Girlhouse lives up to its advertisement as a Halloween for the digital age when buxom girl-next-door Kylie (Ali Corbin) ships out of her dorm room and shacks up with some smut peddlers to fund her college education. “It’s porn,” her friend Liz (Erin Agostino) protests after she and Kylie try and awkward web cam chat session to get Kylie in the groove for flashing her, as Liz so eloquently puts it, “vertical lady smile” for the masturbating masses.
The stylishness and cinephilia of Girlhouse combines with the film’s awkward female empowerment angle in a climactic scene that pays homage to The Silence on the Lambs. This scene brings the Final Girl showdown to the basement, just like when Clarice hunts for Buffalo Bill, except that Girlhouse reverses the gaze of the killer cam, so instead of seeing Jodie Forster feel her way through the dark, Kylie gets the advantage of a night vision filter to beat the bad guy. It’s the only scene in which Girlhouse convincingly empowers its heroine. Foster's Clarice Starling, however, is one of hallmarks of the genre (if not the peak), so Girlhouse equally muddles its efforts by giving a nod to a much stronger film with a much stronger female protagonist. It’s a great scene in its own right regardless, if only for the sense that it’s the one moment in which Girlhouse comes together.
Rating: ★★½ (out of ★★★★★)
(Canada, 7 min.)
Dir. Patrick White, Writ. John Ainslie, Patrick White
Starring: Krista Morin, Robert Reynolds, Sean Tucker, Jeff Lawson.episode where the gang gets lost in a parking garage? Pretty frustrating, eh? Imagine, though, that a car simply vanished. One minute it’s there and then—poof!—it’s gone.
That scenario is the gist of what happens to a woman (Krista Morin) in The Garage, a local sci-fi short about parallel realities. The film offers some unexpected twists as the woman and the garage security guard (Robert Reynolds) investigate the disappearance of her car and find that the cameras of the garage act as doors between different worlds. The film’s play with technology is smart and intriguing, and makes the film a good (if superior) partner for Girlhouse. This stylish short offers some trippy thrills and existential musing as director Patrick White and cinematography Adrian Langley present the layers of the parking garage as a dark, menacing underworld. The abrupt, open ending leaves audiences in suspense.
Rating: ★★★½ (out of ★★★★★)
What did you think of Girlhouse and The Garage?
More OIFF coverage may be found here.
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