that will effectively creep you out. This might be a good choice for you. At least, that’s what I think. It’s certainly not a new favorite or anything like that, but it’s very likely that you’ll enjoy it.
FINAL GRADE : C+