Pregnancy is a time that’s full of possibility. Full of joy and suffering in nearly equal measures–at least, from what I’ve heard–it’s hard to imagine what might happen when it’s suddenly taken away. That’s the question that “Proxy” will pose, and our friends out at IFC sent over a copy for us to review. This one won’t come out until August 12, but it’s going to be quite a staggering affair when it does.
“Proxy” follows Esther Woodhouse, a woman about to give birth. She’s in the last month of her pregnancy, and looking forward to resolution on some of those possibilities noted previously. But Esther one night finds herself attacked from out of nowhere, and the attack costs her her baby’s life. Running low on options, Esther joins a support group where she meets Melanie, a woman who has herself lost a baby, this time to a drunk driver. But there’s more to both Esther and Melanie’s stories than is known at first, and the farther along we go with these two, the more we discover that each is keeping more quiet than ever was expected. Worse, another act of violence will shake the duo up, and we find out that, for these two, there may not be recovery afoot for either again.
IFC has done an absolutely fantastic job of horror in the past, producing some truly scary material. And one thing that it’s hard to say about “Proxy” is that, in a lot of ways, the first five minutes are easily the scariest I’ve seen in some time. It’s not a jump scare sort of affair, but I’ll tell you this; the implications of what you’re watching should just pop some eyes right open that this kind of thing could actually happen. Plausibility has always been one of the scariest things that horror can use; it’s hard to get too scared over the gigantic sociopath in the hockey mask, but the guy and two girls in the masks that stalked you and your ex-fiancee because you were home that night, well, that’s a different matter altogether.
“Proxy” does a surprising job of reminding me of other movies. Esther reminds me of Angela Bettis in “May.” The relationship between Esther and Melanie has odd shades of “Thelma and Louise” going on in it. Then about a half hour in, the whole thing starts to go wildly off the rails into strange dimensions that don’t make a whole lot of sense. “Proxy” is trying to do quite a bit here, and a large portion of it won’t make sense for a goodish while. Thankfully, a fairly good chunk of it does get explained, but the resolution is oddly lacking; it took a lot to get anything out of this movie, and what I got does not feel at all worth the effort it took to get it. I admit, it does do a reasonably sound job of things–a really good twist at the end–but it took two hours of weirdness to get to this point, two hours that some may not want to cross.
Special features include a behind the scenes featurette, a set of making-of featurettes, a set of cast interviews, your choice of English or Spanish subtitles, and a trailer for “Proxy.”
“Proxy” takes a whole lot of time to deliver one rather exciting key twist. For those that don’t mind turning two hours into five minutes of awesome, you’ll be well-received here. For those who do, well, you know to stay well away from this movie were effort does not equal payoffs.