Proxy — 7/10

PROXY (2014, Zack Parker)

A crazy-ambitious psycho-thriller that leans heavily on its Hitchcock influences, but displays a cock-sure sense of tone and nihilism all its own. Once Parker gets bigger budgets and can cast better actors, he might make a really great movie. PROXY, alas, is just a good one.

Alexia Rasmussen — a poor man’s Jennifer Carpenter if such a thing is possible — plays lead character Esther with a strange detachment that I wound up liking quite a bit. It sort of works the way Rooney Mara’s performance in SIDE EFFECTS did; you start off thinking it sucks, but when you learn more about the character you’re like oh yeah yeah. Unfortunately, the other cast members don’t fare so well. Joe Swanberg and Kristina Klebe are called upon to do things that they just aren’t capable of as performers and it threatens to sink the film. Luckily, the plot is so full of WTF moments, and Parker is audacious enough to stockpile his film with a number of dead babies, that subpar acting takes a back seat to formal swagger. The less you know about this the better, so I won’t say much more in case any of you are going to see this (most of you won’t, and that’s probably a good idea — it’s fucked up).

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