An infamous creepy tabloid story becomes a gleefully deranged examination of our conspiracy-ridden time in cult-favourite dirtbag podcaster Dasha Nekrasova’s debut feature.
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The 2021 Berlinale Best First Feature comes from actor and dirtbag politico-podcaster Dasha Nekrasova (Red Scare) who has dipped her pitch-black intellect and provocation into a sticky mess of shot-on-16mm paranormal psychosexual cinema.
When two 20-something women find a miraculously affordable high-end apartment on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, the good news quickly turns sour when the previous owner is discovered to be none other than paedo-mogul Jeffrey Epstein. After moving in, the flatmates descend down separate rabbit holes: for Noelle, it’s escalating Epstein conspiracy theories with a new girlfriend; for Addie, it’s something even more disturbing, as a malevolent presence begins to invade their safe space.
Nekrasova’s film takes no prisoners nor does it apologise for its borderline unlawful sense of bad taste – it’s too busy creating an atmospheric and conflicted love letter to the works of DePalma and Polanski, while clutching a broken giallo mirror reflecting the lack of consequence for the systematic abuse by powerful evil men and unchecked capitalism. — AT