More and more films premiere on Video on Demand — if they don’t simply bypass a theatrical release altogether. Because VOD reviews are often scarce and hard to find, Criticwire created VODetails, a recurring column to help you figure out whether a new VOD release is worth your hard-earned dollar. This time we’re looking at “The Moth Diaries,” a gothic horror drama about the new girl at boarding school, who might be a vampire. OR ISN’T SHE?!? No, seriously, I’m asking you: Is she or isn’t she? I haven’t seen the movie yet.
Director: Mary Harron
Writer: Rachel Klein
Cast: Lily Cole, Sarah Bolger, Scott Speedman
Official Synopsis: “Acclaimed director Mary Harron (‘American Psycho,’ ‘The Notorious Bettie Page’) returns with the chilling story of Rebecca (Sarah Bolger), a young girl who, haunted by her father’s suicide, enrolls in an elite boarding school for girls. Before long, Rebecca’s friendship with the popular Lucy (Sarah Gadon) is shattered by the arrival of a dark and mysterious new student named Ernessa (Lily Cole). Lucy falls under Ernessa’s spell and becomes emotionally and physically consumed by her glamorous new friend. Rebecca, whose overtures of concern are rejected by Lucy, finds herself lost and confused. She begins to develop a crush on her handsome English teacher, Mr. Davies (Scott Speedman) and immerses herself in the Gothic vampire novel ‘Carilla’ for his class. Rebecca starts to suspect that Ernessa is a vampire, but, despite the suspicious deaths that begin to occur, her fears are treated as simple girlish jealousy. As the bodies of young girls pile up and the line between reality and the supernatural starts to blur, Rebecca decides to take matters into her own hands and get rid of Ernessa. Who can say what is real and what is unreal to the heart consumed by passion and a mind afire with loss? Based on the bestselling novel by Rachel Klein, ‘The Moth Diaries’ is a harrowing story of the anxieties, lusts and fears of adolescence.”
“What Herron sexualizes most effectively is her main character’s uncertainty — the phantasmagoric moments all feel like jealous fantasies.”
“Carrying the proceedings effectively enough, Bolger remains an appealing, emotionally persuasive screen presence.”
“The picture can’t decide whether it’s a PG-13 ‘Twilight’ type, or something gorier and sexier.”
Lee Marshall, Screen Daily
“It’s ‘Lesbian Vampire Killers’ rewritten for the Harry Potter market.”
“Suspenseless, uninvolving and underdeveloped, it wastes the talents of an almost entirely distaff cast that deserves much stronger material.”
“The Moth Diaries“ is now available on demand.