‘Carl’ Review: A Fine Thriller That Works as a Stripped Down Version of ‘Psycho’

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Considering the extremely low budget and pretty much no name cast, Carl is actually pretty good at building the tension for an exciting climax.

There is a reason we don’t see more movies like Carl in our everyday cinemas, it is gruesome in ways I cannot describe just in case my mother reads this. Alright I’ll give one example, remember the scene in Black Swan where Natalie Portman is pleasuring herself in the bathtub? Okay, now replace Portman with someone the age of say Kathy Bates and place her son in the room. Oh, and that son, yeah he is a killer with a creepy mask.

Much of the reason Carl works is that between the scenes that make you thrust your hands over your eyes, it smartly studies a character who would live in the conditions that Carl does. Picture Psycho being completely about Norman Bates and his mother. That is the angle that this film takes, and it succeeds in showing believably how this monster came to be.

Carl isn’t perfect, however. Most of the acting is pretty wooden, but the characters that need to work do, and they are Carl, his mother, and the hero played by Robert Pralgo.

Also, the end twist really isn’t too necessary, but before that the climax is pretty thrilling. A lot of tense moments with some clever lighting make for some edge of your seat stuff.

While Carl isn’t a masterpiece, it is a fun, although gruesome, little horror film and definitely worth checking out if you are into low-budget indie filmmaking. Grade: B-

2 Responses to ‘Carl’ Review: A Fine Thriller That Works as a Stripped Down Version of ‘Psycho’

  1. Julie Bell says:

    Awesome! I am going to see it on the 29th at Aurora Cineplex in Roswell, and you should too!!!!

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