Eugene, a lonely photographer, becomes fixated on a young street prostitute, Josephine, in his rundown neighborhood. She becomes his muse and his photographs could be a way out for both of them – yet is Eugene saving Josephine or is he using her?
Choir Girl is a dark and morbid full-length feature film directed by John Fraser and featuring the talents of Peter Flaherty, Krista Vendy, Andy McPhee, and Roger Ward. It is an Australian indie film produced by Ivan Malekin and is a gritty drama about a lonely photographer, Eugene, who becomes obsessed with a young street worker, Cherry, in his rundown Melbourne neighbourhood.
This film is only really a horror in the sense that it delves into the darker parts of human nature. It shines a spotlight on sex-trafficking, voyeurism, betrayal, power, lust, toxic ambition, and the overall darkness that dwells in the underbelly of every street corner or shady brothel. Its horrific in its portrayal of humanity, with all of the cast being—in some sense—corrupted, corruptible, or simply intolerable.
Technically, this is a strange beast to try and digest. It is done in a black white style to try and give it that dank, dark feel as well as that older noir touch. It does work though, and the film is accompanied by a pretty awesome score that adds much to the overall mood and tone. The main actors, while honestly giving us heartfelt performances, are purposely pathetic (specifically Flaherty) and it’s hard to connect or feel sympathy when the strongest emotions put forward are a combination of pity, disgust, shame, and disdain. There are no real heroes or anyone to root for, though we clearly are meant to empathise most with Vendy’s Candy.
It’s always hard to talk positively about a film when the weight of what it carries is brooding negativity, but Choir Girl is most definitely emotive, raw, and powerful. The message is clearly expressed and the film succeeds in its attempts to make the viewer uncomfortable and contemplative and the truth behind the film makes it all the more visceral and real. This is something that is probably happening at this very moment, in multiple locations the world over and very little is done to remedy the situation. That, my dear reader, is the real horror.
This is not an easy watch, nor is it a fun film. It is not something that you can kick back to and enjoy or something for the casual movie viewer. It will divide critics and make people uncomfortable. You’ll want to look away and perhaps even feel pangs of guilt or moments of disgust. That may just be the point of the entire production though; to make the viewer uncomfortable. Thanks for reading and as always, stay sordid. Artwork, trailer, and link to the film, which is currently available on Tubi for free, are posted below.
Watch the film here: https://tubitv.com/movies/646900/choir-girl?start=true
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