LYLE | REVIEW

I got to see LYLE as part of the 2015 Mardi Gras Film Festival with good friend, James, we were both on board when we heard “lesbian Rosemary’s baby” – SOLD – BRING IT ON! From what I have been able to find, LYLE was a Kickstarter project from director, Stewart Thorndike, and when completed it was placed online for free, unlimited downloads, no worries like the recent DALLAS BUYER’S CLUB download debacle. It is also doing the festival rounds at the moment and screening at LGBT festivals. If you get a chance SEE IT!!! You can’t currently watch it for free online – if you go to the website HERE, it will direct you their FB HERE and you can follow them and they will advise when back up for free viewing. The bonus, and also slight letdown of the movie – it only runs for 65mins, it had a festival rating but I would probably go MA15+.

 

LYLE MOVIE POSTER GABY HOFFMANN IMAGE
LYLE | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | MOVIE POSTER IMAGE

 

BY JASON KING

Gaby Hoffmann spectacularly channels her inner Rosemary for this short feature smothered in grief. Gaby Hoffmann owns this movie, she outshines everyone in the movie tenfold, her grief, stress and emotional vocalised desperation are as chilling as the phenomenal score for the movie.

The story is thus: lovely lesbian couple with child move to a beautiful Brownstone, life is going good. Leah (Hoffmann) is the stay-at-home mum looking after Lyle and pregnant with the couple’s second child. Disaster strikes and sadly Lyle dies. The film moves into grief and then tremendous grief that starts tearing Leah apart, this grief turns to paranoia and then chronic paranoia and the scary part, it is possibly all justified. Leah fears her unborn child is also at risk and that Lyle’s death was not an accident.

 

LYLE MOVIE IMAGE
LYLE | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | LEAH (GABY HOFFMANN)

 

The plot is sound and strong but there are a few characters that needed way more fleshing out and the entire plot could have gone for 90mins to give the film more flesh and development, I really wanted more from the land lady, she was creepy awesome! The other actors were passable but destroyed when Hoffmann was onscreen making their performances come across as nearly amateur (accept for the baby playing Lyle – she rocked :)).

That being said what the film managed to do in 90mins was in-bloody-credible. Full kudos to writer/director Stewart Thorndike (female) who managed to kickstart the project’s funding and this 65min film is the start of three horror films. The next is a movie about a haunted TED talk, I am in! Can you name the last female director to make a horror film? We need more! And the coolest thing Thorndike did, besides casting Hoffmann, while the movie has a lesbian couple as the lead characters, this film isn’t about lesbians in anyway, they are just the characters in the story. I bloody loved that – always wondered if we could have a gay horror movie, gay thrillers, gay action movie that wasn’t about being gay, coming out, coming to terms with desires, or being a gay activist, love those movies but gays are just people with different tastes in the old “in out,” why can’t they do more in movies!!

 

LYLE MOVIE IMAGE
LYLE | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | LEAH (GABY HOFFMANN) RUNS DOWN THE STREET IN DESPERATION

 

The other element that totally owned and scores a clap from me was the cinematography, it is bloody brilliant, it needs awards and adds a beautiful suburban realism and tone to the film, it is lensed by Grant Greenberg, who has only shot short films and one TV episode, he is going to go so far!!

The ending is sublime, the tension and paranoia of the movie build to an incredible crescendo, the movie could have built that tension more and pushed Leah’s paranoia to near psychosis but when the climax was occurring I was holding my breath and stretched like a piano wire, just how the score was playing.

Loved the movie and cannot wait for the next movie from Thorndike, PUTNEY, the Ted Talk horror and good news – it met its Kickstarter target and is in production.

 

4 Pops