DVD Review: ‘The Scribbler’ Had Potential

‘The Scribbler’ is a weird film that tries to be a bit too intelligent and artsy for its own good. It is an interesting atmospheric movie that is polarizing in the craziness of its plot and its unique approach to storytelling. This is not a film for everybody, but those who like dark, made-for-cult classic oriented graphic novel movies should find themselves somewhat enamored with it.

Suki (Katie Cassidy) suffers from a destructive case of a multiple personality disorder for which she had been institutionalized. She has recently moved to a sort of halfway house for former patients of mental institutions after gaining her release. As part of her continuing treatment she must use a machine called “The Siamese Burn,” which is supposed to eliminate her other personalities, or at least make the number more manageable. Residents of the halfway house have begun to be murdered, and the police suspect that Suki is the guilty party. Despite her outward denial, Suki cannot be entirely sure that one of her other personalities, The Scribbler, is not the guilty party. Adding to her problems is the nagging question of which personality is the real “her?”

There are a lot of different style choices used throughout the film. From found footage to late night softcore porn there are a pantheon of cinematographic flourishes. If this is meant to give the movie depth it largely fails as it just makes the transition from scene to scene and method to method feel like a basic cable channel change. As far as the storytelling goes this mixed method cinematography confuses more than it helps. There is a very interesting story being told in the film, but the way it is told makes it difficult to follow or to care.

‘The Scribbler’ seems to have been shot as if it wanted to be a cult classic, but this act of self-pigeonholing makes it less approachable than it probably should be. This is a shame because its story has interesting potential. Unfortunately, the filmmaker’s implementation leaves a lot to be desired.

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