37 – Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011)


Sean Durkin Starring: Elizabeth Olsen, John Hawkes, Sarah Paulsen Running time: 102 mins

Subject: Oustanding debut from director Sean Durkin and star Elizabeth Olsen who have both – annoyingly – skipped the apprenticeship of  learning via mediocre output. Perfect storytelling, restrained acting  and genius segueways back and forth through time have created a gripping, heartbreaking psychological horror. An unmissable portrait of how trauma acts on the personality.

Martha Marcy whatnow? Don’t worry about Enraged Brain Confusion that follows reaching the front of the ticket line and not saying the fudging name right. “Matha Marcus Malt Machine”???!!! We’ve all been there.  The vendor will both understand and achieve a moment of quiet amusement. What’s more, there is a very good reason for that name. It captures character, subject and what’s at stake.

What’s at stake? Ohhhhhhh boy. This is a film you want to come to cold.

Like: Dario Argento’s Trauma in idyllic countryside.

Core truth: Trauma in all its complexity makes for compulsive viewing.


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