IFC Films

On Demand Weekly provides new movie reviews of movies on demand from the POV of watching from the comfort of your home. Today’s review: THE MYTH OF THE AMERICAN SLEEPOVER (IFC Films).


By Amy Slotnick


Director David Mitchell’s debut feature film explores the familiar landscape of a summer spent in suburbia, when community pools, bike riding and sleepovers dominate the life of the American teen. In THE MYTH OF THE AMERICAN SLEEPOVER, Mitchell’s characters exist in a non-descript time period, in which cell phones, texting and online anything is avoided. This helps to make the lazy, long days of the non-working teen, waiting for high school to start, seem almost mythic.


Films such as AMERICAN GRAFFITI and DAZED AND CONFUSED are clear influences, but unlike those films, Mitchell avoids any strong plot devices to drive the narrative. Instead the film recalls familiar feelings and a mood to which many can relate.

Four main storylines play out simultaneously on one long, hot day at the end of summer in a generic, mid-western suburb. Adults are absent and it seems like every kid in the town is heading to a sleepover party. But the characters each have their own motives for the night, none of which involve sleeping.


Maggie (Claire Sloma) likes the lifeguard at the town pool, but also wants the burn out kid to like her. She and her sidekick friend ditch the sleepover and head on their bikes to a party by the lake, to find the boys, drink beer and go for a late night swim.

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THE MOTH DIARIES - Vampires, Boarding School StyleMarch 21, 2012

IFC Films

On Demand Weekly provides new movie reviews of hot movies on demand and from the POV of watching from the comfort of your home. Today’s review: THE MOTH DIARIES (IFC Films).



By Sky McCarthy


Since the explosive success of vampire culture brought on by the TWILIGHT phenomenon, you may think you’ve seen it all. Vampires seem to be everywhere today but THE MOTH DIARIES explores a new side of the teen horror genre that is more subtle and perhaps more powerful than gnashing fangs and battles with werewolves. Director Mary Harron (AMERICAN PSYCHO) takes viewers into the world of an exclusive all-girls boarding school where the dynamics of adolescent female friendship are pushed to the brink of destruction.

Rebecca (Sarah Bolger) is returning to Brangwyn College after losing her father to a tragic suicide. While her depression is not evident in every scene, Rebecca is deeply consumed by the incident. Her best friend is Lucy (Sarah Gadon), an ethereally beautiful and athletic companion who represents the girl everyone wants to be. While Lucy and Rebecca share an intimate closeness, it is clear that Rebecca has developed a dependence on Lucy to fill the void left in the wake of her fractured family life.


The girls share a close circle of friends who gossip about boys and occasionally party after “lights-out” in their dorms. But when a dark and somewhat cryptic new classmate, Ernessa (Lily Cole), enrolls at Brangwyn, mysterious events threaten to crack even the closest relationships. At first sight, Ernessa takes an intense and obsessive liking to Lucy and, as they become closer, Rebecca feels cast aside.


As her worst insecurities come out, Rebecca begins to suspect that Ernessa is behind the strange new occurrences but friends cast her suspicions aside as jealousy. With clever storytelling ability, Harron taps into the audiences’ potential doubts as well. We know Ernessa is creepy but, like Rebecca, we are never witness to any of her evil doing. It is later revealed that Ernessa also lost her father to a suicide and the similarities in their lives continue to haunt Rebecca’s dreams. The line between reality and imagination become increasingly blurred as Rebecca’s obsession with catching her new enemy magnifies.

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