Reviewd by Melissa Bostaph
Starring Christina Rosenbergh, Lindsey Leino, Lucia Sullivan, Jeff Zukowski, Wendy Dominguez, John Overgaaun
Directed by Carl Lindbergh
And the Parent of the Year Award goes to … The raging cooze of a mother in Shattered Lives! Now I’ve seen films with irresponsible parenting, bitchy mothers, asshole fathers, but the maternal parental unit in this movie is the Queen of Deceitful Guilt Trips.
“Do you want Daddy to be sad?”
“Then don’t tell him that you saw some other man with his tongue down mommy’s throat at the park today!”
The kid’s right; she is a stupid bitch! Cheating is one thing, but using the fact that you will have to leave and hurt the other parent as leverage against your young child’s conscience is just fucked up.
Well, under the stress of keeping her jealous mother’s secret, Rachel’s young mind splinters the reality around her into a nightmarish world where her clown dolls come to life like freaky, midget Cenobites (but nowhere near as cool). With their monotone speech and their creepy mannerisms these clownobites allow little Rachel’s mind to twist to the breaking point when she “plays” a game with her mother … and a really big knife!
Jump to Rachel as a teenager. Living in a new home with her doting father, Rachel is happier then she had ever been. The crimson pool of her mother’s blood has been replaced by the crystal blue waters of a new pool. She is no longer tormented by her mother’s lies and the clowns of her clouded mind have long faded beyond memory. That is until her father is involved in a fatal car accident with drunken teens from her class. The trauma of this tragedy releases the clowns from the shadowy confines of Rachel’s fragile mind and sets in motion the film’s final act.
Almost sounds interesting huh? Well, not really. The way the story is put together from beginning to end feels like a jumbled mess. The opening sequence prepares you for a blood soaked slasher flick, when all you really get is a two-part made for TV family drama that uses a chopped version of the same opening scene as a finale, basically making nothing but a steaming shit sandwich on two slices of moldy bread.
It wouldn’t be fair to say it was a total loss, though. The direction could have been better as a whole, but there were certain shots that were downright disturbing with their freakish imagery. I just wish they wouldn’t have played up the monotone voices and sing song rhymes of the clowns quite so much. What could have been truly unsettling often ended up being simply annoying. There were also a few moments that showcased at least a minor amount of talent for make-up effects, but not too many.
The performances didn’t really add much in a positive way to the over all value of the filml, eitherl; they are mediocre to downright terrible throughout the film. The writing is atrocious, which makes the acting seem even more amateur. When you should be feeling pity for the tortured little girl (at either age) you just end up feeling pity for your own brain cells as they die one by one.
By the end sequence those same suffering brain cells are actually committing suicide like so many misguided lemmings. Movies like Shattered Lives bring a whole new understanding to the natural desire for those poor tiny creatures to run for the nearest cliffs and plummet into the violently lashing arms of the sea. Somehow having my skull bashed open on the awaiting rocks just doesn’t seem all that bad after all.
2 out of 5
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