Under the Silver Lake
David Robert Mitchell – United States
IN A NUTSHELL
Sam is aimless young man (Andrew Garfield) who becomes an unwitting detective who quickly finds himself in over his head as he investigates the mysterious disappearance of his beautiful neighbor (Riley Keough). He explores East Los Angeles in the search of any clues he can find, and soon stumbles upon a larger, more sinister conspiracy than he ever imagined. (by Bianca Garner)
“Sam wanders around with a stoner’s sense of both bewilderment and aghast certainty, piecing together the clues that appear in old copies of Playboy, on cereal packets, in a macabre fanzine called Under the Silver Lake and the lyrics of a quaint goth band.” – – – – – Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
“Mitchell is extravagantly talented and very likely still has a great movie in him. But in terms of awkward career progressions, it seems inevitable that the lurch from It Follows to this swollen dramatic sprawl will draw comparison to Richard Kelly’s banana-peel slip from the mesmerizing genre-bending of Donnie Darko to the overreaching mess of Southland Tales, which also premiered in competition at Cannes.” – – – – – David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter
“What first seems a goofy light foray into pop culture slackerdom with a hefty added dose of voyeurism, becomes a down-the-rabbit-hole exploration of the fantasy geography of an L.A. undermined by subterranean caverns and tunnels, and inhabited by cultists, theorists, ethereal female escorts, and homeless shamans, as coyotes roam freely.” – – – – – Barbara Scharres, RogerEbert.com
The anticipation for Mitchell’s new film, now competing for the main prizes, was mouth-watering for many. The hype justifiably on the back of It Follows, which regurgitated the hallmarks of classic horror and made a modern, stylish chiller. If only that had been in competition instead.
I’m not bashing the efforts of the first-time-in-competition filmmaker, but it appears he has careered off the road somewhat. Certainly not to the scale of disappointment when Refn followed Drive with Only God Forgives, but those predicting Mitchell to win Best Director might be smoking something.