THE GIANT (2019) reviews of small-town murder mystery thriller

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The Giant is a 2019 American murder mystery thriller feature film about a teenage girl’s angst when a series of murders begin… on the same night that her missing boyfriend suddenly reappears.

Written, directed and edited by David Raboy – making his feature debut – the movie stars Odessa Young, Ben Schnetzer, Jack Kilmer and Madelyn Cline.


When her first love suddenly reappears in her small Georgia town the same night that a series of killings begin, teenage Charlotte (Odessa Young) is forced to reconcile her past and present, her traumas and nostalgia, as it becomes increasingly clear that her life is at risk in ways she never imagined…


“Raboy aspires to tap into some of that rural Terrence Malick energy. Except his film doesn’t drift so much as loom, often gathering like a nightmare and resisting any and all meaning. It’s like Malick with a concussion. Coupled with its teenaged cast, The Giant somehow combines all of high school’s worst qualities: it’s incoherent, overwrought, and silly.” Brief Take

” …the growing feeling is that we’re watching a chapter out of some sort of True DetectiveDawson’s Creek crossover, penned by a fervent admirer of Terrence Malick. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing; the film boasts some good ideas and shows talent when it comes to capturing disturbing emotions. But the movie lacks a degree of emotional depth which might otherwise have allowed for better character development.” Cineuropa

“Scene-for-scene we can see that Raboy knows what he’s doing as a director and has a vision. As an editor (with Dean C. Marcial credited as additional editor), he allows those scenes to become repetitive and the film’s trajectory flat. He doesn’t give us lucidly defined ambiguity, but a film that plays like the work of a film student with technical ability, who needs a fresher, more cogent screenplay and probably a different editor.” The Hollywood Reporter

” …in the film’s attempt to be timeless, the production design strips settings of all detail, making everything dark, empty, interchangeable […] Raboy is certainly skilled at establishing a mood; from its very first unsettling shots, The Giant promises something extraordinary. Unfortunately, by its last shot, we’re still waiting.” Screen Daily

” …even when the body count rises so high that the city imposes a curfew, the focus remains solely on Charlotte and her steady disconnection from reality. Is Charlotte in danger? Is Joe the killer? Is Charlotte? Is any of this really happening? Raboy isn’t interested in providing many direct answers, and even as the film builds to a climactic end-of-summer party, it drifts further into dreamlike abstraction.” Variety


The Giant premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in September 2019. Vertical Entertainment has picked the film up for distribution.

Cast and characters:

Odessa Young … Charlotte
Ben Schnetzer … Joe
Jack Kilmer … Will
Madelyn Cline … Olivia
Danny Ramirez … Brady
P.J. Marshall … Rex
Samantha Binkerd … Lauren
Nicholas Cirillo … Taylor
Ezekiel Ajeigbe … Mikey
Taylor Hanks … Daphne
Ashley Shelton … The Mother
Julia Reilly … Justine Corgan
Cathay Raboy …


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