Friday, March 4, 2016

Emelie (2015) opens today

EMILIE is a film that splits audiences. Its a film that completely freaks people out. Amazingly not just parents.  Other people really hate the film. When the film played last year at Scary Movies I ended up in several heated discussions about the merits of lack their of  with several people.

To be honest I'm extremely mixed on the film, and normally I wouldn't repost the review, but the film has these moments that hang with you. Additionally there are a couple of people who I know who love the film. With the film opening Friday here's my Scary Movies review

In the opening moments of EMELIE a girl on her way to a babysitting gig is kidnapped off the street. Its a jarring moment that is completely unexpected. Its also probably the best thing in this film since it completely upends the board before the game even begins.

With Anna now among the missing the parents of three children end up with Emelie in her place while they have a night out. All seems fine until the parents are gone and Emelie begins her work playing games with the children that up bending minds and pitting them against each other. In the most talked about scene feeds one of the children's hamster to the other's pet snake and makes them watch.

Coming out of this year's Tribeca Film Festival EMELIE got very mixed reviews from anyone I talked to who saw it. Most of them liked it up to a certain point and then found it kind of jumped the shark as it had to bring everything to a conclusion and required no so much a suspension of disbelief but the outright killing it. The reaction was so all over the place that I didn't add ittomy already full dance card and waited for it to show up down the road. My chance to see the film came with the announcement of this years Scary Movies line up at Lincoln Center and I instantly I asked to see a film that had conflicted my friends so much.

My reaction too is very mixed. Well acted and well made on a technical level I'm not sure the film adds up to much beyond being a mean and nasty warning about hiring babysitters.This is the sort of film that will make parents never want any one to go near their kids until they are 30. I don't know if what Emelie is doing ever makes any sense beyond her being nuts. Worse despite running a scant 80 minutes the film feels too long with the scenes of the parents at dinner feeling largely unnecessary. I know why they are there, to keep them in the mix and nominally to build suspense, but at the same time we see them a couple of times too many.

For me the film never really lived up to the promise of the opening moments. In the first three minutes the film genuinely had me believing that anything was going to happen, It had me believing something great would follow but that never happened. What I got was a typical crazy lady and some really unpleasant scenes but I don't know to what end. It never scared me, it just grossed me out and left me feeling disappointed.

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