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« FYC The Next Academy President Will Be... | Main | Tribeca 2017: My Friend Dahmer »
Sunday
Apr302017

Tribeca 2017: Ashley Bell's one for the ages in Psychopaths

Coming at ya it's Jason Adams reporting from the Tribeca Film Festival again...

Psychopaths is kind of what Natural Born Killers would have looked like directed by David Lynch... or at least that's what Psychopaths wants you to think it is, and it wants you to think that really really hard. It's not quite up to all of that, but then anything that was up to all of that would've blown my brains through the back of the movie theater, so perhaps it's for the best. I like what's left of my brains and I want to keep them inside my head...

Its story, like languid liquid insanity, is doled out dream-like across its run-time, but basically it comes down to a game of psycho tag among a bus-full of looney-binners - one by one the hits keep coming. Do you remember that movie Twenty Bucks that follows a 20 dollar bill as it finds its way through barely interconnected people's lives? This is kind of like that, but with gratuitous torture and murder. 

So... it's Jason Goes to Hell then. Psychopaths begins with a serial killer (indie horror godhead Larry Fessenden) getting electrocuted for his crimes - as he dies his evil passes out into the world and a night of bloody chaos erupts. The story actually turns out to be smaller in scope than I figured going in - its world opens outwards quickly only to retract in upon itself just as fast. And in something as chapter divided as this you're going to have yours ups and your downs, and Psychopaths decidedly does.

But there's one "up" so deliciously and devilishly "up" to this mixed-bag of a movie that I had to write this review just to recommend it: Ashley Bell, budding horror icon (she gave a memorably self-possessed turn as the devil-possessed girl in The Last Exorcism, and she starred in Psychopaths writer-director Mickey Keaton's last movie, the really very solid Carnage Park), turns in a performance so astonishingly funny and off-kilter and just balls-out camp bonkers that she grabs the four corners of the movie-frame and wraps them around herself like a glamour gal's mink coat, strutting off with the whole damn thing in the process. If I don't see somebody dressed as her character every Halloween from now on we will have failed as a society.

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