CHICAGO – “Drinking Buddies” director Joe Swanberg’s latest release of the same star wattage is “Happy Christmas,” an even lower-fi story than the Olivia Wilde beer comedy, steered even more by the casting that it was able to assemble. However, with this movie Swanberg doesn’t so much worry about having a story that could be confused with a more mainstream romantic comedy if it were to have a bigger budget.
Film Review: ‘Alyce Kills’ Takes Viewers Down Rabbit Hole to Horror
CHICAGO – Long-delayed stateside, premiering On Demand, stupidly retitled (it was and still should be just “Alyce”), Jay Lee’s twisted trip down the rabbit hole of sanity, “Alyce Kills,” was not high on my list of anticipated films. Much to my surprise, “Alyce Kills” is a riveting slice of weird, a tale that reminds me of great films like “Repulsion” and “May” more than most of the junk that falls through the genre cracks and ends up in a similar launch pattern. It’s ten times better than most horror movies that will hit the multiplex this year. Genre fans will eat it up.
Alyce (Jade Dornfeld) is unstable but the kind of mousy, harmless unstable that you might sit next to on your commute to work and barely notice. There are little hints of personality disorder but the fact that her ring tone is “Crazy Train” is supposed to be funny to her friends and not a warning sign. The ring tone has a little more meaning when we learn that Alyce chose the legendary Ozzy tune because her friend Carroll (Tamara Feldman) had chosen it as her ring tone as well. Alyce and Carroll have a slightly dark history as jokes about the former being a little “Single White Female” with the latter are made. But bridges appear to have been mended and Alyce & Carroll head out for a night on the town.
|Read Brian Tallerico’s full review of “Alyce Kills” in our reviews section.|
Several drinks later, and a trip to a shady drug dealer (Eddie Rouse), Alyce and Carroll are on the roof of Alyce’s apartment building, enjoying the sights and drunkenly laughing. Carroll keeps moving to the edge, and, in a blur that may include a push, she’s falling. Did Alyce purposefully push her? Was it an accident? It would be a traumatic incident for anyone but it’s made even more so when Alyce learns that Carroll didn’t die. She’s a disfigured mess who may decide to point a finger at Alyce. The idea that Carroll could turn her in or even that she tried to kill her in the first place sends Alyce down into a wonderland of drugs and sin. Before you know it, she’s doing harder drugs, getting into long conversations with dealers, and hallucinating hardcore. And all the while there’s a question that lingers over “Alyce Kills” – Is this the story of a girl who goes crazy or a girl who was always crazy?
Photo credit: The Collective/Bloody Disgusting