New To Blu: Proxy

IFC and Zack Parker give birth to a twisted thriller this Tuesday.

"I've asked you a million
times to stop flinging paint!"
In this day and age, well harvested thrillers are hard to come by. While Proxy is not a masterpiece by any means, its one of the better domestic thrill rides of 2014 that will convince viewers that its not always men committing the evils of this world. 

Proxy delivers Hitchcockian themes blended with a suspenseful score and three maniacal female characters, each with their own perverse agenda. Much like this year's Blue Ruin, Proxy takes a basic plot and turns it on its side, giving viewers a semi-realistic jaunt through the lives of believable, everyday characters. Proxy doesn't succeed as well as Blue Ruin, but its another steady departure from the typical and cliched domestic thrillers we've been getting for years now. 

Proxy is not an easy watch considering its maternal motif and its brutally honest portrayal of violence and grief. Yet, these are some of the film's strongest points. Proxy doesn't shy away from reality in its cold hearted portrait of  insanity, death and bereavement. It attacks it head on with calculated subtlety and believable characterizations delivered by a director that knows how to handle his actors. 

These aren't actors that audiences are accustomed to seeing all the time. This adds to the realism of the movie and brings a more sincere feeling to the film's retro leaning tones and underlying message. 

"Do you want my body?
Do you think I'm sexy?"
Despite an uneven and partially flat performance from Alexa Havins, Proxy features some strange and mentally deficient characters that will stick with audiences for a while. Alexia Rasmussen's character, Esther Woodhouse, is played to near perfection with a distant stare, confused social skills, and horrendous motherly instincts. Of all the vile women that occupy Proxy, Esther is the most profoundly disturbed. Alexia plays her with certainty and effective precision that makes her the stand out of this uniquely bizarre little film.

Audiences will be challenged by Proxy's contorted view of women and its focus on violence towards children and the unborn. But, there's a lot here for thriller fans to latch on to. Proxy succeeds in keeping viewers guessing with a fresh new take on the genre. It doesn't lose focus on its apparent influences while delivering a modern day thriller about three absolutely crazy women and the perverse world they live in. 

-Chris George