Sundance Notebook: Euro Horror, a New Cult Sensation, and Park City’s Party Hierarchy

Filmmaker Magazine | 2/1/2019 | Donna K
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by Donna K

I know we’re in high elevation here at Sundance but it still freaks me out when I go to buy coffee and also have the option of buying a small personal oxygen tank. It makes me feel like we’re preparing for some kind of apocalypse, when, in fact, people are only preparing to ski and watch movies. The altitude is tiring though, I slept so deeply the other night that I missed whatever fun my roommates had, which, judging by the drying swimsuits and empty Corona case, was plenty. There are 14 people in my condo on the outskirts of Park City in an area called Deer Valley. I still haven’t met three out of the four other people sleeping in my room. Sundance housing can be a bit like early NYC Craigslist full of strangers, shady deals and crawlspaces advertised as bedrooms.

Attempts - Bond - Grace - Aiden - Mia

In attempts to force a bond with soon to be stepmother Grace, young Aiden and Mia spend Christmas with her in their family’s wintry, isolated cabin. If horror movies have taught me anything: nothing good comes from going to a wintry, isolated cabin. As their attempts to push Grace out of the family portrait escalate, a slow unraveling begins. Plot twists and jump–inducing turns keep one wondering where things will go as the film darts around the heavy wooden interiors and placid, remote exteriors with measured insanity. Riley Keough transforms into Grace, who lives in a tangle of cult-induced PTSD. Keough’s performance is full of a restless dispassion that truly shows her range and potential as a performer. The moments of shock almost make up for the sluggish pacing and familiar tropes (dollhouses, cabins, cults). An appearance by Alicia Silverstone made me realize how much I’ve missed her pert presence onscreen.

An unassuming older woman with...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Filmmaker Magazine
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