Holy crap Dorothy Mills is a scary lookin’ chick.
That being said, it makes me a little sad to think that Dorothy Mills, which actually was filmed in Dublin, went straight to DVD here in the States. Even a limited theatrical release would have helped this excellent character-driven supernatural thriller find the audience it deserved.
More after the jump…
Dorothy Mills is actually primarily a story about Jane, a psychiatrist who reads an article about the titular character and decides to go to the island where Mills lives to examine her and see if she should be committed or jailed. See, Dorothy was babysitting for a couple on the island (given her history, I’m kind of surprised they’d even ask her) and ended up attacking the baby with its bottle. She’s been in custody of her aunt, but there’s something definitely wrong with this town. Jane isn’t there more than five minutes before she’s driven off of the road by a band of drunken teens driving carelessly. It isn’t long before it’s discovered that Dorothy appears to have multiple personalities, and the trick is finding out which one hurt the baby, and why.
While this is happening, Jane keeps having all sorts of weird occurences happening to her – she hears guitar playing from the room above hers at the inn, she sees a band of teens outside her window at night…but she’s the only one who witnesses both. There’s definitely something wrong with the island, and Dorothy’s condition seems to be indicative of some much larger issues.
On a side note, it’s pretty funny that Irish people drink Corona. Guess some of the Irish do have bad taste in beer.
The actress who plays Dorothy Mills, Jenn Murray, does a fantastic job in this film. I’ve never seen her before (her IMDB listing only shows one other credit), but I can’t help but think we’ll definitely see her again. Switching from personality to personality, in one scene she can be completely young and innocent (so much so that I thought she was actually much younger), then in the next play an older sexier teen, completely dissappearing into whatever role she takes. Carice Van Houten, who plays Jane, is typically excellent – if you’ve seen her in Valkyrie or Black Book, you know she can act. Still, this film definitely pushes her acting chops.
In addition to the great acting and story, the location shooting for this film in Dublin helps solidify the creepy ambience needed. This is less a horror film than a supernatural thriller, but the creepy mood stays throughout. The supernatural elements of the story, for the majority of the film, are extremely subtle, and, thankfully, because they are so subtle, we don’t have to deal with crappy CGI or lousy special effects. This is entirely a mood and actor-driven piece.
The main issue I have with Dorothy Mills is that certain supernatural elements are introduced and never explained. When that happens, I usually tend to think that some of the stuff was thrown in to pad the running time, or just for added creepiness, but it would have really helped to further incorporate an explanation into the story as to some of the weird stuff that Jane hears during her stay on the island.
In the end though, it’s a small gripe in an otherwise excellent film. Check it out if you get a chance – this film is definitely worth your time!
Besides, don’t we love it when people speak with those Irish accents? So cool.
Paul Awesomeness Score: 8 out of 10
Purchase Dorothy Mills from Amazon.com!