Closet Monster

Here is another entry to the 2016 Seattle International Film Festival from Canada. Directed by Stephen Dunn ("We Wanted More"), our press screening audience found this unsettling, funny and of pretty good quality.

We follow a creative boy from grade school to his teen years; see what events have influenced his thinking, follow the breakup of his parents' marriage, and watch "Buffy," a remarkably long-lived hamster who is his "spirit animal."

We follow:
  • Jack Fulton is young Oscar. After a particularly upsetting bedtime story and a bad experience in a graveyard, he starts carrying a stake so he can fight off vampires (you noticed the name of his pet hamster)
  • Connor Jessup is teenaged Oscar, a would-be make-up artist who just wants to get into a New York specialty school and leave his home town with its horrific memories behind. He's confused about many things and the people around him don't help!
  • Aaron Abrams is his father. Macho Peter is a capable carpenter (see that tree house!) who loves his son, but there are those ghost stories, and there is his temper....
  • Joanne Kelly is his mother Brin, who leaves. After the divorce, they share custody and Oscar is resentful of both.
  • Aliocha Schneider plays Wilder, a co-worker at a big-box store. He is handsome, appealing and right THERE!
  • Sofia Banzhaf gives Gemma just the right balance of playful, sexy and a good model for his outrageous designs. Just what Oscar needs.
  • Isabella Rossellini voices Buffy, Oscar's chatty pet hamster. She is observant, wary and loyal.
This threatened to be one of those hide-your-eyes movies, but I was relieved to note the worst sights are hidden from view. Whew!