Annie, a prepubescent girl, lives with her father on a farm in the countryside. With very little parental supervision, Annie spends most of her time roaming the area, mostly destroying things to cause her some form of pleasure. One day, while playing in the woods, Annie hears a voice call out to her deep in an abandoned well. Her interaction with the voice leads Annie to begin to question her moral compass, or lack there-of. David Zellner's Kid-Thing is fever-dream fable about a neglected girl whose lack of parental guidance leads her down a devastating path. Much of the film's running time is spent observing Annie as she ventures through the countryside destroying anything she can get her hands on. These sequences effectively capture the spirit of youthful curiosity and exploration while simultaneously showing the growing angst in young Annie. This is a girl who completely lacks the guidance necessary to understand her own moral compass, with her father doing very little to guide her in anyway. Everything about Kid-Thing is extremely subtle and up to interpretation but to me this film is really a unique story about the importance of a paternal figure in a young child's growing mind. Annie tries to grasp this world around her but every time she looks for some type of guidance or explanation her father is never there. Kid-Thing is very comedic throughout, consisting of a dark, underlying sadness that is only strengthened by a few carefully constructed scenes. One of the most affecting scenes for me takes place in the middle of the film where Annie comes into her father's bedroom in the morning to ask a question. Annie tries to talk to her father but he pays little attention, covering his ears with a pillow as he turns away from her. The scene is very brief, but nevertheless effective at showing this disconnect between a young daughter who needs guidance and her simple-minded father who is too blind and selfish to realize it. Certainly up to interpretation, David Zellner's Kid-Thing is a unique, minimalist look into a young child's growing psychosis that reminded me somewhat of Harmony Korine.
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