Proxy (2013)

proxy001Esther Woodhouse is at the doctors’s office with some sort of enormous tumor; no wait, she’s pregnant. The doctor is running an ultrasound, and everything looks good.  Of course, they told Rosemary Woodhouse the same thing.  On the way to the bus stop, she is conked on the head by someone in a red hoodie who then repeatedly bashes her baby bump with a brick and robs her.

Fortunately, it seems that an ambulance is very quick on the scene.  Not so fortunately for her or me, she regains consciousness just in time to see the bloody corpse of her dead baby being cut out of her.

A detective comes to her hospital room.  Not much is learned except that the father was from a sperm bank.  Next she gets a visit from Mary Wilkins, a social worker at the hospital.  Esther doesn’t have any friends or co-workers to contact.  By the time she gets home, even her goldfish is dead.

Esther goes to a support group.  She is befriended by Melanie who lost her husband and son when they were hit by a drunk driver.

She returns aimlessly wandering in the hospital where she was treated, does jigsaw puzzles, applies for a job at a department store.  While there, she sees Melanie and stalks her for a while.  Melanie seems to be searching for her dead son as if he were merely lost in the store.  She makes a scene, crying, calling over the store manager.  She says she is going to look outside, then calmly walks to her car.  She gets a little boy out of her car and takes him into the store.

proxy014Esther and Melanie get together again for coffee in the park.  Melanie says she used to bring her son here.

Later that day, someone in a red hoodie breaks into Esther’s house and rapes her.  It turns out to be her lesbian lover Anika.  The first attack was a ruse that Esther dreamed up.  Lot’s of lying going on here.

Melanie calls late at night for another coffee klatch.  Esther tells Melanie that she was nine months into a healthy pregnancy and loved the way people treated her.  Not being much of a looker, she was unused to this attention.  But she never wanted to be a mother.  She tells Melanie she is the only one who understands and kisses her on the lips.

Melanie gets up to leave and Esther tells her she saw her with her son at the mall.  Melanie slaps her and tells her not to call again.

I could go on and on, and actually did — damn you Chromebook for not having a backspace key!  But there are so many interesting scenes and twists that that they have to be seen to be appreciated.  I was wary of the 2 hour running time, but the film fills the time.  It is slowly paced, but there is always something happening and your mind is constantly working to stay up with it or out-guess it.

Director Zack Parker has a few amazing scenes which are Hitchcockian in their twists and in the great use of Bernard Herrmann style scoring.  Really great stuff.

proxy026Anything else would be giving away too much.  For most posts, I spoil freely because it just ain’t that big a deal (and, really, who am I spoiling?  Searchbots?).  This should be seen with fresh eyes.


  • Alexa Havins — wow!

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