by M. Faust
“I know this doesn’t make sense, but just hold tight,” says a mysterious voice on the telephone near the beginning of The Wait. It’s tempting to read that as advice to the viewers, who will find themselves struggling to follow the dream-like logic of this independent film. If you do, note that the voice does not promise that all will be revealed.
The voice is speaking to Emma (Chloë Sevigny), moments after the death of her mother in the Pacific Northwest house where she lived. She interprets the perplexing call as meaning that her mother will soon return to life, and persuades her younger sister Angela (Jena Malone) not to call the undertaker to have the body removed. Also in a state of shock, Angela agrees.
This sounds like the premise for a horror movie, but that’s not what transpires. Over the next few days, the sisters struggle to regain their equilibriums, both internally and with the people around them. These include their teen-aged brother Ian, who is beset by sexual confusion, Emma’s pre-teen daughter, and several neighbors.
Did I mention the forest fire looming in the near distance?
Writer/director M. Blash says in a press statement that in making this film he was interested in exploring a kind of paralyzed emotional state bought on by the death of someone close. It’s never goes fully into surrealism, but it is often willfully opaque, purposely withholding information to which characters are reacting. Blash is to some degree dealing in personal symbols, which makes the film frustrating to anyone who doesn’t share his key. Still, it has been filmed and assembled with a rigor and pictoral beauty and compel your gaze even as it denies your understanding.
Watch the trailer for MOVIE
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