The Moth Diaries is a whole lot of eerie atmosphere and latent lesbian urges between these girl school mates, and a lot of potentially cool but ultimately unsatisfying events.
When a film is only in “limited release”, I have to wonder if it’s a good or a bad thing. Are you just testing the waters in a couple cities, or are you trying to create a buzz to get more people to see it when it gets a full release? Question here is, will it get a full release after the limited one? I suppose it could, if you can get all the teenage girls with romanticized vampire longings to see it. Unfortunately it’s rated R, so you can’t get all the ‘tweens to see it without putting a parent through it.
Rebecca and Lucie are the bestest of friends. When Ernessa arrives at their all-girl boarding school and latches onto Lucie, Rebecca becomes suspicious of her. But is it just her jealously or is there something truly not right about Ernessa?
The Moth Diaries is a whole lot of eerie atmosphere and latent lesbian urges between these girl school mates , and a lot of potentially cool but ultimately unsatisfying events. There’s some only Ok acting from pretty much everyone except Lily Cole who plays Ernessa, the focus of Rebecca’s suspicions. Yeah, she thinks she may be a vampire, with her strange, nearly unchanging gaze, other than to smile slightly when saying weird and creepy things. And seeing as she has suddenly started taking up all of Rebecca’s best friends time, well why wouldn’t you be suspicious?
The trouble here is tat the problems outweigh the good things. I like the mood, the Ernessa character, and the occasional attempt to get darker and more dangerous. What i don’t like is that The Moth Diaries never really crosses the line into actual horror. Ok, in one or two scenes, but it’s few high points in an otherwise fairly uneventful film. I’m also not crazy about casting Scott Speedman as the only male teacher – of romantic literature, no less. Well, I’m not crazy about him being cast anywhere, really.
There are lots of things we’ve seen before, like as Rebecca tries to tell ANYONE her suspicions about Ernessa having some control over Lucie, no one believes her. but it’s the way they wrote some of the dialogue that’s so lame. It’s somewhat poorly contrived and trite. The film seems to have some good ideas that never really amount to anything. Rebecca sees Ernessa doing things, like drifting through a window, or floating in the air, but we never really get any confirmation that it actually happened. Rebecca herself isn’t even sure. So nothing ever seems like it really occurred. And that’s fine, if you build on that and play to it, but no one ever does. So we’re left not knowing what the writer or director is trying to do.
Speaking of directors, The Moth Diaries is done by Mary Harron, who directed I Shot Andy Warhol and American Psycho. Yeah, you’d think there would be something better to come of this book adaptation, wouldn’t you? I feel like this material wasn’t handled right somehow. The whole movie has this eerie tone, which again, is fine. But it never pushes into real horror, no real threat, and we never really get the impression that Rebecca is truly right, or if we’re supposed to just wonder. And then the end is definitive, but we’re left not really caring. I can think of at least one way the end might have had more impact.
I can think of a way to make this movie better: rewrite it. Too much unfulfilled promise here with The Moth Diaries. Two kittenhands is all I can muster. Go see The Cabin in the Woods instead.
~ Neil T. Weakley, your average movie-goer. Yeah, that’s it. I’m going to Vegas.