As we, at the Filmtransition, want to represent the cinema of the 2010s and give our readers a broader and clearer insight, it is only normal that we should also let you have a look at films you probably haven’t even heard about, let alone have seen. A list of films rather unknown, but not less interesting, often – if not always – independently made on a low budget by a director, or directors in the case of Entrance who try to put their own personal vision – at least if they have one – onto the screen. The Filmtransition would like to share with you these lovely pieces of cinema in its truest form and by doing this we hope to surprise you and not be too obvious in our choice of films.
But now, let’s go over to our review.
Entrance is an American independent film from 2012, especially interesting because of its fascinating blend of genres, mixing mumblecore with horror and European arthouse. It starts out as a calm and observant film. We follow a woman called Suziey who shares an apartment in LA with her friend Karen. She works at a bar and has a dog. We see her in her everyday life, as she doesn’t do anything really interesting (not one single thing you would remember after seeing the movie) and gets kind of lost in her own boring routine. She doesn’t seem to have many friends and it’s sad to see her interact with her dog, almost her dearest companion. A companion she sadly loses later in the film as the dog mysteriously disappears.
She can’t quite connect with others and not surprisingly, one of her encounters with a date leads up to a most unromantic sex scene. The next morning, her one night stand tries to sneak away from the house, but gets caught by her at the last minute. For a moment, they just stare at each other and then, after mumbling something about not knowing how to deal with an awkward situation like this, the guy just says sorry and leaves. No reaction from her. A perfect example of her own lack of empathy and that of others, seen through her eyes. Warmth is definitely not something to look for in this film.
The film’s major themes of isolation and loneliness in the big city get highlighted by putting the camera often very close to Suziey. The filmmaking duo, Hallam & Horvath, mentioned the influence the Dardenne brothers (Rosetta, 1999) had on them. Very logical, it seems. But other than that, Entrance also feels very “Mumblecorian” and influences of psychological thrillers by the great Roman Polanski (Rosemary’s Baby, 1968) and Dario Argento (Suspiria, 1977) are also cited. Partly because this film is not just what it seems at first. After some time, things start to get somewhat ambiguous. Her roommate leaves on a trip to San Francisco with her boyfriend and Suziey is left alone in the house for a while. Quickly, you start noticing she’s not very normal and that there are certain things wrong with her. When alone in the house, she starts hearing weird sounds, when walking on the street, she gets the sense of being followed by a car. Is this all real or is she just imagining these thing and becoming paranoid?
As in Polanski’s great psychological horror film Repulsion (1965) with a young Catherine Deneuve, you get the feeling the film will become more and more surreal and close to insanity. But that’s not quite how Entrance evolves. When her roommate gets back from her trip, Suizey tells her she plans on leaving LA due to her unhappiness. They throw a small goodbye party for some friends. A beginning of a nightmare. As the first 50 minutes were mostly uneventful (apart from some mysterious scenes involving Suziey’s assumed paranoia), the last 30 were one of the more horrifying things I saw in film. As I don’t want to spoil your film experience, I’ll only say that Suziey wasn’t as paranoid as I thought.
A nice movie overall, but never did it really hold my breath (apart maybe from the really good last act) and it never even comes close to the best works of the directors Entrance is influenced by, but it sure makes for a pleasant film night.