May 3, 2011

Polly (2009) - Review

If JABB Pictures debut movie Spike was the newborn of the family, growing and learning as it played out, then their follow-up Polly has all the swagger of a pissed off teenager. It’s an ugly movie that is quite happy to bludgeon you in places yet it has an assured restraint about it as well.

The Polly of the title is a young lady who through misfortune finds herself kidnapped and held prisoner by serial killer Charles Morgan Lee. She is the sole survivor of this madman and we the viewer get to witness her ordeal.

The movie cleverly fills us in with information and pictures of Lee’s crimes and history without ever implying any sympathy for his actions. In a time where screen villains are seen as cool or a marketing tool it was nice to see this killer portrayed as a cold and unforgiving individual. Although we do follow Polly’s ordeal I saw this movie as much more of an examination of the criminal mind, rather than of the victim.

Polly is definitely a far more visceral piece of work than the previous movie Spike, and I saw the influence of movies such as August Underground and Torched, although nowhere near as graphic as those. The influences for me were far more in the tone rather than being overtly gory. Sure, there are some scenes that are disturbing and almost painful to watch but these came across to me as extensions of Lee’s mind rather than an excuse to throw some gore at the screen.

Aside from being a more visceral movie it is also a more assured and technical film, I personally thought the inclusion of the on screen text was a great idea and helped give the film an almost documentary style feel to it.

The only downside to Polly for me was the rather abrupt ending, but that is only a minor point in an otherwise very good movie. It kept me entertained throughout its 50 minute or so running time, and having watched it not long after Spike saw the progression of director Jason Hoover. He obviously learned from his experiences of his debut picture and put the knowledge to good use with Polly. Personally I recommend watching Spike and Polly back to back as they compliment each other well with their examinations of twisted minds.

Review by Jude Felton

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like another winner. I love movies that make the bad guy the bad guy and not a hero or someone to like or feel sorry for, I want to hate my bad guys. Great review.