Directed by: A.D. Calvo
Cast: Quinn Shephard, Erin Wilhelmi, Susan Kellermann
Writer/director A.D. Calvo scores big with his latest, Sweet, Sweet Lonely Girl. Not only is the movie a Shudder exclusive with a primary slot in the website’s marquee, it’s also a technically polished production that abandons the ideas of big budget effects and moments of outlandish panache in a slick exchange for a slow, methodical, organic fright-fest.
Those who have issues with slower paced films may not see the beauty here, but if you can hold tight through the first two acts, which place major emphasis on character study and situational responses, you’re in for a finale that’s guaranteed to burrow in your psyche.
Without giving too much away I can tell you that Adele has moved into her Aunt Dora’s sprawling abode to provide in-home care for the ailing woman. But the isolation and the loneliness begin to wear on Adele. To make matters even more complex she soon finds herself entangled in a relationship with a mysterious young woman who looks about as honest as a professional fight promoter. What will become of Adele when her Aunt passes? To what lengths will her relationship with her pal, Beth venture?
There are a lot of spoilers to be shared, but as is usual, I can’t justify breaking down the relevant plot points that either push the story forward or align moments of gloom. Those are some of the finer pieces of the picture – spoiling those pieces would no doubt be criminal. I will say this, however: Expect a gratifying and eerie result.
Erin Wilhelmi and Quinn Shephard (our two young ladies) bring a sublime confidence to the project. They’re both absolutely spot on, never faltering for a moment. What makes that so special is the fact that these two ladies basically carry the entire story on their shoulders. That’s an extreme challenge, and these ladies pass the test with flying colors.
I have a great respect for Calvo’s patience. There’s never any need to rush through a scene, in fact, when the story becomes particularly intense, Calvo cherishes the chance to slowly suck the viewer in to a horrific moment that feels as though it may never end. And, while I’m talking about style, I’ve got to touch down on the visual flare. Matthew C. Levy’s editing is pitch-perfect, but it’s also fortified by Ryan Parker’s wonderful cinematography. The movie looks like a flawless 80s film, and it didn’t take a world of filters to make that a reality. That’s impressive. The group set out to make a chilling peace with a lovely throwback vibe that screams nostalgia repeatedly.
Personally, I loved it.