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Under the Silver Lake: Your Mind Shall Never Escape Silver Lake Grade: B

Updated: May 1, 2019

Source: IMDB


On March of 2018, a new A24 trailer released for the new David Robert Mitchell film Under the Silver Lake. It caught many fans of A24 and fans of film attention, as this mysterious mystery film looked cool as we all couldn’t wait to see it in theaters... Then a year has gone by as it gets released on V.O.D.... I’m disappointed as anybody to be honest, all the pushbacks and delays made me pretty sad, so of course we all deserve a full written review, let’s get to it. Under the Silver Lake tells a story of a man near Hollywood Sam (Andrew Garfield), recently spotting a beautiful woman by his apartment poolside. After the same woman telling Sam she’ll meet him around noon tomorrow... Her entire apartment the next day was empty, as she moved out, but somebody left some hidden clues on perhaps where to find her. Here’s an original old fashioned mystery film, as we put our brains to work as we crack the codes and hidden messages to find the whereabouts of Sam’s missing girl. The Cinematography was pretty damn good, the film looks absolutely fabulous when it comes from a color pallet standpoint and especially the set pieces. The many places Sam goes to find this woman was a trip, whether it be apartment building, little houses, little mansions, or under ground tunnels... There all enjoyable to look at. The Score was lovely, from a composed Score to a well put together soundtrack. The cast I thought was pretty good. Andrew Garfield has been on fire lately these last few roles, as he puts on another great performance as Sam. He’s a fun character, finding this girl he barely knows gives him some kind of purpose in life, because to be honest he’s a bum. He’s not working on anything, behind his rent, as this is where his intelligence can be put into good use, I had a blast cracking codes and hidden messages with this character. There’s a lot of interesting characters in this film, whether it be the sex working actresses with the pirate, the Hobo King, the topless next door neighbor with the parrot, that one street corner hobo delivering that hilarious scene, the writer for Under the Silver Lake zines... I can name so many good characters, they were fun. Now David Robert Mitchell got his name known for an indie horror film It Follows, to me it was just ok as the horror concept was good on paper, but how it was executed felt a bit silly for my taste. You can tell David is one of those directors, whom is going to give you something completely different within each new film he makes. I enjoyed this film more than It Follows, but Under the Silver Lake is a film where you perhaps can be very conflicted with after viewing it. On one hand: You have a solid mystery story, it keeps the viewer interested from start to finish, no matter how bizarre it gets, you’re always interested. I enjoyed the cracking codes portion very much, the hidden messages between song lyrics were absolutely enjoyable. I loved the black and white 2-D animation in the Under the Silver Lake zines, very creative stuff. The dog killer side I found it to be purposeful, because it adds something to the mystery story. Could it be the dog killer that possibly murdered Sam’s little friend?! Solid comedy material, there’s some good funny moments. I also thought some of the horror and violence sequences in this film was well executed, as I do say it would’ve made It Follows a better film, if they just adapted that shadow man from this film to It Follows. At times the dialogue was very clever with it’s hidden messages, about purpose and Hollywood in general. So here comes where Under the Silver Lake makes me a tad frustrated as a viewer: A good portion of the film sometimes doesn’t make sense or some things that literally don’t add up. This film can be completely bizarre and weird, where it can literally take the viewer out of the film, as you’re contemplating “What the hell was that all about?!” There’s quite a few moments, especially the under ground tunnel portion, where it doesn’t really make much sense at all. It left me confused, where it’s not so intriguing, but it’s so bizarre but for no apparent logical reason, as weird unusual occurrences just happen. That’s where I’m mostly conflicted about this film, because just unusual bizarre weird shit that happens out of nowhere, where it takes me out of the film, it was a bit much at certain points. There’s a scene where Sam imagines his little friend, near the pool naked, as she delivers this silly bark... It looked so bad to me. One unintentional funny moment, regarding Sam’s dream sequence where it involves the dog killer, it was executed fine but I couldn’t help but laughed. Over time, ive come to realize that Under the Silver Lake is a gem, this film is going to stay in your mind for a long period of time, because it’s such a conflicting film, yet it’s so fascinating from a mystery story to the hidden themes and messages that this film is trying to say. Overall, I‘ve come to like Under the Silver Lake a lot, despite how conflicted I am about this film, it is definitely a joyous experience. I recommend this film, but let me just say: It’s not for everyone, you’re either going to enjoy it or flat out hate it, I’m just warning you now. I’m disappointed this didn’t make it to theaters, definitely a theater like experience for sure. I conclude this review, with a brilliant quote from the film “We crave mystery because there’s none left.” - Mitch Smietana


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