Genre: Horror/Thriller Director: Mary Harron Cast: Sarah Bolger, Sarah Gadon, Lily Cole, Scott Speedman, Melissa Farman, Laurence Hamelin, Valerie Tian RunTime: 1 hr 22 mins Rating: M18 (Sexual Scenes and Suicide References) Released By: Shaw Official Website: http://www.ifcfilms.com/films/moth-diaries Opening Day:21 June 2012
Synopsis: A modern gothic coming of age story set in a world of obsessive teenage girl friendship. Haunted by a family tragedy, Rebecca returns to the safe haven of her all-girl boarding school expecting a happy year with her friends. When a new girl arrives, Rebecca finds her friendships torn apart and her sanity threatened by this mysterious newcomer.
Helming from the button pushing acclaimed success of American Psycho, The Moth Diaries was rather a great disappointment when it turned and developed the “i-don’t-know-how-to-end this” syndrome. The brooding longing of the folk stories has so far been tainted by the rise of movies that one shall not be named has geared most of the sense of what makes a vampire film real essence is. may alliteration of what a vampire is has been mixed, diluted and throw up in the air for interpretation. As for this variation in The Moth Diaries, at least this one doesn’t sparkle. Well, nor does it draw blood from others. Nor was it conjured up by a bite from another. You may be asking, “What kind of vampire is this. This sucks (pun there)!”. Well for the record, this version does drain the life out of you and it might just be the scariest one to haunt you without you knowing.
In a nutshell, The Moth Diaries follows Rebecca (Sarah Bolger) a young teen heading back to an all-girl boarding school. While still recovering from her father’s tragic suicide, the one thing that has helped her through the difficult time is her friends in school. Delighted to see all of her best girlfriends at the start of the school year, she assumed everything would be fine. However, her joy is short-lived as a new student, Ernessa (Lily Cole). who moved in across the hall comes into the picture. One by one her friends come to be the victim of malice, either as mild as expulsion from school or as fatal as death.
So what didn't work? Upon further replay in my head, what was delivered should have worked but thats just my taste and understanding the overall tone of such a macabre wrap of a topic. But the main suspect i should have foreseen should be the following. The slow undertone of horror to unfold. Slow as a Loris, the crawling drama which sometimes doesn’t make sense much sometimes serves as a distraction rather than a catapult to forward the development of the story. With that in mind, it seems like a screenplay that fell into a hasty wrap-up which totally threw me off. Was terribly saddened to have seen the audience to go through such turmoil. Not only did it end badly, it made no sense of the ease of closure. Despite an interesting, hushed atmosphere, scenes start arbitrarily in various locations throughout the school ended up with no real sense of place or time. Although they repeated reminded us of the history of the location, they failed to capture its essence.
I’ve got to admit that throughout the whole film, i’ve been bugging my head of where i’ve seen Sarah Bolger. I could have sworn i’ve seen her in action in Grey’s Anatomy but alas, i was wrong. That was Ellen Pompeo i was mistaken with. Both having a similiar doe like quality, vulnerability and inner strength that seem to ooze out seductively makes her role as Rebecca an apt judgement of casting. But nothing steals the silver screen then the presence of Lily Cole, the strange weird female cast that’s perfect for the role as Ernessa. With her first introduction to the screen, her aura of strange attraction did blew my expectation. Oh and by the way, welcome back Mr Scott Speedman.
There is, ultimately, a reason that vampire fiction continues to be so popular; it's a resilient metaphor, one that can be applied to any number of situations. It's not that there wasn't potential in this film but at best, The Moth Diaries could generally be described as a vampiric take on a TV teen series, with about the same level of depth and filmmaking excellence.
(Much like a vampire, this will thrill you for a while but ultimately without you knowing, suck the life out of you)