Sort of a Zombie Movie, Totally Genuine: Make-Out With Violence


The product of a genuinely unique sensibility, the sort-of-zombie-movie Make-Out With Violence is inventive without being twee, quirky without being overly Wes Anderson, and suffused with a late-adolescent sense of longing as palpably felt as it is understated. Not an easy balance to achieve, especially in a tale of the undead—or, rather, half-dead—but film collective “The Deagol Brothers” effortlessly mix moods and modes, evoking brilliant adolescent summers with amped-up colors alongside morbid teenage imaginings, alternating between a muted melancholy and a muted sense of humor, sometimes achieving both at once. Over the course of a summer in small-town America, twin brothers Carol and Patrick Darling (Cody DeVos and Eric Lehning) pursue a pair of best friends. While Carol’s potential love mate has her eye on another boy, Patrick has got more serious problems: His crush, after mysteriously disappearing one day, is later found in some strange supernatural state between tentative life and living death. Nursing this waif in an empty house, remaking her in her former image, Patrick becomes obsessed, living out his romantic fantasies through the semi-animate creature, an act that, true to their penchant for ambiguity, the filmmakers understand as both gut-turningly creepy and genuine, if misplaced, yearning.

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