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MOVIES (GFF 2022): Superior - Review

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Who doesn’t love a good twin swap movie? Taking cues from David Lynch and Taylor Taormina’s hypnotic, era-displacing Ham on Rye, Superior feels like a timeless film that has a world on its own. Its unique aesthetic is punctuated by its vivid usage of colours, and its compelling premise – on the run, Marian returns to her hometown in upstate New York – an area where she grew up in but feels completely alien to, and must pose as her twin sister until their worlds collide putting her at risk.

Unfortunately, despite impressive performances by real-life twins Alessandra and Anamari Mesa and novel casting of someone who should be nowhere near an ice cream stand, I did not vibe with Erin Vassilopoulos’ Superior despite its brisk 97 minute runtime, it failed to make me fully care about everything that was going on here and the central premise of needing the characters to swap in the first place, whilst a novel idea, feels too thin. The pacing lacks the forward momentum that the film needed, it feels like it is a classic case of the movie being too invested in creating a mood and atmosphere – the 80s aesthetic of it all gives it a real timeless feel and the 16mm film it was shot on makes it look like one of the most unique experiences that I’ve had in a while. Just unfortunately for me – nothing else worked and lends to a feeling of all style, zero substance.

This feels like a deliberate slow burn but there can be cases where slow burns put on the handbrakes a bit too much and that was one of these moments. It started out as a short film and unfortunately, you can tell that – there’s barely enough substance here to sustain a feature which is a shame as its killer premise (quite literally, in this case), had something to work with.

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