After watching the film Grace for the first time last year, I immediately get excited about any horror film that has anything to do with babies. It could be a demon baby, a killer baby, or whatever, but I will always check it out with high hopes, even after the giant mess that was Devil’s Due. So, needless to say, as soon as I saw the poster art for Zack Parker’s film, Proxy, my interest was piqued. Sadly, it was all for naught because I was extremely let down…
Esther Woodhouse (Alexia Rasmussen) is brutally attacked and loses her baby only a few weeks before her due date. Shortly after attending her first meeting to cope with her loss, she becomes friendly with Melanie (Alexa Havins), who is also attending. As the two new friends begin to learn more about each other, it becomes apparent that neither one of them is being 100% truthful and that they both may be a little bit crazy…
Proxy is over two hours long and is full of some pretty vicious stuff. There is an extremely gory shotgun scene where Joe Swanberg is doused in blood, only made more brutally beautiful by the fact that Zack Parker and company decided to shoot said scene in slow motion. Even before this, the scene in which Esther is attached by an [at the time] unknown assailant is also rather hard to watch, as her stomach is repeatedly smashed, assuring that there is no way her baby is making it through this battle.
If I were to measure this film by gore and sheer violence alone, I’d be giving it a rather high rating. There are a few problems with that, however. Proxy could have easily been about 35 minutes shorter if it weren’t for the excessive dialogue. There is too much damn talking throughout this entire film from every single character. Transactions between Esther and Melanie, Melanie and husband Patrick (Swanberg), Esther and her lesbian lover Anika (Kristina Klebe), and many more could have all been cut down by at least fifty perfect. I understand there is a lot to deal with in this film and a lot of emotion needs to be expressed by each individual, but it just came across too boring and unnecessary.
I think the script, penned by Parker himself and partner Kevin Donner, was indeed a clever one. To have a bunch of surprises, twists and turns, certainly takes a special mind to come up with, but I really wish they would have tightened things up a bit. I watched this film with my sister and it seemed like every other scene, we were both just asking, “What!?,” out loud.
If you have two hours to kill one night and want to see for yourself what Proxy had to offer, give it a shot. It is now available on Blu-Ray and DVD, along with VOD options from IFC films.
I give this baby horror film 2 slow motion shotgun blasts out of 5.