HollywoodChicago.com RSS   Facebook   HollywoodChicago.com on Twitter   Free Giveaway E-mail   

Film Review: Stunning ‘Compliance’ Will Rattle You For Days

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionE-mail page to friendE-mail page to friendPDF versionPDF version
No votes yet

CHICAGO – Craig Zobel’s “Compliance” has provoked outbursts, walk-outs, and altercations at screenings since it first premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Why? What does this unsettling film tap in viewers to get them as fired up as any movie in years? It may not have the jump-cuts of current horror films like “The Apparition” and “The Possession” but make no mistake – this is real horror. It’s the kind of horror that provokes something primal in viewers to the point that they feel like they need to respond, often deriding the action as if it’s not believable. The amazing thing, of course, is that every word of it is true.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.5/5.0
Rating: 4.5/5.0

Perhaps the most remarkable thing about “Compliance” is how quickly it turns viewers into behavioral judges. “Oh, I wouldn’t believe it. I wouldn’t do that. I’m smarter than these people.” And, then, just as you think you’re above the action, the story of “Compliance” becomes truly horrific and the judgment turns within, even subconsciously, and that’s what has caused the outbursts at Q&As. We think we’re more world-wise than these people and that this could never happen and then Zobel brilliantly forces us to come to terms with those judgments. He doesn’t present his horror film in the traditional sense of a villain and a victim. There is a horrible human being in “Compliance” but the victims don’t scream like a slasher movie. They walk right into the spinning propeller and that’s truly terrifying. How are you so sure you wouldn’t do the same?

StarRead Brian Tallerico’s full review of “Compliance” in our reviews section.

“Compliance” is based on an incident that happened at a McDonald’s in Kentucky in 2004. The Assistant Manager on duty was called by someone who identified himself as a police officer. After gaining her trust over the phone, the officer told the manager that one of her employees had been accused of stealing. He instructed the manager to hold the employee in a back room until cops could arrive. And then this faux cop, who turned out to be a prank caller, decided to see how far he could go. Would the manager strip search the employee? Worse? Where would the line be for you if a police officer instructed you to do something that seemed against your moral code?

In “Compliance,” the fantastic Ann Dowd plays Sandra, the manager of a fictional fast food restaurant called ChickWich. She’s already having a bad day because someone left the refrigerator door open the night before and a lot of her restaurant’s produce is bad. She fears managerial repercussion, which already puts her in a vulnerable position in terms of authority. When a caller identifying himself as Officer Daniels (the always-great Pat Healy) name drops her superior as someone who’s participating with the investigation, it carries more weight because of the problems that morning and she goes along.

StarContinue reading for Brian Tallerico’s full “Compliance” review.

“Compliance” stars Ann Dowd, Dreama Walker, and Pat Healy. It was written and directed by Craig Zobel. It is already playing in some markets and opens in Chicago on August 31, 2012.

Compliance
Compliance
Photo credit: Magnolia Pictures

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.

Hot stories on the Web

User Login

Free Giveaway Mailing

TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Asylum, The Logo

    CHICAGO – Put in a dash of crazy, add a dash of funny and you are defining “The Asylum,” a catch-all name for a couple of show events in Chicago, playing at The Apollo Theater Studio through February 23rd, 2017. Behind the scenes of these showcases is producer Michael Sanow, a Chicago theater veteran. For “The Asylum” information regarding the “Atypical Musical Comedy Show” (Tuesdays) and “Access Comedy” (Thursdays), click here.

  • Baltimore Waltz, The

    CHICAGO – During the scourge of the AIDS epidemic, at its height in the late 1980s, a playwright lost her brother to the condition. Inspired by him, Paula Vogel wrote “The Baltimore Waltz,” a story about her and her brother’s travels through Europe – and filtered through the prism of fantasy and the movies. The Brown Paper Box Company presents a re-staging of the play in Chicago through February 19th, 2017.

Advertisement



HollywoodChicago.com on Twitter

archive

HollywoodChicago.com Top Ten Discussions
tracker