The Dead Girl (2006)
Critic Consensus: This dark thriller boasts a fresh approach, but it can still get bogged down by its heavy subject matter.
"The Dead Girl" is a quintet of stories about seemingly unrelated people whose lives converge around the murder of a young woman. "The Stranger" is about the woman who finds the body. "The Sister," a forensics graduate student, is torn between her mother's pressure to hold onto hope for her abducted sister's return and her longing to move forward with her own life "The Wife" is trapped in an intense hate/love relationship with her husband. A terrible discovery about his connection to the dead girl's murder forces her to confront what she though she knew about him--and herself. "The Mother" searches for answers about her runaway daughter's life and is confronted with a series of revelations that change the course of her own life. "The Dead Girl" is a fireball: hyper, volatile, self-destructive and subject to hair-trigger bursts of uncontrollable rage. She also has an innocent and child-like side. She dreams about improving her life and becoming a good mother to her young daughter. These characters are linked not only by their connection to a brutal murder but also by the difficult hand that life has dealt them. The film scrutinizes their inner struggles to overcome or surrender to their misfortunes. … More
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Critic Reviews for The Dead Girl
Karen Moncrieff's previous film, the shallow and pretentious Blue Car, in no way prepares you for this superbly acted, emotionally acute picture.
Those who pass on The Dead Girl are missing something. Moncrieff has assembled a remarkable (and mostly female) cast, and there are moments in this film that are as powerful as anything currently in theaters.
Moncrieff never gets melodramatic with subject matter that easily could have been; she won't make you feel good, but she will make you feel.
All Screams aside, movies about serial killing are rarely chipper affairs. But few are as glum as The Dead Girl.
Murphy, devouring a bad girl role to go with her image, makes her the most alive person in what is most certainly not your typical Hollywood serial killer movie.
Audience Reviews for The Dead Girl
This is a great movie. Re watched it again, first time since it came out, so had forgotten a lot of it. It's broken up into segments which loosely tie into the final story of the "dead girl" (Brittany Murphy - fantastic. Really sad to see her, especially in this role). First up is the woman who finds the dead body, played by Toni Colette. A henpecked woman with a hinted at tragedy in the past who cares for her ill and spiteful mother in isolation.
Next is Rose Byrne, also a troubled girl, troubled by her sister's disappearance many years ago. She believes the body may belong to her sister.
Then the wife of the serial killer. This story was more chilling than the others. I wont say too much and spoil it.
Next, the mother of the "dead girl", discovering that her daughter was a hooker and drug addict, was in a lesbian relationship and had a child of her own.
Then finally, the "dead girl". This story cuts off abruptly at the point she meets the killer. Which is fine. I had no wish to see it!
Overall a very nicely done, dark story about the impact of crime on those left behind.
A very unusual take on the serial killer story, splitting the film into several perspectives: the person who finds the body, the victim's (supposed) sister, the psycho's wife, the victim's mother and finally the victim herself. These story do not intermix much, which makes the film feel somewhat disjointed. There are a couple of touching scenes, others leave you indifferent, because the pieces do not always create an overall image. An interesting attempt, but ultimately failing to grasp the audience's attention over the entire running time.
Several different, complex stories intertwine to give you a look at the death and discovery of a young girl's decomposing body in a field. A pretty good cast put together here, but the movie may be a bit too dark and dreary for some. Still, the acting was pretty good. The only disappointment here is that you don't actually see the murder take place, only allusions to it. Watchable, but that's about it.
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