Zack Parker ventures into the world of psychological horror with Proxy, an often times brutal indie film that highlights just how crazy a mother can be. The narrative that Parker lays out has enough twists and turns to keep you engaged by revealing one plot shake-up after another, however, it all gets hindered by its unbelievable characters and unconvincing execution. Proxy follows a very pregnant Esther Woodhouse who is brutally attacked and disfigured by a hooded assailant. The attack leads her to a support group where her life of sadness and solitude is opened up to friendship, understanding, and even acceptance. However, her new found friendship and understanding are not what they seem.
The first 5 minutes of the film delivers a very tough pill to swallow as we see a pregnant Esther (Alexia Rasmussen) get viciously attacked and left for dead. That’s a hell of a way to start a movie if you ask me. There’s absolutely no time to settle in here as Parker throws us straight into a world of some seriously messed up individuals. From the moment we meet Esther, something just feels off about her. She’s damaged goods who appears to be meandering through life without any friends or family and any sense of real direction. There’s something very off-putting about her character from the onset, and once the film starts to pull back its layers you start to see just how disturbed she really is.
So it gets off to a great start, with a very peculiar character at its center—who is played convincingly by Rasmussen—but it all gets entangled in the fact that Esther isn’t the only bat-shit crazy character in the film. Seriously, every character we meet throughout the film after being introduced to Esther has absolutely no redeeming qualities. It’s kind of exhausting to watch a movie where you hate every single one of its characters—they continually make unbelievable decisions that feel tailor made to suit the plot of the film. And to make matters worse, the ridiculousness of its characters are portrayed through amateur acting aside from Rasmussen who does deliver a pretty jarring performance. It’s simply because of that one flaw that Proxy never quite lives up to its promise.
And really, though, the major downfall of Proxy is its characters because the story itself—while a half hour too long—is very unsettling and has a way of dragging you through its dark hole of a tale whether you want to go or not. It’s one of those movies that is going to split its audience between either loving it or hating it. I wouldn’t say that I hated it as I just felt I was let down more than anything else. It teases you with something that could have been so much better, and in the end it’s going to be up to you to decide whether or not it hits all the right notes.
Proxy was on the very edge of something special, but it’s just a little too over-the-top for its own good as it continually gets dragged down by its own characters.