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THE GIANT (2020)
Directed by David Raboy
Written by David Raboy
Starring Odessa Young, Ben Schnetzer, Jack Kilmer, Madelyn Cline, Danny Ramirez, P.J. Marshall, Samantha Binkerd, Nicholas Cirillo, Ezekiel Ajeigbe, Taylor Hanks, Ashley Shelton, Julia Reilly, Cathay Raboy
Recently graduating from high school, Charlotte (Odessa Young) should be on top of the world. But instead, she is burdened with the memories of her mother’s suicide one year ago and the loss of her boyfriend Joe (Ben Schnetzer) who disappeared after news of the suicide hit. Now a year later, the small country town is in an uproar when the body of a young girl is found along the side of the road, and when another girl is found murdered, it seems there is a serial killer on the loose. To add to the mix, Joe pops back up into town, flooding Charlotte with mixed emotions and suspicions that Joe’s return signals doom for her and her friends.
Oh my god, THE GIANT is a painful watch. Every scene oozes with emo-teen pretention. This hour and thirty-nine minute film feels double its length because of how slow the cast moves and speaks. Cigarettes are smoked slowly while people gaze out into the darkness. A walk across a room takes forever. Words turd out of the mouths of this young cast that have barely enough energy to stay vertical. This film drones on, hoping to come off as deep, but never achieving it. Apparently, THE GIANT is supposed to occur somewhere in between Charlotte’s dreams and her reality, rarely indicating when that shift occurs. The sleepy speak gets progressively slower as the film goes on and there might be some hidden meaning, but filmmaker David Raboy fails to make a film worth paying attention to so we can care.
He also forgets to give this film any semblance of a plot. There is some kind of impending doom coming on the horizon. Charlotte calls it The Giant and occasionally we are shown a shadow in the clouds or the movement of trees that symbolically indicate something big is coming. If there had been some kind of big payoff to all of this listless shambling about, THE GIANT might have redeemed itself. The final moments, though, lead up to a non-ending that makes you wonder why the hell you wasted so much time watching.
Films aren’t supposed to be an endurance test, but that’s what THE GIANT turns out to be. Raboy’s cinematography is nice when he isn’t too close to the actors, capturing images that are barely lit and visible, or aimlessly drifting the camera off target as if the filmmaker himself dozed off. THE GIANT wants to be deep. But it turns out to be the film equivalent of the douchebag who brings his guitar to the party just waiting for someone to ask him to play. All of it feels like fluff on a cracker made of pure pretention. Don’t see this film. It’s going to infuriate and bore you all at once.