Running Time: 74 mins
Director: The Aquinas, Melanie Denholme
Starring: Melanie Denholme
Indie actress Anna (Denholme) holds up in a hotel room with a casting director who slowly but surely breaks through boundary after boundary until Anna takes matters into her own hands.
This movie originally came to me in September 2013 as part of a press pack for review and out of respect for the film makers (and the idea of creativity in general) I’ve sat on it until now. I don’t particularly like taking the axe to a piece of crafted art/entertainment/work but having watched and considered and watched and considered Anna: Scream Queen Killer the only thing I can really say is avoid.
Narratively the movie is cracker thin, Anna performs one exploitative act after another to a faceless casting director in a hotel. Some of them are odd, others are creepy but none have any degree of causality or consequence on one another. There are many, many moments throughout the audition that would call for an exit stage right and a three digit telephone number be called yet each scene of ASQK is like an uncomfortable, exploitative, poorly conceived mess that bares no relation to that which preceded or follows. What’s even more troubling is Denholme’s creative involvement in the piece. If there’s an intellectual message behind this movie then I’ve sadly missed it, and if it’s meant to highlight the exploitative “meat market” way in which some (less than reputable) companies work then it fails because of lack of nuance, structure and subtly.
Denholme, for what it’s worth, has some serious acting chops as several of the audition scenes (those which aren’t overly sleazy and sexual) carry some genuine emotion, believability and screen presence but it quickly fades into a creepy little rub and tug of a movie. I’m sure if I said I felt uncomfortable watching it then someone might claim that’s the point but it was never an uncomfortable-ness because of what was being portrayed on screen, I’ve seen worse in the first two minutes of Grotesque and Slaughtered Vomit Dolls but rather an uncomfortable feeling because someone, somewhere, thought they had nailed the emotional integrity of the “idea” behind the film when the truth of the matter is it fell very far from the mark.
Painful, awkward, intellectually retarded and emotionally stunted. Don’t just avoid watching this movie but avoid anyone who has a kind word to say about it.