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Stopmotion – Review

Robert Morgan is no stranger to creating worlds for the audience to get lost in, nor are they a stranger to the horror genre but with their first outing for a full length feature in Stopmotion there is a lot of promise to be delivered upon, and while it does take a lot of swings for the fences it certainly gets knocked out of the park at least once. While the film is overly ambitious with its storytelling both in creative aspects and story aspects, the script co-written by Morgan and Robin King manages to captivate its audience while providing some deep seeded horror that is surely going to leave the audience uneasy long after the film ends.

The film focuses on Ella Blake (Aisling Franciosi) as she is seen for the first act of the movie struggling to work with her overbearing mother, Suzanne (Stella Gonet) as they are trying to finish her stop motion feature. However, despite this being a tireless and incredibly demanding medium to work in, Suzanne treats Ella more as a prop and character than her actual daughter, which the audience sees and realizes it eats away and destroys Ella as a person. When tragedy strikes and Suzanne unfortunately passes away, Ella and her boyfriend Tom (Tom Yorke) move into an apartment to try and finish Suzanne’s final film and this is where the tragedy and torture Ella has been put through comes to fruition and the true horrors of the movie start to rear their heads into the scope of the audience.

Now with a movie such as this, two things have to work to make this film a success, and with either one faltering in any way shape or form the movie is going to lose audiences immediately. These two things are the stop motion has to be flawless, and the performances have to simply carry through and evoke a response form the audience. Thankfully for Stopmotion though, both the animation and the star turning performance of Aisling Franciosi deliver on all cylinders and provide a deeply disturbing, thought-provoking and downright invigorating horror film, centred on grief, for audiences to sink their teeth into.

The animation is eerily delightful, perfectly suiting the films tone and overall creepiness that it is going for, capturing the angst and anxiety that not only comes with the loss of a parent, but one where the relationship was anything other than blissful. With the combination of the animation and creativity to tell this story mixed with the excellent performance by Aisling and later on as well Caoilinn Springall who plays the little girl, Stopmotion evokes such a strong response from the audience and gets such strong performances from its cast as well.

There is something truly special about a film that manages to blend genres and planes of storytelling that pulls off the execution. For a film to mix mediums is a dangerous feet to pull off as one can fall short thusly diminishing the overall, especially when one is stop motion animation which is incredibly intricate and time consuming, the payoff of delivering something so impactful and resonating truly is the best accomplishment. Stopmotion takes large risks, and is met with an equally matched reward and payoff. For a film to be so ambitious and stick the landing is nothing short of miraculous, but thankfully Stopmotion is one of those rare gems.

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Stopmotion – Review


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About The Author

My earliest movie memory, outside of my home theatre in my basement, was going to the local Video 99 and wanting to rent ET only to be told by the shop owner it was playing down the street in theatres. My love for cinema has been alive for as long as I can honestly remember. I would frequent the cinema minutes down from my house daily. It was a second home. Movies are an escape from the everyday world, a window into the soul, a distant friend. If I’m not watching a movie, I’m probably watching a tv show, if I’m doing neither I’m asleep.

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