One can’t help but become wrapped up in the psychodrama and real life horror that unfolds in BELLFLOWER. This isn’t necessarily a film about the end of the world, exactly; the main characters do worship THE ROAD WARRIOR (specifically the muscle bound villain, Humongous), and prepare for the end of the world by building a flamethrower and wrenching up a muscle car. But at its center, BELLFLOWER exemplifies that feeling that the world is ending when one suffers from a broken heart.
The film starts out innocently enough. A pair of hipsters reminisce about the loss of one of their girlfriends. Choosing to focus on hypothetical scenarios of what they would do when the world ends, Woodrow (Evan Glodell) convinces his buddy Tyler Dawson to go out for a night of drinks to forget his woes. There he meets a plucky young sprite named Milly played by the girl next door cutie Jessie Wiseman. Woodrow and Milly immediately hit it off, take an impromptu trip to Texas, and come the halfway point of BELLFLOWER, I was wondering why I was watching this for review for AICN HORROR.
Then, all of a sudden, shit gets dark. Really, really fucking dark.
I don’t want to necessarily reveal any major spoilers for this film other than the fact that fans of horror should be patient with this one. The events that occur in the last half of the film are not only grueling, but they are also all the more difficult to sit through because this is drama that can and does actually occur. The final moments of BELLFLOWER play out like a drug induced dream where you’ll end up questioning what actually happened and what didn’t. It’s not a film that offers easy answers to what happens when one suffers from a break up or why folks do the things they do when extreme emotion is involved. But if you’re feeling down and your life is getting more and more similar to an old country song, BELLFLOWER is a film that will cure you from that broken heart by showing the absolute worse case scenario and leaving you thinking, “Well, at least I’m not that guy…”
Though the conversations held between the lead actors may make you bonk your head a few times as most of the cast’s back and forthings make Bill and Ted seem like valedictorians, it is representational of many a conversation I’ve overheard between the unwashed masses. Director/actor Evan Glodell is a talented guy. Using washed out scenes of normalcy, one might be fooled that this film is actually taking place at the end of the world. BELLFOWER’s story flame-blasts the heart. And though the main characters may be a bit dim, the ups and downs of life that happens around them is palpable, touching, and gut-wrenching all at once.