Family Portraits: A Trilogy of America
Plotline: Three shorts compiled into a full-length movie... A wife goes to desperate lengths to get her husband to notice her. A husband takes his father's patriarchal lead to extremes. A young paralyzed woman with hooks for hands returns to her hometown to confront her past.
Scariness factor: Not so much scary as horrifying and haunting.
Gross-Out Factor: Scissors and lips are involved at one point, so yes--really quite high on the gore-factor.
Complaints: I still can't quite pinpoint whether or not I thought this movie was a success. The acting was quite stilted and terrible in the first short, but perhaps this was deliberate. And the movie itself seemed as though it was (in many ways) being shocking just for the sake of being shocking. But perhaps Buck intended more than that.
High Points: I don't know if this is technically a "horror" film--most places have it listed as drama--so I wasn't sure if I should review it here or not, but the horrificness of the events involved seem to warrant at least a nod in its direction. You will ultimately need to be the one to decide whether you'd consider it a true horror film. But whether it is or not, the content of the movie is horrific and terrifying and haunting, no doubt. I was disturbed and angry after I watched it. It made me mad that I was forced to see the world and the American family as being so damn ugly. And yet, at the same time, in many ways it was effective in getting its point across, despite the fact that I may find myself angry and disagreeing with the point it was trying to make. Just know, it will leave you deeply disturbed, particularly the first short, above and beyond the typical "horror" movie.
Overall: I dunno--I can't quite decide ultimately what I think of this film. It was effective in many ways. And yet, at times it seemed to be shocking for the sake of being shocking. And it was dark and disturbing in a way that I don't think I'd want to indulge in again. So I'm going to give it a strange variety of grades below and let you decide for yourself.
Labels: Undecided movies