Views & Reviews From Writer Steve Miller
Formerly Reviews and Stuff at Rotten Tomatoes, 2005 - 2009.

Currently Showing at Cinema Steve

Monday, January 14, 2013

Are teen girls really like this?

Pinprick (2009)
Starring: Laura Greenwood, Rachel Blake, Evin Nagy, and Zoltan Ratoti
Director: Daniel Young
Rating: Five of Ten Stars

Teenaged Charlotte (Greenwood) is keeping a secret from her recently divorced mother (Blake): A mysterious, hunky man (Nagy) is living in her closet. Things go from complicated to nightmarish when he decides to leave the closet and become her mother's new lover.

"Pinprick" is a somewhat bizarre drama that will have you asking yourself what logic-defying action the characters will take next, or how they will next try to complicate a situation that could easily be solved by calling the police. As film unfolds, it becomes more and more illogical, eventually presenting a plot twist that gives rise to the film's eventual non-ending ending -- a twist and ending that completes the film's rise toward a pinnacle of complete nonsense.

"Pinprick" is a Swiss/Hungarian production starring English, Australian, and Hungarian actors. It was marketed in the United States as a horror film, so for roughly the first half of the movie I kept looking for increasing hints and clues that the man in the closet was a figment of Charlotte's diseased mind -- and I think the film might have made more sense if it was. I've never been a teen girl, and I've never had raised a teen daughter, so maybe they do behave as bizarrely as Charlotte does. Maybe they will hide strange men in their closets in order to spite their parents, and when said strange man starts taking over their home they will basically take his place in the closet? (I do have a sister who was once a teenager, and I don't think she would have let a guy live in her closet, but how can I say for certain?)

Maybe if writer/director Daniel Young had spent a moment or two giving viewers some details about the characters up front, even if those details would have to be reinterpreted in the light of the twist in the third act -- that twist might even have made a little more sense if he had. We get a tiny bit through a conversation that Charlotte and her mother have at the very beginning, but a little more might have helped dispel some of the confusing air that exists throughout the  picture. At the very least, some indication in regards to how the hunk ended up in Charlotte's closet and why she didn't run screaming from the room at that first encounter would have been helpful.

If not for the fact that the film kept me engaged, despite my sense of it being nonsense and despite it not being a horror film even though it was marketed as such, this would have rated a Four. The strong performances from the cast, as well as some nice cinematography, coupled with the way the film's pacing kept me interested, all add up to a movie I can't bring myself to condemn too harshly. If you're in the mood for something odd but well crafted, "Pinprick" might be worth a look. (My advice would be to pick up the "Midnight Horror Collection" or renting it as a streaming movie rather than paying for it on a DVD by itself. The mutli-disc "Midnight Horror Collection" features several other mis-marketed films, as well as two actual horror films.)

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