Pauline (AnnaLynne McCord) is an 18 year old girl who lives with her overbearing, religious mother (Traci Lords), her scaredy cat father (Roger Bart) and her bright and friendly younger sister, Grace (Ariel Winter), who has cystic fibrosis.
Pauline is an odd girl with ratty hair, an angry demeanor, a history of bad behaviour and a serious lack of moral compass. She aspires to become a surgeon and experiences sexual excitement from blood, conveyed to us her disturbed dreams. She also enjoys practising her surgical technique on herself and on roadkill. The only person who likes her is her younger sister who's health is quickly failing her.
Pauline is an eccentric, mentally disturbed outcast. The character should echo Carrie, but McCord's sinister performance and creepy 'makeover' really create a different kind of antagonist. Unlike in Carrie, Pauline isn't really a victim, although she is still a missunderstood girl. Pauline doesn't care that she's outcast, she doesn't have any remorse and she doesn't comprehend that what she's doing is wrong (why would she, she's cleared it with god first?!).
The gory dream scenes are odd. While they show the diversity of McCord, they lost my interest after a while, but they are very beautifully shot.
The build up is slow, but I enjoyed the journey with this creepy girl. Her demented beliefs and delusions become evident early on, but the finale is really hard-hitting. Not for the faint hearted, this teenage psycho-drama/dark comedy is an interesting watch. Like Carrie meets Donnie Darko, but with less superpowers and more gore.
Not everyone's cup of tea, but interesting in its uniqueness.
[Image: Anchor Bay Films]