Wednesday, October 14, 2015
If you venture in, be prepared to watch the unraveling of a child who has spent a lifetime being an outcast. This film is a birds eye view into the life of Harlon Mackey, a boy who has spent his entire youth virtually friendless, being bullied and having little guidance from an abusive alcoholic father and over bearing mother. Things start looking up for Harlon when a new girl moves to town and begins hanging out with him, she is wild and out of control. Although he enjoys her company, her behavior seems to only feed Harlon's deteriorated mind. When his new friend gets seriously drunk her parents take her away. Harlon, not knowing where she has gone starts hearing voices and spinning deeper into a comic book world in his head. It all leads up to an inevitable breaking point and a climactic finish when he finally snaps.
Interesting viewpoint and disturbing as well. It's a slow build and by the time Harlon reaches the point of no return you are fully invested into the character. There is no over the top acting here, the abusive dad isn't like a maniac or anything he seems like he is actually trying to be a good dad. You get the feeling he is just trying to raise his kids the same way he was taught with a heavy hand and some survival skills. No one in his family seems to notice or acknowledge that the boy is having issues, at least not until it is far too late and even then things are handled badly. What worked for me in this film was that exact realness, nobody wants their child to have mental or emotional issues. Add to that living in a small gossipy town where everyone is into everyone else's business. The family logic seems to be treat him normal he will be normal. The film's ending leaves something to be desired so it lost a half star in the rating but still overall this was a strong choice.