Knives and Skin
ALT | Altered States
When 15-year-old Carolyn Harper (Raven Whitley) disappears, the All-American community of Big River spirals off its axis and plummets into a heightened reality in which even the most banal of high school encounters assumes a hallucinatory air. Seemingly incapable of determining how to move on in the face of this tragedy, those left behind enter their own bizarre limbos, whether it’s a student turning pill peddler for her teacher, an unemployed clown going through the motions, or other characters breaking into a cappella versions of 80s pop songs.
Employing brilliant production design and striking cinematography, Jennifer Reeder boldly deconstructs the tired "dead girl" plot device and, in the process, gives us a glimpse of the heady, cerebral entertainment that might result if the makers of Riverdale actually downed three seasons of Twin Peaks with a River’s Edge chaser.
"A magical realist panorama of a nation still coming of age and to terms with itself… Rich and strange, funny and profound, this dreamy film conjures the ghosts of an irrevocable past and the shimmering mists of an uncertain future." - Anton Bitel, Sight & Sound