I recently saw Proxy and I was really impressed with it but it’s no easy watch. Within the first 10 minutes there is a brutal assault on a heavily pregnant young woman. I’m not kidding when I say brutal, the assailant bashes the womans pregnant stomach with a brick. Mercifully it’s a relatively quick attack and by getting the truly gruesome out of the way first it opens up the rest of the film to build.
The young woman, Esther (Alexia Rasmussen), from the moment we meet her seems unhappy and alone. When taken to hospital after the attack, she is told her baby died and she shows little reaction. When asked if there is anyone they can contact to come collect her, she replies there is no one.
Esther is given a contact for a support group for grieving parents and she goes, all the while looking out of place and uncomfortable.
At this support group Esther meets Melanie Michaels (Alexa Havins) a woman whose husband and child were killed in a car accident. Esther and Melanie strike up a friendship and you allow yourself to fall into the assumption they’ll be friends and whatever it is that’s weighing Esther down will be coaxed out of her by this new friendship.
And that’s why we never assume.
Melanie Michaels is not the woman she appears to be and it’s revealed in such a wonderful way that the film starts down a whole new path that you’re not expecting. It’s worth noting at this point that I knew nothing about Proxy going in, all I had to go on was the poster and I knew it was horror.
I’m trying my best not to go into spoiler territory here so I’ll leave the plot there. While it’s classified as a horror, there are no jumps or scares as such, more a sense of dread that builds from the minute the film starts. The actors are perfectly cast although one character seemed too much like a stereotype, almost cartoonish.
Alexia Rasmussen is wonderful as the lost,fragile and strange Esther. It’s almost as if Esther is sleepwalking. Understandable seeing she’s lost her baby but there’s something more, something is wrong.
The film challenges you to really think about what you’re seeing. Is there more to what meets the eye here? and when the film is over it may well stay with you for a few days, something only a really good film will do. Well, good or disturbing, Requiem for a Dream anyone?
Disturbing, shocking and intelligent I’d recommend Proxy to anyone who’s looking for something out of the ordinary.