Everyone reading this review needs to go ahead and make note of the name Brooklyn Ewing right now because after viewing her directorial debut, She Was So Pretty I am confidant in saying she is going to be a force in the genre for years to come. Made for literally no budget whatsoever over the course of a year this film is a fantastic example of what can be done when passion, talent, and inventiveness are all combined into a film.
The film follows the exploits of serial killer Alfie(Jerry Larew) as he methodically stalks and pounces on his female prey across the landscape. When Valerie (Whitlee Flinn) and her friends head to a cabin to unwind for the weekend the last thing on their minds is the potential terror they will encounter when Alfie makes Valerie the object of his obsession. Jerry Larew’s performance as the aforementioned Alfie is bone chilling to watch and I gladly place it up there with that of Joe Spinell in Maniac. The body language and subtle nuances he employs in his performance are a wonder to behold. We’ve been conditioned to expect larger than life villains in horror films so it was refreshing to see how Jerry layered the character as a loner who goes unnoticed by the masses. Whitlee Flinn as Valerie adds a new layer to the ‘Final Girl” aspect of the genre using her reactions and eyes to convey the terror she’s experiencing. The film’s dialogue is minimal and all the better for it as it allows for the actor’s to emote the range of emotions that flow throughout the film.
The camerawork by Brooklyn is a definite throwback to the seventies and the art house horror films of the time while employing her own style of shots that linger for just the right amount of time and provide a look at a killer’s world both thru his eyes and the eyes of the viewer. There’s no quick jump cuts or flavor of the month shooting style to be found here which allows for Brooklyn’s unique shooting aspects to reel you into the surroundings. The soundtrack by FaceXHugger fits superbly with the story and plays all the right emotional notes for all of the characters. I’d love to see a score released at some point due to the immense role it plays in the film. This movie has stuck with me even as I write this review due to the immersive world that it pulls you into and refuses to let you leave. It’s hard to look around and not wonder if people that you pass aren’t an Alfie like character.
She Was So Pretty is the announcement of Brooklyn Ewing’s arrival and one that I wholeheartedly support and recommend. This isn’t a film you’ll see at your local multiplex on a Friday night and that’s a damn shame because it’s a prime example of how a slow burn art house horror film can shake you up inside and make you question just who is the person standing behind you at any moment. Let’s hope Brooklyn and crew continue to make their art for years to come.
She Was So Pretty can be watched on Vimeo
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