"Wonderland" (2013)

 

 

Director: Brandon Slagle

Written By: Brandon Slagle, Devanny Pinn, Keith Kraft & Jimmy ScreamerClauz

 

Principal Cast:

Devanny Pinn-Rosa

Brandon Slagle-The Man of Sin

Keith Kraft-Ethan

Rachel Grubb-Proxy

Deneen Melody-Alice

 

          A futuristic drug, with the street name "Wonderland", that allows physicians to observe and manipulate the dreams of mentally ill patients provides a fertile hunting ground for the mysterious killer known as the "Man of Sin" and his mentor/cohort the "Proxy".

 

          Following a long post production, Brandon Slagle's long awaited "Wonderland" sees the light of day. A "thinking man's horror film", "Wonderland" features a deeply involved, complex plot, that engages the viewer throughout, and avoids (for the most part) becoming convoluted or confusing. Pinn stars as "Rosa" a drug addicted young woman (with possibly the largest pair of hoop earrings in cinematic history) being questioned in the murder of her roommate. Soon she, along with Ethan (Kraft) are being relentlessly pursued in the dream state/alternate reality by the Man of Sin and his female "Proxy". Will Ethan and Rosa work together to avoid the fate of soap actress Alice (the extremely talented and criminally underused Deneen Melody)? Or has the Man of Sin bitten off more than he can chew??

 

          Creepy, slick, and aggressively paced, "Wonderland" benefits from striking visuals, and an amazing cast. Both Kraft and Pinn are very convincing as two disturbed individuals dealing with both their personal demons and the dream machinations of the Man of Sin. Slagle seems to genuinely relish the tormenting of his targets, and comes across as a sophisticated Freddy Krueger of sorts, teetering on the edge of a pain/psychosis overdose. Rachel Grubb is coolly evil as the Proxy, and manages to shine through the bizarre make up adorning her character. Add an unnerving industrial/dub step sound track (by co-writer Jimmy Screamerclauz), a truly insane cameo by Bill Oberst Jr. and "Wonderland" produces a jarring, emotionally driven, genre defying viewing experience. Beautifully shot, expertly edited, trippy and weirdly poetic, "Wonderland" takes the viewer down an entirely different type of rabbit hole.

 

8/10

 

-Tom Gleba