Alice Oscura, Featured Writer
SPOILER WARNING. You’ve been warned!
Plot: Chloe (Kiera Allen) is a homeschooled teenager who suffers from a range of maladies having been born prematurely. When her mother Diane (Sarah Paulson) begins acting a bit unusual, Chloe begins to make some startling discoveries that shakes their relationship to the core.
Review: The film is faintly reminiscent of Hulu’s The Act series that was released back in March of 2019. For those of you who are not familiar with the story, it is based on the true story of the events leading up of the murder of Dee Dee Blanchard. Her daughter Gypsy Rose Blanchard who is currently serving time for her murder was subjected to a very vigorous form of Munchausen syndrome. Many, many people and charitable organisations had been scammed by Dee Dee and she tried her best to keep her daughter in a childlike state of mind. There are lots more facts online that you can Google for more information if you guys are interested, but I just wanted to briefly mention it here for the review.
The story for this film is clearly a case of Munchausen syndrome without the mother and daughter relationship being toxic in the beginning. Chloe is quite smart, and I couldn’t help but think that maybe Hulu decided to try their hands at a “what if” kind of situation. Meaning, what if Gypsy was as smart as Chloe and tried to escape her mother in a more tactful, sensible, mature kind of way. Chloe’s character seems well schooled at home and is even highly skilled at building and repairing circuit boards. She is more cut off from social media than Gypsy was and had to rely heavily on talking her way through her investigating.
The two leads are excellently cast and play off each other very well. Paulson (American Horror Story, Glass) is no stranger to the genre and is highly skilled at pulling off the mentally, unstable mother vibe. Allen’s display of utter determination and sheer will plus strength is going to make you get up and cheer for her.
The intense and foreboding atmosphere, the uneasiness of the situation where you are unable to trust that one person that you should be able to, and the hopelessness that Chloe feels, all add to the anxiety of the film.
The development and pacing are not too bad because it should be noted that the film wasted no time into dropping us into the suspicious end of the pool without a float. However, things seemed to be slow in getting the point across as to how much danger Chloe was really in from her mother. It was equally frustrating that she was drugged up to the point where she was unable to speak or even move her hand muscles freely, especially when Diane was at her most dangerous level. And then there’s that good Samaritan who ends up biting it because he stopped to help the damsel in distress. You don’t ever turn your back on someone who is acting suspiciously. Never!!!
Not a bad effort from Hulu in trying to give us a different take on a story that they’ve done before.
Alice’s Score: 6 out of 10
For more Sarah Paulson you can check out Sommer’s Top 3 Reasons to Watch Netflix’s Ratched (and 3 Reasons to Skip It) here.
Dark Alice has an old soul and a curious mind. I believe that anyone can be a hero and that the good guys should always win! I dislike cruelty to animals and think that they have far superior qualities to humans. My motto is there is no future without the past. I also have a weird penchant for Paranormal TV shows even though the slightest sound makes me jump.
I enjoy writing reviews and throwing in fun facts to pique the readers’ curiosity. My ultimate goal in life would be to become a published writer one day. You can find me as Dark Alice Reviews on Facebook, my Instagram is alice_oscura and my Twitter handle is @lise_veliz2. For more on me you can click here.