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The Scribbler – 2014 Movie Review

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A young woman struggling with a self destructive multiple personality disorder uses an experimental machine known as ‘The Siamese Burn’ to extricate her numerous identities one by one. However as the process progresses, one of her most dangerous persona wrests control.

Cast: Katie Cassidy, Gina Gershon, Michelle Trachtenberg, Eliza Dushku, Gareth Dillahunt. Director: John Suits. Writer: Dan Schaffer.

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Based upon an original 96 page graphic novel released by Image Comics in 2006, The Scribbler is an unusual and intense ride through the mind of a troubled girl suffering from multiple personality disorder. Katie Cassidy brings the character of Suki to life memorably in an ardently impassioned performance that is a million miles away from her more recent role as Laurel Lance/Black Canary in the CW TV series – Arrow.

The film is a grim and gritty exploration of psychogenics, a fantastic combination of both extreme psychological and physical horror. Like it’s comic book counterpart, the movie succeeds on many levels and the complex tale becomes clearer through multiple viewings, with each successive watch adding even more layers to an already elaborate diegesis.

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Scribbler’s visual resplendence reminds me, to some degree, of Zack Snyder’s criminally underrated Sucker Punch in both tone and attitude (though I do believe personally, that Snyder’s movie is absolutely the superior of the two.)  For ultimate enjoyment I highly recommend the Blu Ray version of the film as the transfer quality is astoundingly good, and the film is a tour de force in fantastic visuals. Colours are muted beautifully throughout, which adds an epic and understated feel to the proceedings, in line with it’s original source material.

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Joining alongside Katie Cassidy’s admirable performance are a group of consummate actors who also turn in some rather mesmerising performances, especially the great Gina Gershon, and the always electrifying Eliza Dushku. 

I am committed to keeping this review intentionally vague and short so as not to spoil the film for first time viewers. Like the aforementioned Sucker Punch, Scribbler has been plagued with some unfortunately scathing reviews, which does make me wonder to some degree whether the professional reviewers who marked it down really understood the direction and depth of the the original comic book, as this film is a fantastic rendition of it’s source material.

The Scribbler really is more than the sum of it’s parts, with each consecutive viewing really drawing you into it’s darkly disturbing world. Beautiful to behold, solidly acted and appropriately disquieting and perplexing… why not get drawn in by The Scribbler.

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