Friday, September 13, 2019

The Overlook Theatre Reviews: Depraved, Larry Fessenden's

A disillusioned field surgeon suffering from PTSD makes a man out of body parts and brings him to life in a Brooklyn loft.

7 of 8 viewers "Liked" "Depraved" (2019, USA)
Creature reviews have been minimally altered in an attempt to maintain their voice:

Lord Battle: Modern retellings of the Universal Monsters do not interest me in the least. I have no need to see the Creature from the Black Lagoon run around Florida in a leather jacket... Okay, I take that back, but I'm not joking about "Modern" retellings being guilty of just dressing up the same old characters in whatever is currently popular. Depraved, however, stands out for not only updating Frankenstein's Monster's look (the SFX are amazing!) but also all of Mary Shelley's themes. Mad scientists testing pharmaceuticals on cadavers conjured up all of my hatred for Purdue Pharma and with all the unethical treatment they've had with the living. I wouldn't put it past them to make some awful deal with the minorly less corrupt VA to make this nightmare a reality... Larry Fessenden has managed to drag some strong emotions out of me here and I was completely caught off guard. Those of you who consider yourselves casual film fans need to stick through the first act, it's a little slow but the payoff is well worth the wait." - 4 Stars

TroubleShoot: "A modern microcosm of Frankenstein doused in a heavy blanket of PTSD, this one displays a wonderfully physical and melancholy performance. But despite some interesting ideas it doesn't quite sustain its runtime. Some of the editing choices were jarring and strange with superimpositions of chemical reactions and synaptic firings working about half the time. Though he didn't have the budget he needed, Larry Fessenden continues to prove himself as the Godfather of Indie Horror with shaky chaos complimented by flat stillness and a strong current of extreme sadness and depression. It would have benefited from more focus on the father/son dynamic instead of corporate shenanigans. Simpler may have been better." - 3 Stars

The Impostor: "Depraved is an intriguing film that kept me engaged from beginning to end. I went into it blind and with the name like "Depraved", I didn't know what to expect. With a story that has been told over and over, Depraved tops my list. The acting in this film was so good, especially from the main character Adam, that I believed this was really something that happened. Overall, a solid Franken flick that I can't wait to own in the near future." - 4 Stars

Huntress: "I wasn't a big Frankenstein fan going into Depraved, but this retelling made it easy to sympathize with the heartbreak and rage that Adam (Alex Breaux) goes through. The film's deliberate pace through his recovery and re-education, amplified by the subtle reduction of scarring and eye discoloration really makes it feel like we're watching him come to life. When he starts rebelling against creators, it's very satisfying. If Larry Fessenden hadn't already established a reputation for amazing low budget movies I would have never suspected that Depraved was, in fact, low budget. And the more I think about it, the more I enjoy Frankenstein in a big city setting." - 4 Stars

KillDozer: "A beautiful retelling of a classic cautionary tale. The horrors of loss, love, parenthood, and the human condition. This is a refreshing vision of a monster kid classic." - 4 Stars

Speed Demon: "No matter what good intentions you have, playing God never works out. An Emotional Modern Frankenstein." - 3.5 Stars

Math Mage: "Rules for the care & feeding of your creation:
  1. Read Mary Shelly's Frankenstein
  2. Don't make him super strong on purpose
  3. Don't make him out of people you personally kill
  4. Do study both early child development and rehabilitation techniques
  5. Do respect the wishes of your creation. Take it seriously as an adult
  6. Don't give your Frankenstein cocaine!
  7. Accept that it may kill you, despite your best efforts." - 5 Stars
Wondering Panda: *Fell Asleep* - 2 Stars (Default)

The Overlook Theatre Final Rating*
(Below is for after you've seen the film)

Appropriately, Frankenstein has had many faces and the story has seen many renditions spanning decades and genres. It's a unique story that has many different levels that an audience can relate to, be it with the creature who is alone and didn't ask for any of this, or with his creator(s) who are quickly realizing they are in way over their head. That being said, I was still extremely nervous during the Overlook screening of Depraved

I'm a big fan of Larry Fessenden, who wrote and directed this nearly two hour long movie, which like I mentioned in my review takes its time building up. And this particular screening was being attended by a new reviewer. It has become an unintentional tradition that when someone new enters the Overlook Theatre, their first screening becomes a real endurance test. Some have not returned. I got into my head about the audience being quiet, the movie being too atmospheric, and horror coming too late... and that was all wrong. 

To an extent, Adam is the movie. The special effects that give his scars life make everything he does visually engrossing. The body horror aspect of his recovery doesn't need any additional distractions; it's our bonding period with him. We bare witness to his isolation and hunger for human contact, to the situation he was thrown into due to greed, corporate irresponsibility, and a veteran's desire to eradicate death after seeing too much of it. And all of these scenes make the end of this movie more than worth sticking around for.


The Overlook Theatre materialized in a Residence for a screening on 7/25/2019
*Based on the star ratings turned in by character reviewers, others viewed and got to "Dislike" or "Like" but that does not affect the rating.

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