Proxy (2014) - Zack Parker
While walking home after her latest OB appointment, Esther, a 9-months pregnant woman, is brutally attacked in broad daylight, leaving her disfigured and in critical condition. This horrible act leaves Esther's child dead, sending her into therapy as a way to try and deal with the trauma. Esther finds consolation in this support group, even becoming close friends with another woman, Melanie, dealing with tragedy of her own. With the film progressing, the audience begins to realize that even before the tragedy Esther lived a lonely life of sadness and solitude, with this support group helping Esther open up to friendship and acceptance. However, Esther's new found friendships aren't as they appear, only leading her down a more tragic path. Zack Parker's Proxy is an incredibly unique low-budget horror film that should be praised for its ambition even if it doesn't completely succeed. Proxy is a film very much committed to its subversive qualities, pushing beyond the typical morbid curiosities to deliver unpredictable twists and turns at every juncture. Audience assumptions of these characters are routinely dismantled by this twisted narrative that defies nearly all typical horror genre conventions. It's a film that raises far more questions than it answers, leaving the viewer engaged as they try to comprehend the character's motivations, or whether or not everyone in this film is utterly insane. Through this subversive story Parker is able to create a film with a strong emotional core, using a host of character's affected by tragedy. My biggest problem with Proxy has nothing to do with its subversive narrative bur rather its performances, which are almost universally wooden and ineffective. For me, this is a film about how tragedy breeds instability in a person's psyche as they try desperately to make sense of the world around them. Zack Parker's Proxy is a film that takes a look at the darker side of parenting, and while it doesn't completely succeed, it succeeds enough to make me intrigued by what the filmmakers will do next.
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