Director by Jay Lee
“What controls you?”
Christmas came early this year with receipt of a promo screener DVD for director Jay Lee’s (Zombie Strippers) Alyce from Social Construct and Scream HQ. Also written by Jay Lee, Alyce is a diamond in the rough compared to many entries in the genre recently, having a good story, some great performances and a female psychopath leading the way in all its wholesome goriness.
Alyce (Jade Dornfeld) is a reclusive woman in a dead end data entry job who decides to spend an evening out with her friend Carroll (Tamara Feldman). The ladies head out to the local club, where they meet up with Carroll’s boyfriend only to find out that he has been cheating on her with one of their “old friends”. In order to help Carroll cope with this discovery, the ladies get drunk and take some ecstasy before deciding to hang out on the roof of Alyce’s apartment building. Too much fooling around leads to disaster when Alyce accidentally bumps Carroll off the roof, six stories down to the street below. To her surprise, however, Carroll does not perish from the fall.
The events following begin to play out as a ghost story of sorts as Alyce is plagued by guilt and begins seeing things. Alyce decides her only alternative is to stay high to deal with her depression and seeks out the same drug dealer she and Carroll bought the ecstasy from that caused all of this havoc in the first place. She goes as far as exchanging lewd sexual favors to get the various drugs she needs to escape this nightmare. Her plan fails when she finally loses everything, including her sanity. Seeing her world spiraling down around her, she regains control… but not just of herself. Getting to this point of absolution can be a bit tedious as some things seem to drag a bit as we already know something bad is going to happen if Alyce doesn’t soon get a grip. Patience here is a virtue, and it definitely pays off.
Jade Dornfeld is nothing less than stupendous as Alyce in every aspect of the role from caring friend to raging lunatic. She is even comedic at times without any effort on her part, especially when it comes to corpse disposal. Not to mention she is an expert at masturbation, ranking up there with Cécile de France in High Tension. It needs to also be mentioned that Eddie Rouse as Rex the drug dealer is genius and as prolific as anyone could have been in his place. There are of course some supporting roles that could have been better, but certainly this is forgivable, likely due to budgetary constraints. This shortcoming does not have a negative effect on the flow of the story. It is very nice to see some well done practical effects, a blessing considering all the CGI-laden features in recent history.
All in all Lee does a great job constructing a tale that any gorehound can sink his/her teeth into. Aside from a few characters lacking depth and experience, a slightly slow pace to kick things off and a few plot holes here and there, we have a great story and a good film in the grand scheme of things. Strong acting and nice effects make this something all lovers of the genre can appreciate. I would definitely recommend watching once there is some definite distro lined up. Hell, if you watch it for nothing else, watch for the masturbation scene… HOT!!!!
Unfortunately this promo DVD had no extras, only the feature and the inclusion of Greek subtitles.