The Moth Diaries (2011)

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Director: Mary Harron (female director, whoohoo!) 

Starring: Sarah Bolger, Lily Cole, Sarah Gadon, and Scott Speedman

Let me begin this review with a quote from the movie. Ahem. There are three things in every gothic vampire story:

  • 1. Sex
  • 2. Blood
  • 3. Death

But in this movie there’s a missing element. So I’ll just come out (no pun intended) and write it:

  • 4. Lipstick femmes and implied lesbianism

16yr old Rebecca is a *cough*closeted*cough* student at an all-girl boarding school. She shares a room with Lucy, her “best friend” *cough*girlfriend*cough,* who offers “comfort” in the wake of Rebecca’s father’s suicide. Rebecca makes a habit of joining Lucy in the bathtub and caressing her face (cuz straight girls LOVE sharing intimate bubble baths together.) They even have an “out” token lesbian friend named Charlie who they hang out with, too. Yup.  Everything in Rebecca’s sapphic utopia is cool until a new girl, Ernessa, shows up on campus.

Rebecca becomes troubled *cough*jealous*cough* when Lucy and Ernessa develop an unnatural friendship *cough*havingsex*cough. Mmmhmm there’s a love scene between the two girls. And menses. Mattress. Staining. Menses. I was half-expecting to see gory muff-diving stuff, but thankfully the movie didn’t go there. Rebecca is convinced Ernessa is a vampire. Ernessa walks through glass. She pops up everywhere in Rebecca’s wet dreams. And the girl has a rotten scent and never seems to eat at the cafeteria.

Rebecca goes so far as to burn her rival in a coffin. But you stopped paying attention once I wrote “lesbian love scene” right?  Let’s be honest. We’re here for the thinly veiled girl-on-girl stuff. Yes? OK? Good. I’m not the only one.

“The Moth Diaries” is long, predictable, and maudlin at times. The actress who plays Rebecca isn’t very convincing, and there’s not much horror here, either. What this movie has a lot of are perky femmes, meta gothic theory and…um…yeah. That’s about it. The plot is a hot mess. The ending doesn’t even make sense. But I’m giving it a “C.” I can see where the director meant to go, but there were too many derailments along the way to give this movie the bite it needed (pun intended.) I recommend this movie for folks who enjoy underaged schoolgirl fantasy flicks. And weird closeted lesbianism. Sigh.

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Stewart Granger in “Blanche Fury”

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http://images.moviepostershop.com/blanche-fury-movie-poster-1948-1020688878.jpg

Don’t you just love these old timey, black-n-white flicks? The breathlessness. The melodrama. The lusty screams of terror. Can’t get enough of it. I’m also a sucker for Stewart Granger. That man can cock his brow like a boss. (Not convinced? Behold. The panty-creaming eyebrow raise)

Just got hot in here, didn’t it? 

Marc Allegret directed this British film. Valerie Hobson plays the title roll, Blanche Fury, opposite of Stewart Granger.  The cinematography is modern for its time, which is impressive. The acting is phenomenal and (since the movie is based on a book) the plot sweeps across the screen in epic glory.  “Blanche Fury” is less a horror and more of a crime-drama or gothic romance. It has the same appeal as a Brontë novel; scowling Byronic heroes and strong-willed heroines.

Blanche Fury is the cruel and ambitious woman, who, once employed as a governess at a mansion, quickly makes the moves on the nearest heir so to marry into wealth. She mistakes Philip (Stewart Granger) as the heir, when in fact he is only the heir’s bastard son. Philip admires Blanche’s cunning. He is a disgrace to the family, which is why he is forced to work in the stables without any money. Predictably, Blanche and Philip fall madly in love and carry an affair long after she marries her Sugar Daddy. However, the closer Blanche comes to inheriting the family’s wealth, the more resentful and unhinged Philip becomes. Eventually he goes insane and murders Blanche’s husband and attempts to murder their child.

I liked this movie a lot. And yes, I’ll shamefully admit it was a lot like watching a soap opera, but hey, I dig psychopathic heroes and infanticide. I recommend “Blanche Fury” for fans of moody cinema and classic, black-n-white film. Granger’s insanely hot eyebrow raise bumps the grade to a B+