September 2, 2013

Dark Tourist (2012)

"A psychological-thriller in the haunting tradition of films like Taxi Driver and Monster, The Grief Tourist takes us into the chilling labyrinth of a man's dark hobby and his even darker mind."

Not a review today but a recommendation. Apparently it's "Labor Day" or something in America, so I'm going to celebrate it by doing as little as possible. Writing a blog post is obviously such hard work!

Anyway, it may interest you to know that Suri Krishnamma's "Dark Tourist", formerly known as "The Grief Tourist" (presumably to differentiate it from Dom Joly's book about the weird hobby rather than the same subject matter), has a limited theatrical release at City Cinemas Village East Cinema, New York. Check it out if you live within range. [It's also available via VOD and iTunes for anybody else.]

As a film noir-ish hybrid of "Chained" (2012) and "Taxi Driver" (1976), "Dark Tourist" might not appeal to everyone unless they are into serial killers or stories about maniacs becoming that way, but if you're reading this blog, it's highly likely that you are the target audience. Even though I'm more into fantasy than real life murders, I think that "Dark Tourist" is a very good movie indeed. It's well written, nicely shot, and has an off-beat, gritty, character-driven feel to it like "Edmond" (2005).

Aside from Michael Cudlitz's outstanding performance which I'm sure is being raved about from one side of the internet to the other, it's also extremely nice to see Melanie Griffith in something on the big screen again. She's still much the same as before except older, wiser, and a better actress than I remember her to be. The scenes involving Jim (Michael Cuditz) and Betsy (Melanie Griffith) are great.

My only minor criticism is that "Dark Tourist" should've been longer. For that reason, the story seems to have some unnecessary additional information near the end which doesn't quite fit in. I won't spoil it for you, but suffice it to say that Suzanne Quast as Iris the prostitute is definitely all woman!

"Dark Tourist" is the kind of bleak and brutal stuff which I'm always willing to recommend. It's not going to make me take up grief tourism—"the act of travelling with the intent to visit places of tragedy or disaster"—as a hobby though. I'm already morbid enough as it is.

Have a great holiday, everybody!

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