Anna: Scream Queen Killer
Written By: The Aquinas & Melanie Denholme
Directed By: The Aquinas & Melanie Denholme
An actress, auditioning for, and then acting in, some horror scenes for an unseen director, is pushed to the limit. That's the premise behind the UK feature "Anna: Scream Queen Killer", featuring rising horror talent Melanie Denholme (who also co-directs and co-writes).
Those familiar with some of the quality, boundary pushing, indie horror cinema coming from across the pond will certainly find Denholme familiar, starring here as "Anna" (and, if I'm not mistaken, she's referred to as "Darcy" at one point), the only on-screen cast member of a mysterious project being directed by an off camera, and for the most part unheard from, entity(the elusive "Aquinas"??).
Starting with some run-of-the-mill scenes, the "project" quickly spirals downward into more deviant territory as the director seeks more and more from Anna and she begins to question the film's legitimacy and the director's true intentions.
Melanie Denholme, as the only visible performer, is tasked with carrying the entire film, and holding the viewer's interest, and she turns in an outstanding performance. Denholme portrays Anna with a deft hand, coming across as both vulnerable and naive in one scene, and then juxtaposed with a savage sexuality in others. An ethereal beauty, the talented Ms. Denholme moves much like a living work of art, and this truly makes her a pleasure to watch on screen. The film proper is an unnerving descent into depravity, becoming more perverse and disturbing with each voyeuristic set piece. With sets limited to one hotel room, and essentially a one person cast, the first person, point-of-view camerawork adds to the illusion that this is actually happening--and the fact that it keeps the viewer's attention is a genuine accomplishment. And how can I not give extra points for Anna mentioning that she was a "Horror Hottie of the Month"?
Part cautionary tale, part fly-on-the-wall snuff flick, "Anna: Scream Queen Killer" is an effective combination of titillation and repulsion that will leave most fans of horror/exploitation/revenge films well satisfied.