‘Separation’ Review

A messy execution cuts to laudable ambitions in the latest effort from director William Brent Bell, who has previously shown his talent in turning low-budget horror films into blockbusters. commercial movies hit with movies like Demon inside and Boy. The filmmaker taps into the emotional terrain more deeply than usual with Separationtry to put fear into one Kramer vs Kramer– engaging scenario. But the film squanders its compelling setting and superb performances by turning to the familiar tropes. Not that it will stop horror moviegoers from flocking to see it on the big screen thanks to the further lifting of pandemic restrictions.

The story revolves around Jenny (Violet McGraw), the 8-year-old at the center of a bitter custody battle between her divorcing parents, powerful lawyer Maggie (Mamie Gummer, playing a variant of her mother). she, Meryl Streep. , was in Kramer) and novice graphic artist Jeff (Rupert Friend). The emotionally scarred little girl finds solace by playing with a lavish set of gruesome puppets dubbed the “Grisly Kin”, inspired by her father’s creations.

Key point

Better when it doesn’t try to scare you.

RELEASE DATE April 30, 2021


Just as Maggie threatens her husband by moving across the country and taking Jenny with her, she is killed by a driver on the streets of Brooklyn (scene was filmed for maximum visceral shock). But that was just the beginning of the nightmare scenario Jeff faced. He begins to experience scenes of hell, bathed in red with life-size versions of his puppet characters, while Jenny appears to be communicating with a demonic figure that has possibly the ghost of her mother. Other characters in the proceedings are his wealthy, deeply antagonistic father-in-law (Brian Cox, Heir), who is suing him for custody of Jenny, and loyal babysitter Samantha (Madeline Brewer, The story of the maid), who demonstrates more than a professional interest in her employer.

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Separation ultimately proves to be more enjoyable as a dark, character-driven family drama than with its predictable scares (effectively aided by unsettling sound design). by Craig Mann). The horror sequences are nothing like we’ve seen before, including investigator Troy James’s bizarre, bone-cracking appearance as one of the more monstrous puppet characters. of Jeff and takes a four-legged backward step reminiscent of the infamous “walking spider” scene originally cut from The Exorcist.

The spooky mayhem is certainly well rendered, but it doesn’t have nearly as much impact as Friend’s great shot as the assassinated father. Offers a performance mile removed from his manly CIA agent in Countryside, the actor emotionally conveys Jeff’s emotional fragility in a way that makes us fully invested in his character’s desperate attempt to keep his daughter. Child actress McGraw, got used to this nasty material thanks to her work in sleeping doctor and The Haunting of Hill Househandle her demanding tasks in a professional manner, and Brewer and Cox provide solid support, although the latter role is the kind he might do in his sleep.

The script by Nick Amadeus and Josh Braun got into a dangerous situation using desperate devices like a vulnerable little girl who nearly died after eating food containing peanuts. (Soon, we’re bound to see a horror movie titled “Allergy Attack.”) And the murder mystery that lies at the heart of the plot might have been more effective without too much. few and such obvious suspects.

Karl Walter Lindenlaub’s lens of vast Brooklyn locations offers an appropriately spooky atmosphere (audiences are sure to look twice across the street on the way home), and Brett Detar’s score offers plenty of more vibration. But you know, there’s something wrong with a horror movie when you expect more of a quiet dramatic scene than the presence of creatures that provide its poison.

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Distributor: Open Road Films, Briarcliff Entertainment
Production company: Yale Productions, RainMaker Films, The Machine Room, Post Film
Actors: Rupert Friend, Brian Cox, Madeline Brewer, Mamie Gummer, Violet McGraw, Troy James
Directed by: William Brent Bell
Screenwriters: Nick Amadeus, Josh Braun
Producers: Jordan Yale Levine, Jordan Beckerman, Russ Posternak, Jesse Korman, Clay Pecorin, William Brent Bell
Executive Producers: Russell Geyser, Jane Oster Sinisi, Seth Posternak, Dennis Rice
Director of Photography: Karl Walter Lindlaub
Production Designer: Ola Maslik
Editor: Brian Berdan
Composer: Brett Detar
Costume designer: Gina Ruiz
Starring: Judy Bowman, Brandon Henry Rodriguez

Rated R, 107 minutes

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