by Erin Free | August 17, 2015 17:26 | Edited August 17, 2015 17:30
“…a provocative and kinkily entertaining slab of oddball cinema.”
Veteran Aussie performers John Jarratt and Kaarin Fairfax, pool their considerable talents for the full-belt low budget psychodrama, StalkHer, a taut two-hander coursing with questions about male/female relationships, and the nature of madness and obsession. You know, all the good stuff. Working from a deranged and profane script from first timer, Kris Maric, Jarratt and Fairfax share directing duties, and pretty much all of the screen time, delivering a provocative and kinkily entertaining slab of oddball cinema.
In this perverse take on tables-turned dramas like Extremities and Death And The Maiden, Jarratt is Jack, a black-clad stalker who breaks into the home of genial nurse, Emily (Fairfax), armed with a kit bag full of sharp instruments and an attitude that even the word “misogynist” wouldn’t sufficiently describe. Emily, however, has a stun gun, and Jack is soon gagged and tied to a chair. His captor’s intentions, however, aren’t quite clear, and so begins a weird battle of wills in which both participants are revealed to be more than a little unhinged, with each offering their own take on the gender divide.
Making up for the film’s single-set limitations with curious camera moves and lurid fantasy sequences, Jarratt and Fairfax don’t hold back, peppering their film with lots of dirty talk and a few moments of fetid sensuality, proving that on-screen sauciness is not reserved for the under-thirties. Their differing acting styles – Jarratt is all ocker realism, while Fairfax is far more theatrical in tone – heighten the tension and maintain an appropriate sense of imbalance. Though it gets a little muddy at the end, StalkHer is a nifty little black comedy bubbling and bristling with surprises and invention.
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