Sweet, Sweet Lonely Girl (2016) reviews and overview

 
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‘Evil loves the lonely’

Sweet, Sweet Lonely Girl is a 2016 American gothic horror film written, co-produced and directed by A.D. Calvo (House of DustThe Midnight Game). The film’s working title was Sitter.

Calvo explained his intentions to IndieWire: “This film is an effort to examine how, little by little, one can go from being conscientious and considerate to being careless and ambivalent. How, over time, slips in one’s moral compass can lead to lapses in judgment; perhaps even lead to evil.

The story juxtaposes the material desires of a poor young woman with the physical needs of her wealthy elderly aunt. So, really, this is just the age-old social security debate, which is as relevant in today’s political climate as it was back in 1980.”

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Main cast:

Quinn Shephard, Susan Kellermann, Erin Wilhelmi, Rob Tunstall, Mike S. Ryan, Frances Eve, Kristin Johansen, Hada Vanessa, Jonathan Holtzman,  Lainie Ventura, Adam Schartoff, David Pirrie, A.J. Helm, Matt Goyette.

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Plot:

When Adele’s mother gets a call for help from her rich sister, she sends Adele to live with her. Alone in a large, empty house, shuttling food and medicine to a woman who won’t leave her room or show her face, Adele grows lonely.

She meets a local young woman, Beth, seductive and mysterious, with whom she quickly becomes intimate friends. Beth commands increasingly more of Adele’s time and focus, testing Adele’s moral ground as she starts to abandon her responsibilities caring for her aunt.

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As Adele begins to discover that Beth may not be who she says she is, she is sent spiraling down a psychologically unhinged and phantasmagoric path, following in the footsteps of her unstable aunt…

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Reviews [click links to read more]:

“Calvo takes horror fans back to a period of cinema that was short-lived and almost impossible to recreate fully. If one is not a fan of those slow-paced, moody and cerebral offerings, then this will not change your mind. Those who appreciate that side of the genre will find something rare and delightful. It is a stylistic achievement, and in the end, a melancholy exploration of just what the title promises – loneliness.” Ben Larned, Bloody Disgusting

“Unfortunately, Sweet, Sweet Lonely Girl’s solid cast and admittedly great sense of mood and atmosphere fail to elevate the film above its disappointing story and lack severe lack of narrative punch. With a bit more narrative fine tuning Sweet, Sweet Lonely Girl could have been something really special, but now all we are left with is a seemingly hollow experience.” Dane Williams, Caffeinated Film

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“Calvo (who also scripted) steers away from the conventions of the well-worn good girl/bad girl buddy movie, and instead lets the light of each enhance and accentuate their own shadowy traits. It’s in little moments, like Beth’s hobby of taking tombstone rubbings, or the way Adele rifles through the housekeeping money, that Sweet, Sweet Lonely Girl is chillingly captivating.” Richard Whittaker, The Austin Chronicle

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“There is some great stuff here, and while I’m loath to criticize a film simply for a botched finale, there is no getting away from the giant misstep in the final act of Sweet Sweet Lonely Girl. I’m sure it looked good on the page, and there was probably some way of realizing it without it appearing so absurd, but I can’t help but think of this film as a wasted opportunity.” Simon Read, Quiet Earth

“Calvo’s latest has a vintage horror vibe to it that works. It’s a silent chill that rushes up your spine out of nowhere. So focused on nailing the effective atmosphere, though, the narrative is left exposed to plot holes … This isn’t a literal ghost story, but it the haunting, atmospheric elements that invoke classic ‘70s fare is the most compelling aspect of the film.” Meagan Navarro, Modern Horrors

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“Calvo keeps things vague, implying some sort of satanic connection to the proceedings along with a good old fashioned ghost story, but he can’t get past the hurdle of getting out from under his own influences, crafting a well-made independent horror film that continually hits a ceiling of quality.” C.J. Prince, We Live Film

Filming locations:

Rockville, Vernon, Connecticut

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