General Release 2008
97 minutes approx
Carice Van Houten
Pastor Ross -
Directed by -
Written by -
Agnès Merlet & Juliette Sales
Jane is a clinical psychologist sent from the mainland to a remote island community to assess the mental state of a teenager called Dorothy who is accused of assaulting a baby that she was babysitting. The tightly-knit community is suspicious of the newcomer, not least since she claims to have been driven off the road by a bunch of youths who don't live there. Dorothy appears to be suffering from a split personality disorder, but where do these alternate personalities come from and why is Jane starting to see her own dead son.
The packaging claims that DOROTHY is the new EXORCIST. Oh no it isn't. Nor is it the 'evil teen does bad things' movie that the imagery might suggest. What DOROTHY actually is is a neat psychological thriller with a supernatural twist. It might all be happening in Jane's head as she unravels in the face of the unfamiliar and unfriendly lifestyle of the islanders and Dorothy's supporters in particular. Then again, it might be a ghost story. The answer doesn't come until late on, though chances are you'll have guessed it all by then.
DOROTHY is most influenced by THE WICKER MAN with the modern thinker amongst a community seemingly unchanged for hundreds of years and steeped in its own traditions. It's not a patch on that film, of course, though it beats the remake in just about every department. The photography on the island is excellent, really showing its bleak beauty.
The centrepiece of the film, though, lies in the performances. Jenn Murray does well with all the various personalities being channelled through Dorothy, but the film belongs to Carice Van Houten who is just excellent as the slowly unravelling psychologist and really makes the film worthwhile.
The final solution to the mystery of DOROTHY's plot might not be particularly successful and you will probably have been able to work out all the twists long before they arrive, but for the central performances as the uneasy sense of approaching doom, DOROTHY is well worth the time.Top
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