Hey, it’s Sabrina! No, not God’s Not Dead 2‘s Mrs. Melissa Joan Hart, but Chilling Adventures of Sabrina‘s Ms. Kiernan Shipka. Three years before the new Sabrina show and streaming on Netflix, dealing with her relationship with a devil… Hm, I wonder if the casting department saw this movie.
I’d mentioned it in my Gretel & Hansel review, but this is one of the few movies directed by Mr. Osgood Perkins. And it’s pretty good. Not as atmospheric as Hereditary, but it’s got a good sense of unease throughout it, purposely withholding information until the time is right. But it’s also slow. Not the slowest, but… like, do we really need about three minutes of a character fixing her makeup after she just murdered some people? We get it, she’s not a good person, and it feels extra weird that you want us to feel sorry for her a couple minutes later.
This is the story of three ladies: the first is Katherine, a blonde freshman at a Catholic academy who dreams that her parents died in a car crash and assumes the worst when they don’t arrive to pick her up. Then there’s Rose, an older student who is struggling with the possibility that she might be pregnant. And finally there’s Joan, a blonde woman who appears to have escaped some kind of medical facility. Katherine and Rose attend the same school, but Joan is off on her own, getting a ride from an unusually friendly guy and heading towards the academy.
But wait! The movie is telling things non-linearly! Joan IS Katherine, nine years after Katherine falls under the sway of the devil, kills Rose (among others), and is institutionalized. The friendly guy is Rose’s mourning father, because coincidences are easy when you need them to happen so the plot keeps going. So we know what happens to Rose before it actually does, which is… certainly an interesting way to do that. It’s not bad, but I could definitely see where it could put some people off.
I had forgotten large chunks of the movie, so while I was watching the movie I also was writing down potential tags. I almost didn’t tag this “exorcisms” since it happens so late in the movie, but after a lot of back and forth on “is she crazy or is the devil real,” the movie sharply turns towards “she’s possessed by evil” right at the end. A lot of interesting choices were made in making this movie, but for the most part they work.
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