August 1, 2010

Sick Girl (2007)

"With her parents dead and her older brother off to fight in Iraq, emotionally disturbed teenager Izzy flips out and goes on a nasty killing spree, gleefully torturing and executing the bullies who like picking on her younger sibling, Kevin."

Well, it's the start of another month and thankfully I only have two more torture films after this one to left to review. I feel like I've seen every "torture porn" ever made recently. I've learnt a lot should I ever decide to totally flip out. It's not that I really want to be a serial killer or anything like that but I might just lose it completely and start making low-budget handycam crap myself since there still seems to be a market for this stuff.

Rewatching "Sick Girl" to review it was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do not because of the sadistic torture scenes but because of the terrible sound and annoying voice of the lead, Leslie Andrews. She really does look the part and is certainly pretty enough that I'd want to do her but the whole production is so very amateur that the only thing that carries it is the story itself and what atrocity Izzy is going to do next. She does try to act at times and has lovely big white teeth but her inexperience is very noticable. With a stronger lead and better direction, "Sick Girl" could have been a classic.

It's a real shame that this film had such a poor budget and so many non-actors in it because you can see how it could have been really incredible if more time had been spent on it. If you could read the story as a screenplay or a novel you'd be blown away. Seeing it as a low-budget movie just sort of sucks.

I wasn't too disappointed with the goriness or inventive (though far-fetched) torture scenes but I kept getting thrown by the absolutely terrible acting. Sometimes the lines were delivered as if they were being read and the response times between characters needed a lot of work. I can imagine the director, Eben McGarr, poking the actors with a long stick so they would know when to say their lines. I'm sure he didn't and probably thinks he created a masterpiece. It wasn't his fault that nobody had any chemisty, he only wrote and directed the thing! I'm sure he'll learn from this though as it is his first film.

One thing that you might not spot is that that Stephen Geoffreys from "Fright Night" plays the rat-loving teacher, Mr. Putski. You won't recognise him at all and, to be honest, he hasn't been in any movies that you'd want to see for quite some time. Let's just say that he had a bit of an alternative career. I'm not judging him and it's nice to see him back in the genre. He can act and his character is a little bit more than just a cameo. The only problem with his scenes is that they really show up how inadequate everybody else is and he isn't even all that outstanding either.

In spite of the considerable flaws with the acting, the camerawork is actually really good. Some of the scenes and cuts between characters could have been a little bit better but at least it's not all shaky.

I've already mentioned the sound but I think I should explain that it's the lack of a consistent volume that is the main problem. Some scenes are hard to hear and others are far too loud. If you watch this DVD on a laptop with headphones plugged in then it isn't much of a problem but if you are in your living room with the windows open then their are quite a few moments that you don't want anybody passing by outside to hear especially as there isn't much background music to alert them to the fact that you are watching a movie. If I was watching this in England then the American accents would give it away but, where I live now, I was expecting somebody to call the police to my apartment to see if I was up to mischief.

Of course, you are probably wondering how "sick" this film actually is. Well, it certainly lives up to its name. We have here, among other things, incestuous desires, abduction, torture, child murder, sexual mutilation, and rape. The torture scenes were certainly different to anything I've seen before even but, possibly because there's something wrong with me, I thought they were funny. I can honestly say that you won't be disappointed if you make it all the way to the end.

I'm not entirely sure if I want to recommend "Sick Girl". I've watched it twice and it doesn't stand up to a repeat viewing. If you go into it with no prior knowledge then it's not a totally awful film and it should hold your attention. Little flashbacks fill in a lot of details about the relationship between Izzy and her older brother. The scenes with her little brother and family friend add more roundness to what could have been a far more basic and generic horror movie. Some of it is a little bit sad and other bits are absolutely awful because it was a far more ambitious project than anybody had the technical skills for.

Certainly, you should hire this from Netflix or your local video rental store if you still have one. Unless you are really, really into collecting movies of this nature then I don't encourage you to buy it unless you find it really cheap somewhere. The overall quality of the product doesn't justify some of the higher price tags that I've seen on this DVD in some places.

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