Under the Silver Lake ★★½

Under The Silver Lake

David Robert Mitchell's minor masterpiece came in the form of It Follows in 2015. With It Follows, we got a horror film in the vein of Carpenter's Halloween and the general horror landscape of American cinema of the late 70's and early 80's. It worked brilliantly well because you end up finding your time with these characters quite engaging and sympathetic and swept up in the consequential ends they find themselves in. It's a gloriously directed (second) feature from an indie auteur in the making.

A few years pass and Mitchell opted for his next feature to be a neo-noir parable, and unfortunately what started in his career as a bang, comes crashing down with a thud. Andrew Garfield is bit of an aimless man who sits on his apartment balcony staring at nude women with his binoculars as he chain-smokes, but who cares? It's Andrew Garfield and he's hot, right? Anyways, a few moments clumsily transpire and the film basically takes Garfields character listlessly through kooky set piece after kooky set piece and I realized rather quickly how much Mitchell's script is going out of it's way to make absolutely no sense. The structure of the film is virtually non-existent. It's a piece of work that revels in it's own messiness, and thumbs it's nose at it's audience.

Admittedly, I do love bumbling, smarter than they appear, stoner characters like Garfield in this film. The Dude from The Big Lebowski or Doc Sportello from Inherent Vice, and I wouldn't argue against Garfields performance as Sam in this film because I did find him great, for the most part. His bouts of violence turned his otherwise shy characteristics that shot of adrenaline this film needed at it's most dull.

All in All, I'm appreciative of ambition and originality like the next fool, which Mitchell is clearly trying to capture again as much as he did with his prior feature, but Under The Silver Lake is in desparate need of an editor, and a shorter cut. It's a very women hating film, but that's for women to decide. There's a great film amidst the disarray of the one we received, which at the end of the day just ends up being teeth-grindingly boring.

C

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