DVD Review: The Wait

STUDIO: Monterey | DIRECTOR: M. Blash | CAST: Chloe Sevigny, Jena Malone, Luke Grimes, Michael O’Keefe, Josh Hamilton, Devon Gearhart
DVD RELEASE DATE: 2/25/2014 | PRICE: DVD $26.95
BONUSES: none
SPECS: R | 96 min. | Thriller | widescreen | stereo

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

 

Writer/director M Blash’s The Wait is an odd, odd film. While Cronenberg’s Naked Lunch and Lynch’s Blue Velvet come to mind as seemingly-bizarre films taking you off the beaten path, there is method to their madness; a solid vision and clear focus unveils itself throughout those narratives, expressing something very real and tangible within the nonlinear and abstract.

The Wait movie scene

Jean Malone (l.) and Chloe Sevigny in The Wait.

Not so much with The Wait, a film about two sisters waiting for their recently deceased mother to return. Well, one of them, Emma (Chloe Sevigny, Mr. Nice) is waiting, thanks to a phone call she received from a psychic stranger who assures her mom isn’t dead for good. Emma stubbornly refuses to bury the body in case it comes back to life, but sister Angela (Jena Malone, Sucker Punch) is understandably against this idea, choosing instead to spend most of the film getting drunk with a local pretty boy (Luke Grimes, TV’s True Blood) she just met. That’s more-or-less the entire plot, save for the teen angst wanderings of Emma’s confused children, an ongoing fire the town can’t seem to quench, and lots of scenes involving people in the woods looking up at the sky.

Is there a point to all of this madness? It doesn’t seem that way- characters deliver lines out of the blue with no discernible context; scenes follow other scenes in what could easily have been a randomly shuffled order. The film is marketed as a suspenseful thriller, but there’s nothing really suspenseful or thrilling anywhere in the film. From a traditional point of view, it’s kind of a waste of time.

The Wait movie scene

Jena Malone and Devon Gearhart (r.) in The Wait.

Except there are enough interesting details sprinkled throughout to warrant some attention. The two leads are always captivating, despite the stilted dialogue, and some scenes, like when Emma tries to get her younger brother Ian (Devon Gearheart) to watch a graphic video of his own birth that leaves nothing to the imagination, are definitely memorable. There’s enough in the film to hint at the director’s genuine ability to burrow into your memory, but there are also enough pointless scenes to counter those flashes of brilliance- leading one to hope that The Wait is more of a practice run for a future cinematic gem M Blash has yet to conceive.

Those who enjoy the journey rather than the goal will appreciate The Wait‘s attempt at breaking conventional narrative, those with less patience will shake their fist at this purposely-cloudy film which is pretty at times, and pretty boring at others. The three deleted scenes on the DVD are interesting in that they are just as random as anything left in the film, begging the question, “Why these?”

 

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About Memo

Memo Salazar attempts many things and accomplishes few. His big three are making films, music, and comics, but he'll throw photography, graphic design and film criticism into the ring for good measure. He'll even make you a hand-painted t-shirt if you ask nicely. You can track his activity here when there's nothing else to do at work.