Piercing ★★★½

AFI Fest 2018: Movie #4

“I thought you wanted this.”

Gross, unnerving, and funny, yet not too extreme in any one direction. The cast is great (Laia Costa steals the show in a scene that doesn’t even happen), and Pesce’s stylized direction works excellently here. While this is much lighter fare than his previous film, The Eyes of My Mother, his attraction to lonely characters who find intimacy through pain is a clear throughline. Abbott and Wasikowska’s characters make for very compelling subjects. 

While the mutilation and murder fantasties make this inaccessible to many, Piercing doesn’t quite go as far as I hoped it would. Playful back-and-forth is great, but at a certain point, somebody’s plan just needed to come to fruition. It’s a good time, just not the insanity it could’ve been.

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