Simone (Katharine Isabelle, Ginger from Ginger Snaps and the titular character of American Mary) has disappeared from life. Once, she was a heavy metal singer named Sim Chaos — metal is infused in every scene of this movie, from the shirts that characters wear to the music on the soundtrack from bands like Hazel Doupe. Sacrilegia, Malthusian and Vircolac — and an author whose first book was a huge success.
Now, she lives in a house that looks like its becoming run down, with most of her life in boxes and her days revolving around how much vodka she can get her hands on. One night, she accidentally hits a teenager in a drunk driving accident. That girl, who is only called Kid for the majority of the film’s running time and is played by Hazel Doupe, is actually the character in the book that Simone has been struggling to write since a massive tragedy destroyed her life.
In Simone’s dreams, the Kid is chased by old men through an abandoned factory. She also has dreams of the face of a man, a hunting accident and her bloody hands. Even when she tries to go on a date with a well-meaning mechanic, hearing the rumors about her from the locals in the small Irish town that she’s run away to drives her to go overboard with her drinking.
Director Randal Plunkett takes a story that could have meandered in sentimentality and delivers a supernatural take on the process of self-forgiveness. Isabelle is supercharged as the lead, as she has no concern with coming off as someone you would like to be around, yet you slowly get behind her and cheer on her personal growth.
I was completely unprepared for this movie and the emotional power that it owns. This is the kind of movie that we need more of, a gorgeous yet dark examination of life that’s seen through the lens of the fantastic.
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