After his uncle commits suicide, a man and his family head to the outback and uncover a secret that no one should.
Letís make one thing clear right away. Modern Love
isnít a horror flick. In fact, thereís very little reason for this to be listed along with most of the movies here beyond the ending. Sure, elements do exist as the movie eventually evolves into psychological horror, however, I would insert Modern Love
more as a drama because for the most part, the film avoids all standard conventions that create horror. Thereís very little suspense. Thereís very little overpowering sense of dread. It's more of an examination of the human condition. In fact, for the first 30 minutes I wasnít sure what I was watching with many shots of trees, landscape, and a man and his family. But letís make another thing clear; this is not a knock. This film is beautifully shot and wonderfully acted to point that it raises itself above the genre though it eventually falls into the normal trappings of horror as if some producer decided the ended needed to be Hollywoodized. And thatís a shame because I became so impressed that the film was doing something different that I yearned to see it end somewhere different as well. Instead, it goes to familiar ground instead of striving to find new territory.
What I appreciated most about Modern Love
is that it doesnít explain everything going on, which is a nice change of pace from the current trend of film coming equipped with a detailed map explaining character traits, background information, and the exact three act structure of the plot. Modern Love
doesnít bother. Itís a minimalist tale that talks around action and doesnít bother to introduce characters. It revolves around a man (Mark Constable) and his family leaving the big city and heading out into the Australian boonies to bury his uncle who had just committed suicide. Once there, our family man starts rummaging through his uncleís things and not only starts hearing things, but quickly evolves into his favorite dead uncle. He wears his clothes. He fixes his radio. He takes his rowboat out for a spin. After only a few days, he understands his uncleís love for peace and quiet in the outback and starts to understand a few other things that I wonít bother to reveal.
At times, Modern Love
reminded of The Shining as our beloved family man slowly loses his mind and starts to distance himself from the family as he becomes engulfed by his surroundings. Actually, when I describe it that way it is just like The Shining, minus Nicholson, the creepy twins, the ghosts, the giant hotel, and Danny riding around on his plastic Big Wheels.
One warning, however, that Iíll leave potential viewers with. Modern Love
is a slllooooowww burn. If youíre in the mood for something snappy or horrific, donít bother. But if in search of a film that takes its time to develop and allow viewers to fill in the black, well, go find it.
Notta. Zero. Zip. I had the ol' screener copy, so read somewhere else.