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Knives and Skin
December 7, 2019 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
“The disappearance of a teenage schoolgirl sends psycho-sexual shock waves through a sleepy Illinois town in writer-director Jennifer Reeder’s Knives and Skin, an agreeably offbeat coming-of-age thriller steeped in macabre humor and queer feminist attitude. David Lynch’s Twin Peaks is the most obvious touchstone for this exercise in Midwestern gothic surrealism, alongside knowing nods to high-school classics like Heathers and Carrie and even vintage John Hughes movies. The dreamy mood and arch use of horror tropes also recall cult classic Donnie Darko, but Reeder’s second feature has plenty of its own rich, strange, original flavor too.”
“From her opening scene onward, Reeder wrong-foots viewers with hints of vintage horror as a knife-wielding single mom prowls through her suburban house in search of her daughter Carolyn. But Carolyn is not home; she is down at the lake with boorish high-school jock Andy, whose pushy sense of entitlement turns nasty. His sexual demands spurned, Andy callously dumps Carolyn by the lakeside and drives home alone.”
“Carolyn’s uncertain fate shakes up a sleepy town that is already awash with dark secrets… Using her disappearance as a dramatic device, Knives and Skin highlights some of the oppressive pressures that weigh on young women generally, from useless boyfriends to sexually predatory teachers and dysfunctional, domineering parents. But Reeder is too smart to play simplistic heroes and villains. These girls themselves are hardly idealized feminist role models… When one of them questions how they can sometimes be so cruel, another shrugs, “That’s all we’ve got.”” – The Hollywood Reporter. Not rated. 101 minutes.