Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Review: Don't Look

Don’t Look began as a kickstarter project with Enuff Productions as far back as 2013. With the financial goals reached, we now have the golden ticket to see intestines ripped out, chainsaws hungry for heads, and bloody axes swaying more than kids on swing sets.

Luciana Faulhaber is the producer and director of this film, and is also responsible for the story. I respect her for integrating many of the people she worked with previously in her career. However, after viewing the film and sitting back to think about what I just watched, I feel that too much has been instilled into this project. I am torn with what to hold onto. If reduced to one or two main themes, Don’t Look can resonate so much more.

The story introduces us to Nicole (Lindsay Eshelman), who travels from New York City back to her family’s farm where years before—she discovered her father murder her mother. Refusing to go alone on this Thanksgiving getaway, she brings her boyfriend Alex (Curtis K Case) and friends Ted (Jeff Berg), Lorena (Luciana Faulhaber), and Lorena’s brother Sebastian (Javier E. Gómez). The farm is as desolate as Nicole remembers, minus the new, sexually aggressive tenants Kelley (Jarrod Robbins) and Sherri Baby (Hailey Heisick). For all present, plans of drinking, dress up and kinky sex go south when they become the target of a murderous psycho in a baby mask.

IMDB reveals Don’t Look as the first writing credit for Jessica Boucher and Danielle Killay, with original story by Faulhaber. In 71 minutes, the trio seeks to invoke themes of trauma, sexuality, virginity, murder, incest, cheating, mystery, the 80s, and more. However, I believe that sticking to one or two of these themes may provide more attachment to the story and characters. For example, the film excels with sex, featuring a great looking cast with unique sexual ambitions and needs. Some like to be tied up, some like to be spanked, some like to be blindfolded, and some simply like to know what sex feels like. This theme of sex can also become the motivation for the kills, similar to Coralie Fargeat’s Revenge but with a completely different payoff. Also, this can reduce the open-ended dialogue, the extended spurts of laughter, and the numerous falls aimed at amplifying or switching a scene’s tone.

I hope to see more of Faulhaber’s work, especially projects tackling one or two themes. But while we are waiting for those projects, make sure to check out Faulhaber in this October’s Trauma Therapy.

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