31 Days of Horror: “She Was So Pretty”

 

 
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Direction
7.0


 
Acting
5.0


 
Plot
5.0


 
Execution
6.0


 
Total Score
5.8


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Posted October 28, 2016 by

 
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I am a firm believer in the thought that, when reviewing a movie, the budget that the creative team had to work with should always be taken into account. I have been extremely impressed, with a handful of indie horror films, this year, in that they have achieved so much with so little. I have raved about the accomplishments of Brian Williams and Scott Schirmer of Bandit pictures and other low-budget productions like Ron Bonk’s “She kills”. Now I am adding Brooke Ewing to that list of names, as she has done something not even those visionary directors have done. She filmed her debut feature film “She Was So Pretty”, on a zero dollar budget. That’s right… nada! That feet in itself would be impressive, but the fact that her film is an effectively gruesome, slow-burn thriller is down right unbelievable.

she-was-so-pretty-2Jerry Larew plays the film’s ultra creepy serial killer Alfie. He spends his days lurking in shadows, following unsuspecting women, and killing them in varying ways. When he sets his sights/obsession on Valerie (Whitlee Flinn), it only serves to increase her feeling that she is being constantly watched from a distance. Valerie and her friends decide to go out of town, to a cabin (of course!) and unwind, with drink and smoke. That doesn’t discourage Alfie, though, as he follows them and snatches Valerie while everyone is sleeping. He then takes her home, introduces her to his other play thing (Natasha Parsons), and forces her to act as his bound and gagged girlfriend.

Like I said before, what Ms. Ewing was able to achieve here is damn impressive. The set design, cinematography, and music are all excellent and create a very 70s/80s drive-in movie vibe. There are also some moments with really cool gore effects, again especially when you consider the lack of money being used. Jerry Larew is the perfect embodiment of a socially awkward, obsessive killer. There are multiple scenes in which just watching him walk around or brush his teeth are still eerily unsettling. There is also a great little scene, where Alfie forces Valrie to cuddle up and watch Casper the Friendly ghost cartoons, on his couch.

“She Was So Pretty” is not perfect by any means. There are some pretty major sound issues (but can you really complain when they were filming with a Nikon camera and no mics?) and the dialogue isn’t always smooth, especially in the scenes with the friends at the cabin. I was also torn with the character of Detective Baldwin (Chris Parsons). He plays an A-hole cop, who constantly harasses Valerie and her pals. His foul-mouthed comic relief was a bit jarring for me, but his character makes a turn towards the end that was more satisfying.

All in all, what “She Was So Pretty” is, is a display of what this talented, young director is capable of. I know the sentence “I would like to see what they could do with a bigger budget” is thrown around a lot by critics and reviewers, but I really would love to see Ewing work with even a $100,000 budget. If her debut film is any indication, we have a new, capable voice in the indie horror universe.


MikeD

 


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