26 Jul 2020

Knives and Skin (Jennifer Reeder, 2019)

☼☼☼☼☼☼☼(☼) out of 10☼

Firmly embracing pure, unruly weirdness and constantly pushing it to the fore, Jennifer Reeder delivers a boldly unconventional coming-of-age drama / pseudo-noir thriller in which a young girl disappearance reveals true colors of a small town community. Although they're not 'beautiful like the rainbow', the Argento-esque, vividly surreal lighting of Christopher Rejano's admirable cinematography turns the rural Midwest - the twisted story's setting - into a wondrous theatre of the absurd. The tightly-knit lives of a few highly dysfunctional families sink into small-scale chaos of perverse secrets, toxic romances and mental breakdowns, with all the characters, both adolescent and adult, hopelessly lost in their 'magical' microcosm(s). Pervaded by delicate choral covers of the 80s pop songs, the dream-reality of Knives and Skin provides the viewer with a rather bizarre experience, as the film makes its baby steps towards the cult status.

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