By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)
* Spoiler Alert
Opens in Select Theatres Sept 13, 2019
Please check local listings.
Blu-Ray/VOD/DVD Release December 10th, 2019
In an uncertain world, the movie Freaks shows young Chloe and her father living in a dilapidated home. The trailers for this film suggests that she is an outcast and anyone labelled are despised. They are deemed a threat to regular society, and this hook was enough to get me hooked to beautifully crafted tale about parenthood, looking for heroes and isolation. Coming out of the Toronto International Film Festival as one of the Top Ten Canadian Films of 2018, I feel it’ll be a game changer and won’t say more since it’d be a major spoiler.
Zach Lipovsky and Adam Stein wrote and directed a perfect Twilight Zone style episode dealing with a young girl who just wants to be loved. But when her father does not permit her to play outside, her social skills are rough and little about reality she truly understands. The only exception is with the junk mail delivered and a book about an ice cream truck which one day appears. The man she meets, Mr. Snowcone (played by Bruce Dern), is her only source of information to the world around her.
At first, I thought we may get a horror film in the style of NOS4A2, but no. The tale Lipovsky and Stein delivers is a complex thriller and as the story unfolds, we know what’s going on and can only appreciate the terror still to come.
Kolker is terrific at casting the mystery. She doesn’t know what Daddy does, and she fears what lurks outside of the home because of what he warns her about. She’s seeing things–ghosts–and with nobody around to explain what she’s experiencing, she can’t figure out for herself that she can ‘see dead people.’ Dern has a grandfatherly charm and is a figure who is genuinely concerned for Chloe and there’s more to this man than meets the eye. The tension delivered is certainly that of fear, and I was worried for the girl.
Hirsch and Kolker have terrific chemistry as father and daughter trapped in a web of their own making. In what’s revealed is ultimately about a family reunion. As for what the tween can become is still in question. I definitely recommend this work as it puts in the perfect twist to a certain genre of films that I feel is getting tired and for those wanting to avoid huge spoilers, I suggest stopping here.
5 Stars out of 5