June 14, 2017

Shudder Review: Sweet, Sweet Lonely Girl (2017)

"This movie could have been directed by Oz Perkins."

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5207320/
When I first saw the trailer for this movie, I thought it was going to be a vampire flick. Don't ask me why, but it just felt like the old vampire flicks from the 70's where two girls did a bunch of lesbian stuff and preyed upon the locals. That was a big sub-genre back then, and it was an oddly effective one, in its way.

After having seen Sweet, Sweet Lonely Girl though, I'd have to say that it played more like Oz Perkins' I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House, mixed with Let's Scare Jessica to Death, with a bit of Ti West's The House of the Devil thrown in for good measure.

Then again it was its own thing altogether. And it was pretty damned captivating. 

Adele is a sweet (sweet) and lonely girl who is sent to take care of her agoraphobic Aunt in a sleepy New England town. Aunt Dora won't leave her room to the point where she slides notes under the door to communicate with her niece, and so Adele is basically all alone in the big, dreary house, and she feels a bit trapped by it all.

AT LEAST SHE'S GOT HER MUSIC TO... NAH, SHE'S DEPRESSED.
Enter Beth: a sexy, mysterious bad girl who looks like she's up to no good, which apparently, she's not. She and Adele become quick friends, and it's not long before our sweet, sweet lonely girl is is under her spell... but what kind of spell is it, exactly?

ONE THAT INVOLVES KISSING.
Far be it from us to spoil what happens next for you here, but suffice it to say that we're still not exactly sure, and we re-watched the ending twice. 

CREEPY, CREEPY DIRTY GIRL.
The quiet and foreboding atmosphere that permeated Sweet Sweet Lonely Girl kept us glued to the screen the entire time. That's saying something too, because the movie is definitely a deliberately-paced slow burn that we could argue doesn't really do much throughout most of it's 80-minute runtime... but then we'd be painting the wrong picture for you.

Sure, there isn't much action to be had until the end, and even then that action is very un-action like (and a bit confusing), but this is a character study of a young girl who is stuck in a bad place and looking for something to wake her up from her boring life, and in that respect, it succeeds wildly.

It's also a gorgeous film to behold, with meticulously crafted shots that belie its small budget. And for a movie that doesn't really get to the Horror until late in its runtime, it's suitably uneasy and creepy.

Erin Wilhelmi proves up to the task of carrying the movie on her shoulders, giving an impressively subdued performance as the titular character. She really does come off as sweet and vulnerable, just as Quinn Shephard plays darkly mysterious quite well.

"PEEK-A-BOO!"
***BEWARE SPOILERS!***

So is it basically about a lesbian ghost who seduces young, naive girls and steals their... I don't know, life force? Maybe so. And how did that figurine play into things? Did it hold an angry spirit that escaped when it was broken? And did the Aunt know the fate that awaited her sweet, sweet lonely niece?

WTF was going on in this movie?

OH LOOK, IT'S NOT BROKEN AFTER ALL...
Pretty dry on the blood front.

THIS IS AS BLOODY AS IT GETS.
Some girl-on-girl kissing, and a sex scene, but nothing too salacious.

AND IT HAD SUCH POTENTIAL...
As slow and "uneventful" as it may be, Sweet, Sweet Lonely Girl is a beautiful, eerie flick that makes the most of its sparse story, and it kept us hanging on until the end.I can see how a lot of people would call this one boring, but if you're like us and you're a suckers for a solid story and captivating visuals, then you may well dig this one.

Like I mentioned above, it plays a lot like I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House, so rent accordingly.

B-

Sweet Sweet Lonely Girl is available now on VOD, and streaming for free on Shudder.

http://amzn.to/2t3KZkr

Perks of Being a Wallflower. That's where we've seen Erin Wilhelmi before. Also, Quinn Shephard is sassy.

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