So much more than a horror remake. The stellar script and Elizabeth Moss’s incredible performance, send this thing to new heights. Who would have thought that reshaping the tale as a parable on abusive relationships would also increase the fear factor. Well, writer and director Leigh Whannell apparently did and his instincts were spot on.
Still, everyone should give Elizabeth Moss the credit she deserves here. She is phenomenal in this film and she is in almost every scene. In fact, the movie actually starts with her leaving her vicious lover Adrian and we never have to see anymore than his punching a window to feel the history of her abuse. We don’t really even clearly see Adrian’s face. He is a manifestation of the violence he’s committed against women and Elizabeth Moss’s Cecilia is the face of that violence.
So much of this film is just seen through Moss’s face and she delivers fear that is palpable. After I got done being a little irritated about the fact that this move was unlikely to get Oscar love, I really thought about the difficulty women face when leaving a violent relationship. This film may be a genre horror film and it may be directed by a horror director. Yet, the real fear comes from something that audiences will find completely tangible. And that’s the thing that will last long after the credits roll.
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