This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Brendan’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
Our theatre was showing one early access screening of this, and, as the movie started, the sound system died. We had to sit there for maybe twenty minutes staring at the silhouette of Eloise that starts the movie before they fixed it! Good thing I had my friend there. And, in the end, it was absolutely worth it.
Honestly, it's visually and sonically stunning. The crescendo when she finally steps out on the street in 60s London? Whew. What a moment! And of course the moment when she realises the whole Eloise/Sandy reflection deal. And the film keeps that level of style and imagery throughout the entire thing; the use of light and sound has so much detail to it that it's delightful. And don't even get me started on the fashion—of course there's Anya's pink costume, but there's also that great white jacket, the boots, etc. There's so much for you to just SEE in this!
And then there's the plot.
I was worried that maybe this wouldn't be an actual Horror movie, but I'd say it counts as a nice psychological spooky movie. It's not hardcore Saw splatterporn or a Halloween slasher fantasy, but it's still under the umbrella as a softcore horror.
Anyway, the core story is rather well-done. The joy of following Sandy around turns into a tense, scary situation pretty quickly and maaaaybe I would have liked a little more of the 60s glamour before it faded for Sandy, but that's just a little quibble. And of course there's the whole "Oh Eloise is spiraling irl too" which is almost tragic to watch, especially because... well, who would believe her at all?
The ending is the only place where it really wobbles. You have such a thrilling set-up and there are a million possibilities for where it could go for an ending, and I'm not... sure that was the right one exactly. Idk, it just didn't feel like that was the most "earned" (that's not the right word but it's close enough to the feeling) ending?
The whole "Miss Collins is Sandy" twist was... well, it was predictable; you're supposed to see it first on an envelope that Ellie grabs, but I was too busy looking at... something else, idk, but by then I had figured it out anyway, so it was just like oh okay yeah I didn't need that anyway. Mack had a quibble that the men got their faces back, but that doesn't bother me; I feel like it was just the film going, "Hm, do they deserve mercy? DO they? ........No!" Interesting choice that did lead to some discussion at least.
Anyway, stylish, gorgeous, musical, and I love the main body of the plot. Definitely a favourite of this year!
Oh! And one thing I lowkey love: After the pop culture of the 10s turned to circlejerking over nostalgia, I do love that this movie's premise is "Hey too much nostalgia can kill you, you know?" Not that that's the thesis or anything but it does at a low level serve that.