Monday, January 23, 2012

An American Crime (2007)

Director: Tommy O'Haver

Starring: Ellen Page, Hayley McFarland, Nick Searcy, Romy Rosemont, Catherine Keener, Ari Graynor, Scout Taylor-Compton, James Franco

More info: IMDb

Tagline: This has been the most terrible crime ever committed in the state of Indiana

Plot: Based on a true story that shocked the nation in 1965, the film recounts one of the most shocking crimes ever committed against a single victim. Sylvia and Jennie Fae Likens, the two daughters of traveling carnival workers are left for an extended stay at the Indianapolis (3850 E. New York St. is hardly suburban, nor was it in 1965, by any stretch of the imagination.) home of single mother Gertrude Baniszewski and her six children. Times are tough, and Gertrude's financial needs cause her to make this arrangement before realizing how the burden will push her unstable nature to a breaking point. What transpires in the next three months is both riveting and horrific, leaving one child dead and the rest scarred for life.

My rating: 6.5/10

Will I watch it again? Nah, I'll watch THE GIRL NEXT DOOR (2007) instead.

There were two films that came out in 2007 dealing with this true crime case. I saw THE GIRL NEXT DOOR first and I expect the first one you watch will be the one you prefer. But then these two films fill different voids. This one has a little more emotional impact whereas TGND is cold, brutal and in your face. AAC is more mainstream audience-friendly since it shows very little of what makes these two girls' ordeal so horrific. Grandma wouldn't be able to stomach either picture but AAC makes it more digestible. It's a pretty good film but because it's so focused on the emotional angle that it cheated the audience out of bringing the horror all the way home. I think crimes like this are best served with the stark details at the forefront. I'm not opposed to emotional weight and impact but to truly get a grasp of something as hideous as this you need a good mix of both emotion and cruel details.

No comments:

Post a Comment