GIRL WITH A STRAIGHT RAZOR (2021)
Directed & written by Chris Alexander.
Starring Ali Chappell, Thea Faulds.
A young woman (Ali Chappell) tormented by not being able to see her daughter, relieves her misery by stalking and killing women with a straight razor.
This is another Chris Alexander film, which means it’s art-housey and heavily reliant on setting a mood and communicating an emotion and less interested in telling an easy, mainstream narrative. Alexander definitely channels his inner Giallo for GIRL WITH A STRAIGHT RAZOR in the way his camera captures vivid colors, in the way he uses wonderful retro-synth music, and of course, the use of a straight razor as a weapon of choice. This is a stunning movie to watch and let soak in as Alexander’s camera lingers on closeups of Chappell and punctuates these long takes with scenes of her stalking her victims as they walk alone on the street.
Alexander’s films are not going to be for everyone. There are long moments where he simply lets the camera soak in the scene and the posed people in it. There is also a very simple story being told in a very slow and meticulous manner. Alexander’s films are an experience, not unlike Jess Franco’s lesbian vampire movies of the late sixties and early seventies. While Alexander seems to have moved past the vampire genre (his most notable films BLOOD FOR IRINA, QUEEN OF BLOOD, and BLOOD DYNASTY focused mainly on the female vampire subject matter), he still celebrates the juxtaposition of beauty and death in every film he makes.
With GIRL WITH A STRAIGHT RAZOR, Alexander shows a new talent with capturing that elusive Giallo feel and mixing it with a staged style of shot composition reminiscent of some of Kubrick’s more iconic set pieces. I’ve enjoyed watching Alexander grow as a filmmaker and can’t wait to see what genre and style he takes on next.