The Dead Girl (2006)
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as Arden's Mother
as Beverley, Leah's Mother
as Leah's Father
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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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