Program 19: Bad Girl
Directed by Fin Edquist
This taut thriller will have you on the edge of your seat, heart racing and holding your breath as you take in its unexpected twists and reversals of fortune. Sara West (Ash vs. Evil Dead) stars as the self-professed bad girl Amy Anderson, a teen whose drug use and rebellious acting out have previously landed her in a youth corrections facility. Amy’s adoptive parents (Felicity Price and Benjamin Winspear) have moved from the city to a model home in rural Australia in hopes of keeping Amy clean. All this is much to Amy’s displeasure, but unbeknownst to them, she’s already made plans to run away. When those plans fall apart, local girl Chloe (Samara Weaving) literally pulls her off a bridge railing, and the two become nearly inseparable.
Their friendship seems like an improvement from the outside, but Amy’s innocence is hardly lost as she involves Chloe in stealing a neighbor’s car, and an increasingly tangled web of lies to cover their tracks. The girls begin to share more intimate feelings as Chloe helps Amy search for her birth parents. But Amy soon discovers that sweet-natured Chloe has ulterior motives of her own, and the latter half of the film unfolds in an edgy darkness that only builds in suspense.
Bad Girl is written and directed by Fin Edquist, who despite being known for films geared to a younger audience, skillfully weaves a number of unforeseen turns into his story line. As the characters’ relationships grow more complex and intertwined, we’re treated to a full-bodied thriller and drawn into the subtler themes that leave us with an anxious desire to see them played out.
Bad Girl has all the elements of a well-formed noir thriller. The performances are pitch-perfect and the filming is effective without being overplayed. A strong soundtrack adds to the suspense without being intrusive. We can only hope that Edquist pens and directs a few more of these films while both Weaving and West are sure to be in continued demand.
— Jennifer Morgan
AWARDS & ACCOLADES
- WINNER, Best Long Form Drama – Western Australia Film Awards
- WINNER, Best Sound – Western Australia Film Awards
- WINNER, Best Score – IFC Film Festival
- OFFICIAL SELECTION – Melbourne International Film Festival
- OFFICIAL SELECTION – Busan International Film Festival
- OFFICIAL SELECTION – Queer Screen Mardi Gras Film Festival
- OFFICIAL SELECTION – OUTshine Miami LGBT Film Festival
- OFFICIAL SELECTION – Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film Festival
- OFFICIAL SELECTION – Reeling Chicago LGBTQ Int’l Film Festival