Compliance (2012)

Craig Zobel directs Ann Dowd, Dreama Walker and Pat Healy in this based on a true story drama where an anonymous caller poses as the police and convinces the manager of a fast food restaurant to strip search and confine a teenage employee.

At its scariest and most compelling when it is a procedural, some find the restrained sexualised moments distasteful. I’d wager the nudity and unease aren’t just the key marketing points but also the most successfully unnerving elements. There aren’t many mainstream movies that make you feel complicit and seedy for wanting to ogle a teenage girl. Zobel completely understands both what his audience wants to see but also what they don’t want to feel while they do it and he plays with both keys expertly to get a visceral reaction from you. Too finely acted by Dowd, Healy and Bill Camp to dismiss as exploitation, too gripping to file away as arthouse posturing.


Check out my wife Natalie’s Point Horror blog

We also do a podcast together called The Worst Movies We Own. It is available on Spotify or here

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