Clever and satisfying.
Review by: MiamiMovieCritic
Added: 8 years ago
Rectify is like a straight horror version of Lars and the Real, a so-called comedy in which Ryan Gosling spent 90 minutes talking to a lifeless doll on his couch. In Rectify, the main character is clearly disturbed from the outset, and the entire film has a sense of foreboding as we wait to find out what’s really going on.
Very thoughtfully directed by Dan Humphrey, the 10-minute movie is an economical, almost theatrical piece of work, limiting its story to one setting and two characters. The film is devoid of character development. We know nothing about these two people, and when we do finally learn something at the end, we wish we hadn’t. Eric Riedmann delivers an impressive, showy performance as an obviously deranged man who asks a comatose woman (Heather Lynn) on his couch a series of philosophical questions. The scene is serious and edgy. There are some moments of black humor, like when an insert shot reveals that he’s just served her a Banquet TV dinner. But instead of relieving the tension, these moments actually enhance it.
The denouement stops short of being absolute genius, but it’s still clever and satisfying. (For an ingenious treatment of a similar situation, watch the Masters of Horror episode “Family.”) The first part of the movie has a flat, sitcom look that I was ready to take points away for. But about three-quarters of the way through, there’s an amazingly creepy shot that pulls the carpet out from under us. The lighting becomes more sinister, and a Hitchcockian score kicks in. Humphrey knows when to sit back and be observant and when to go all stylish on us.