Directed by John Suits
The Scribbler is based on the graphic novel of the same name written by Dan Schaffer, who also developed the story for film. And The Scribbler definitely has the feel of a graphic novel coming alive on the screen. Filled with a menagerie of colorful, insane characters and some intriguing sci-fi gadgetry, The Scribbler is a comic come alive.
The story revolves around Suki, a young woman suffering from dissociative identity disorder. She’s crazy. Carrying around about a dozen personalities, Suki finds herself projecting them on a dog and an elevator, and the voices in her head are always giving her all kinds of nutty ideas. However, her doctor considers her almost cured so Suki is staying in a halfway house called Juniper Towers (a ka Jumper Towers), where patients of Dr. Sinclair go after a hospital stay and treatment to try to ease back into society. Unfortunately, that doesn’t ever really happen.
The brooding, mentally unstable Suki is played by Katie Cassidy who does a commendable job in the role. She brings out Suki’s dark side but also has fun with the lighter aspects of her personality that surface from time to time, especially when she’s with Hogan (Garret Dillahunt), the only male resident of Juniper Towers, who realizes he’s in a building with a bunch of women with daddy issues, and he does his best to make the rounds with all of them. Together, Suki and Hogan prove to be an entertaining combination.
Aside from the two leads, The Scribbler is filled with plenty of interesting fringe characters. Juniper Towers has a terrific atmosphere, and the residents are realistic but at the same time almost Wonderlandish. Gina Gershon plays sex addict Cleo; and Ashlynn Yennie plays Emily, who has an irrational fear of clothing (that’s right). But perhaps the coolest resident of Juniper Towers is (fittingly enough for the Wonderland feel) Alice, played by Michelle Trachtenberg. Channeling Sylvia Soska with her look, Trachtenberg is very cool as the dark and threatening Alice. She is the most dangerous resident of the tower, and Suki finds herself having to deal with Alice on several occasions. The atmosphere of the entire film is really fun. Shots inside the residence are always somewhat surreal, and when director John Suits takes the action outside, it has almost a Gotham City feel to some of the scenes.
So here we have our hero, Suki, living in Juniper Towers with Dr. Sinclair’s orders to use the Siamese Burn Therapy machine he’s created to help erase some of the extra personalities she’s carrying around. The only problem is, when you get down to the final few personas, how can you be sure you’re the true one and only that belongs there? You can’t.
The Scribber moves along at a very efficient pace and is fun to watch. The ending of the film, however, makes a bit of a transition from the horror/sci-fi story we’ve watched for the first hour and takes a turn that almost has a superhero feel. Once the mysterious secrets of Juniper Towers are revealed and we find out just what is going on with the Siamese Burn Therapy, things go south a bit in the end. Not to say that the movie doesn’t hold up completely, but once you peel away some of the great fringe characters who helped carry the film through the first hour, some of what is left is less than stellar. Good, but not great.
You can find a bit of everything in The Scribbler. Without a doubt it touches into horror and sci-fi, and even some decent comedic elements exist in it. The intensity of the majority of the film is kind of lost in the finale that feels forced. But when the guy who wrote the graphic novel is also writing the script, I suppose you’ve got to go with what he says.
The Scribbler is entertaining and has plenty of action to keep viewers interested. If you can handle an ending that feels like an afterthought, then you’ll dig this one.