Quick-Thoughts: Her Smell

Her Smell is disgusting. The directing is so claustrophobic and very reminiscent of the Safdie Brothers. Most of the motion picture is one unsettling reign on what it must be like to revere sin in the light of fame. The sound design and score are hair-raising and dig profoundly under the viewer’s skin. Alex Ross Perry’s feature-film is a satanically spiritual movie that successfully attempts to make its audience feel as if they are possessed, undergoing an exorcism in a studio or on the stage of a crowd full of punk-rock fans. 

Elisabeth Moss convinced me that she was the female, more demented version of The Devil. Her character is pure, unadulterated insanity. She exaggerates the psychological toll fame can take on a soul who was ransacked of sanity at an early age—way before the line of a worldwide career breakout. She could destroy Jack Torrance in The Shining with her pinky finger and not break a sweat. Moss’s incarnation is easily one of the most deranged female characters in film history and another performance that will most likely be severely undermined by The Academy.

Also, this movie looks f****** radical. It’s as if the motion picture was filmed on film and then somehow filmed on a second layer of film. Additionally, the mix of the modern-day trend of graphic fluorescent lights not only fit the criminal mood quite adequately, but it added a nice glowing flair to the final product’s cinematography.

Her Smell reeks of disorder. Even if the third act is a bit of a cop-out—in the sense that it mimics a familiar conclusion that we usually see in nonfictional and fictional musical biopics—it still doesn’t take away from the anxious tone that Perry has contrived so perfectly. If I’m being honest, this is probably the most overlooked movie I’ve seen so far in 2019—or 2018, if you’re British or someone who was spoiled by TIFF last year. 

Verdict: B

“Her Smell” is available to stream on Amazon Prime, YouTube, Google Play, and Vudu.

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