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Marionette
Repression

Netherlands / Luxembourg / UK 2020
produced by
Burny Bos, Claudia Brandt, Elbert van Strien, Frank Klein (executive) for Accento Films, Black Camel Pictures, BosBros, Samsa Film
directed by Elbert van Strien
starring Thekla Reuten, Elijah Wolf, Emun Elliott, Sam Hazeldine, Dawn Steele, Rebecca Front, Bill Paterson, Peter Mullan, Pearl Chanda, Brigitte Urhausen, Luc Feit, Martin Donaghy, Craig McDonald-Kelly, Elisabet Johannesdottir, John Scougall, Jochum ten Haaf, Matilda Gordon, Marnie Baxter, Geoffrey Newland, René van Asten, Kern Falconer, Julian Nest, Joseph Black, Jay Newton, James Carroll Jordan, Gemma Stroyan, Merryn Benson
written by Ben Hopkins, Elbert van Strien, music by Han Otten, Maurits Overdulve

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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Having just lost her husband Josh (Sam Hazeldine) in a car accident, psychologist Marianne (Thekla Reuten) decides to relocate from the US to Scotland, to work at a prestigious clinic for children there. One patient especially intrigues her, Manny (Elijah Wolf), who mostly just paints dark pictures, and claims whatever he draws he will make happen. This of course sounds like a child's over-imagination, until scenes from Manny's very dark, sometimes borderline apocalyptic, drawings to come true. Now this is especially troubling as some of the drawings concern Marianne and her new boyfriend Kieran (Emun Elliott). Marianne manages to track down Josh's former psychotherapist, Dr. McVittie (Peter Mullan), who has since been institutionalised in an asylum himself and who has tried to burn himself. Dr. McVittie only confirms what Marianne already fears, that Manny can make things happen, almost God-like. Things go bad when Manny draws Kieran's death, and a short time later he does die in a boating accident - but what's worse, Marianne is implicated to have killed him. Ultimately she takes Manny captive and wants to force him at gunpoint to make things again like they were. Thing is, the police is already in hot pursuit ...

 

Granted, the plot of this movie does sound far-fetched - but it comes across as totally relatable as it plays on some dark and primal fears, including loss of control over one's own life, and tells its story in an engaging way. Plus, the events that make up the after the seeming finale are sure to catch everyone off-guard. And while a very solid cast keeps things grounded, the impressive Scottish locations and landscapes do their part to give the whole thing just the right atmosphere, while dynamic camerawork keeps things lively while the film keeps things on slow-burn. And all of this makes for a rather excellent genre piece.

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
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WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
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directed by
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written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
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out now on DVD