The Giant (Movie Review)

The Giant (Movie Review)

New Crime Mystery, The Giant, hits On Demand as of Friday, November 13, 2020 via Vertical Entertainment. Featuring a non-linear narrative… does it all translate on screen? 

First and foremost, non-linear narratives are nothing new in films. We have seen it in every genre over the decades, and it usually lends itself well to a story that has a solid foundation, goal-driven characters, and filmmakers who have a deft touch for weaving these various threads together. Unfortunately, you could argue that few of these are present in The Giant, ultimately confounding viewers far more than interesting them. 

The Giant still

The feature-length directorial debut of Writer/Director David Raboy, the plot of The Giant, such as it is, is compelling on paper.  A young woman named Charlotte (Odessa Young: Looking for Grace 2015, Assassination Nation 2018) and her family experience a traumatic event one day about a year prior to the start of the story proper. Since then, her boyfriend, Joe (Ben Schnetzer: Warcraft 2016, Snowden 2016), left town and has not spoken to her, and her father wallows in depression and their relationship is in tatters. At the same time, Joe has suddenly returned as a series of murders of young women have the small town on edge.

Sounds interesting, yes? Well that is about as clear as the story gets. What follows is a movie that forgets what to focus on and instead bombards viewers with blurry visuals, muddled dialogue, and disoriented first-person perspective that makes anything in the film difficult to grasp. Does Charlotte suspect Joe of the murders? Do the townsfolk band together in some way to combat the killer? Do relationships reconcile? None of these questions are fully answered, and in the end viewers are left with more questions than at the start.

The Giant still

All that said, there is clearly some talent behind the camera. The visuals, while unhelpful for this story, are effective in their dream-like purpose. Viewers will see and feel Raboy’s style, but will have a difficult time grasping it. The performances are likewise hindered by the storytelling. Odessa Young is good but too much time is spent on extreme closeups and surrealist shots that her talents are obscured, as are those of Ben Schnetzer. That is essentially the downfall of The Giant; there are many talented parts to it that just do not come together cohesively. 

The Giant still

Overall, The Giant proves to be a more frustrating than satisfying experience. While there is an interesting premise and talent behind and in front of the camera, they are all square pegs with nothing but round holes to fill. Raboy is so focused on surrealism that it is hard to say what The Giant is about aside from the initial setup, and the characters do not act like people at all. A talented visual artist, there is still plenty of hope for Raboy’s future work. For these reasons, Cryptic Rock gives The Giant 2 out of 5 stars.

Vertical Entertainment

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Roger Maléspin
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Roger is a Writer and Editor born and raised in New York City. A lifelong bibliophile, he spends most of his time delving into stories or honing his craft. When not flexing the pen, he can be found in any number of bars and coffee shops around New York, drawing inspiration from the kaleidoscope of stories and experiences that make up the greatest city in the world. His love of the written word is nearly matched by his affinity for Horror movies, and he can quote from the classics up to today's films. Holding strong convictions rooted deep in the religion of Metal, do not be surprised if you run into him, literally, in a circle pit during a Metal show somewhere in the city.

  • Linda keintz
    Posted at 20:00h, 29 May Reply

    I actually was thininking at first,that Charlotte maybe died when she fell in the lake( since there were rocks at the bottom I figured she could have hit her head and died instantly or broke her neck, ( according to her friend Olivia who jumped in and complained about the rocks hitting her butt which means it was also shallowish bear the dock or they were) another reason why I thought she was that at first is because the story jumped around so much she was one place wearing something one moment and then without any explanation she was in a different spot wearing something completely different. She was in a red vehicle at one point and then at another point you see a red vehicle with the door open and a dead girl laying in front of the car, And then another part of the movie she was writing in a light colored vehicle like an SUV and then also riding with her boyfriend in the pickup truck. The house that she was in went through different phases where at one point it didn’t look liveable at all. And what about when she went to see Paul and his house look like it had been abandoned?! I kept on thinking that I had figured it out when there was no twisting turn. Like all the murders what did that have to do with anything was there actually a killer? How did she get the bruises on her neck The friend even insinuated that something was going on at home saying that she couldn’t go back there and did he do that to your neck. And what about the other guy The guy that said that she was just his type!? There’s some really spectacular acting in it though especially Charlotte She was a phenomenal actress.
    By simple mind that was about to explode because I really want to know more about the meaning of ending in the movie from the director.

  • Jean Bush
    Posted at 21:27h, 17 May Reply

    I’m in the middle of this and at first took to it beause of the hot, Southern style I lived as a kid in Arlington VA., but the languid unfinished converstions and no actual take on the murders, the sense of horror that never materializes has left me quite lost. I will finish it because of the Gothic, Southern atmosphere but hold no hope of a satisfying outcome.

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