The Girl Who Got Away Image

The Girl Who Got Away

By Michael Talbot-Haynes | September 8, 2021

The way Morrissey handles the horror scenes of The Girl Who Got Away approaches the levels of mastery Lucio Fulci achieved with his scariest picture, House by the Cemetery. The Victorian dresses Caulfield forces the captive girls to wear echo the clothing of the ghost child in that classic. The opening sequence in the woods at night manipulates the dark areas of the scene with shapes floating in and out until everything jumps on you and you wet yourself. And when the dead little girls from the past show up, it’s Whoa Nelly! The make-up, lighting, and some very hearty gore effects deliver the kind of nerve damage that horror fans crave, right up to the bloody finale.

However, you cannot underestimate the dramatic weight Morrissey has injected into the storyline. The screenplay goes deep into an exploration of post-traumatic stress disorder as well as maintaining the very complicated emotional ties within the leads that enrich the characters. Jamie is defined as a person first and his job second, not the easiest task to pull off. Christina continuously fights her role as a victim, a target, trying to stay above it all even as the tide of blood starts rising.

“…brilliant twists…smart, well made…”

Johnson’s performance as Christina is wonderful. She believably plays the anguish and projects a tangible strength that anchors the role. Nigerian actor Iwuji nails the cop lead. It is a rich portrayal that shows how well he can work the top billing. McCarthy is perfect as Lisa, with a range that goes from timidly hopeful to furiously disappointed that rings true. Tuckerman, as the murderous Caulfield, is one of the scariest villains I can remember. She will tear your soul apart. Someone smart will make her the main baddie of a horror franchise, like a female Freddy Krueger or Tall Man.

With The Girl Who Got Away, Michael Morrissey askews the conventions of the serial killer picture with deep drilling drama and hardcore horror. The brilliant twists along the way come at a rapid rate, so keep alert. It really is quite the ride. If the opportunity comes up to see it in a theater, please take advantage. The dim lights of a theater will weave perfectly into the manipulation of the darkness onscreen. Otherwise, just make sure you watch it with all lights off in the room. This is smart, well made, and it’s coming to get you!

The Girl Who Got Away (2021)

Directed and Written: Michael Morrissey

Starring: Kaye Tuckerman, Lexi Johnson, Chukwudi Iwuji, Willow McCarthy, Audrey Grace Marshall, Anni Krueger, etc.

Movie score: 9/10

The Girl Who Got Away Image

"…one of the most frightening movies of its kind since Silence of the Lambs."

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