Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A review of "Sick Girl"

Confessions of a Film Junkie: A review of “Sick Girl”

By: Brian Cotnoir

     Have you ever seen a film that you enjoyed and that was good, but at the same time broke your heart because it could’ve been so much better?  Well that’s how I feel about the 2007 American Horror/Splatter film “Sick Girl”.  It was a truly enjoyable film, and I do mean that, but for some mundane reasons (9/10 it’s related to the budget) it kept a good film from being a great film.   
Sick Girl” is the story of a young woman named Izzy, who lives in a small rural town in California with her younger brother Kevin.  Izzy’s parents are both deceased, and her older brother Rusty is fighting overseas in Iraq.  Izzy struggles to play the role of older sister, older brother, mother, and father to her brother Kevin, the only help she receives is from Barney, an old friend of her deceased father.  On the outside, Izzy appears to be a very loving and supportive guardian, but Izzy also has a dark side. She secretly harbors incestuous feelings for her older brother Rusty, attacks her younger brothers bullies, and she carjacks drifters and makes them her own personal prisoners to torture.  Is Izzy just a sociopath, or does she act violently as a creative outlet to the stress of being a sole family provider?                   
Sick Girl” has a lot of good qualities.  It’s strongest point is having a character like Izzy as the films protagonist (or anti-hero I should say).  The complexity of her character only adds to her coolness in the film.  In one scene she comes off as very sweet and nurturing, and in the next scene she’s screaming and acting psychotic..  Izzy is played by actress Leslie Andrews, she kind of looks like a butch version of Ellen Page in “Sick Girl”, but still gives a great performance.  She was quite good in this film.   
Izzy, you're complex, but that's what makes you so awesome!
Sick Girl” also had some pretty gnarly special effects for a low-budget film.  When this film starts getting good, there are scenes with gratuitous amounts of blood, gore, and entertainment. My favorite scenes in the film is when she goes into the barn to play with her kidnapped victims, and the special effects give it the appearance of a top-notch splatter film.      
I'm quite the fan of your "art work" too
Now, it is a low-budget film so it does have its flaws.  For one thing, the film is supposedly set during the Christmas season, but I’m just not buying it.  There’s nothing remotely anything Christmas-y going on in this film, and they clearly filmed it during the summer time and not the winter.  I know, there are parts of California that don’t ever get snow, but you can clearly tell that this film was done in the Summer time.  The only thing remotely Christmas related in the film is a scene where Izzy, Kevin, and Barney exchange Christmas gifts around a poorly decorated Christmas tree.  The other actors in the film aren’t terrible.  You can tell that they’re all at least trying to give a competent performance, and I honestly feel like the dialogue’s what makes the characters appear weak or uninteresting.  The two actors who play Kevin and Barney have a number of scenes together where it’s just the two of them bonding: these scenes could have (and should have) been used to further develop their characters and let us get to know them better.  These could’ve been crucial and memorable scenes from the film, but the dialogue they both have to work with sounds like it came from a Young Adult Novel and not a film.  The things they talk about, don’t sound like an actual conversation, and again, I must stress, that I don’t think it has anything to do with the competency of both actors, I just think they had very weak material to work with.                                  
I would definitely recommend “Sick Girl” if you are a fan of Horror and Gore.  It’s a film that has excitement, graphic imagery, and a complex protagonist.  Plus, how often is it on this blog that I ACTUALLY RECOMMEND you check out a film?  I think I only do that like 4-5 times a year; it’s a pretty rare occurrence.  If I think you should check it out, then you probably should.  I found the film in its entirety on Youtube.  Just type in “Sick Girl 2007” and enjoy.       

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