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What They Say

USA 2011
produced by
Heather Dorff, Willy Adkins, Chris Villafano, Matthew Zivkovic (executive), Hakan Yildiz (executive), Gerald Fleming (executive), Erik Chambers (executive) for Serenity Pictures, Spook Show Entertainment, Blue in Black Entertainment, Fathead Films
directed by Justin R. Romine
starring Heather Dorff, Kelsey Zukowski, Tina Renée Grace, Kitsie Duncan, Bess Austin, Dave Juehring, Tyler Klunick, Jolene M. Aldus, Tessa Newman, Charlize Anita Bowers, Gerald Fleming, Bernadette Lords, Colleen McDermott, Jill Meyer, Michelle Jacobson
story by Heather Dorff, screenplay by Heather Dorff, Kelsey Zukowski, music by Michael X.Christian, special makeup effects by Joseph Mistretta, visual effects by Radek Michalik


review by
Mike Haberfelner

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She (Heather Dorff) seems to have everything: She's a privileged girl from a wealthy family, she's a honor student, and actually a talented writer too. Everybody envies her while her self-obsessed mother (Kitsie Duncan) has her whole life mapped out for her. Sure, momma's little Miss Perfect might have some ideas of her own about her future, but for mom that's just a phase, eventually the girl will come to her senses and live exactly the life expected from her.

And does the envy of the others, from her obnoxious sister (Kelsey Zukowski) down, actually hurt, envy that eventually leads to bullying and mobbing? What nonsense!? Envy shows you have actually achieved something ... right?

Well, our little Miss Perfect has long turned her back on the life she's supposed to live, at least mentally, and she has started to listen to the voices inside her head (which she dubs her demons), voices that tells her all sort of violent solutions to simple problems - which though remain in  our heroine's fantasy ... at least for the time being. The only place she finds solace though is in the bathtub, a place she loves, because here she can slit her wrists until they bleed without anyone noticing ... well, at least for now ...


What They Say is a film as gruesome and depressing as it is powerful and compelling. As a whole, it's not so much a narrative film or a genre film but a moodpiece - about a "perfect life" gone wrong, about inner emigration and the refusal to live up to others' expectations, something weirdly enough I believe everybody can to some degree identify with (even if you're not into cutting yourself until you bleed - and who is?) ... and if you can't, maybe you haven't lived yet ...

However, if all this sounds lofty, What They Say is not a heavy-handed message film but relies more on atmosphere (accentuated by sudden shocks) to bring its point home rather subtly, helped also by a hauntingly accurate performance by the film's writer Heather Dorff.

In all, totally recommended ... but you might not want to watch it when depressed.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
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cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
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from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
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the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


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