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moth diaries



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The Moth Diaries is a supernatural horror set at an all-girl boarding school where young Rebecca (Sarah Bolger from Emelie) is sent after the suicide of her writer father. She befriends the pretty Lucy (Sarah Gadon) and all seems well until the arrival of strange new student Ernessa (Lily Cole). Lucy is drawn to Ernessa and the more Rebecca tries to find out who this mysterious new girl really is, the more she begins to believe that she is faced with the very type of vampiric creature that she is reading about in her literature class. As the bodies pile up and everyone attributes Rebecca’s suspicions as a product of the troubled emotions left over from her father’s death, Rebecca decides she must deal with this monster herself. But is Ernessa truly a creature of darkness, or is Rebecca suffering delusions born of her grief over her father’s suicide?

Based on Rachel Klein’s novel, Moth Diaries is one of those movies that tries hard, but sometimes too hard for it’s own good. There is a very gothic mood to it and writer and director Mary Harron tries to give it the same period feel of a Dracula story despite being set in modern day. There are some nice visuals and effective scenes and the cast all perform well. But sometimes the film is a bit too obvious for it’s own good. Some of the scenes come across as a bit silly when maybe a bit more subtlety would have been better. Some of the voice narration by Rebecca comes across as forced, telling us things we already have figured out for ourselves. The film probably could have benefited from some of the sly humor that Harron used to perfection in the classic American Psycho, but here the tone comes across as a little too serious and it also can’t decide whether it wants to be a straight horror or something more along the lines of a Twilight movie with it’s melodramatics.

Moth Diaries is not a complete failure by any means and it has  entertainment value, but it could have been a lot better if the filmmakers weren’t trying too hard to create a goth classic in the same vein (sorry, had to) as Dracula, but with the melodramatics of the Bella and Edward saga. Maybe trying to appeal to both the Twilight crowd and the gothic horror crowd, but sometimes you can’t have it both ways. Certainly worth a look, just go in with moderate expectations. Also stars the Underworld saga’s Scott Speedman.

-MonsterZero NJ

2 and 1/2 fangs.

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