Roxie Theatre Sun, Feb 16, 2014 9:16 PM
Roxie Theatre Thu, Feb 20, 2014 7:00 PM
Film Info
Director:Zack Parker
Film Category:Narrative
Running Time:120
Year of Release:2013


"Ready-to-pop pregnant Esther Woodhouse (Alexia Rasmussen) is walking home from an obstetrician’s appointment when she’s brutally attacked in the street by a hooded stranger. It is a harsh and surprisingly graphic opening--- one likely to have some movie patrons running for the door--- but marks only the beginning of the pitch-black psychosexual terrain to be explored in Zack Parker’s fourth feature, Proxy.

The hospital counselors urge the seemingly friendless would-be mother to attend grief counselling. There, her slouching, kicked-dog cautiousness is enlivened by a random conversation with fellow-griever Melanie Michaels (Alexa Havins), whose demeanor is comparatively perky given the context (and whose husband is played by IndieFest fave Joe Swanberg). Melanie is a natural nurturer and over a few confidence-sharing coffee dates, Esther starts to morbidly fixate on her. But when she spies Melanie from afar in a retail shop acting out a bizarre scenario, the revelation will give the damaged Esther a new, dark purpose.

Director and co-writer Zack Parker (Scalene, 2011) is no stranger to complex emotional mysteries. Here the netting of the plot is punctuated by shocking bursts of violence, including a slow-motion show-stopping centerpiece filled with enough blood-spray and Donaggio-esque swelling strings to warrant a gleeful applause.

The intense experiential space of the film is one that can be compared to headtrips like Altman’s Three Women or even Drew Tobia’s See You Next Tuesday (also playing this year’s IndieFest), but the execution and the subjects it dares to expose make it wholly unique. The film keeps the audience guessing, and even though each revelation is deftly supported by calculated clues, the suspense remains terrifically palpable throughout, with any kind of pat psychological précis avoided in favour of a deliberately sustained ambiguity." (Kier-La Janisse, Fangoria Online)

-Kier-la Janisse