Runtime: 1h 30m
Director: Aneesh Chaganty
Writers: Aneesh Chaganty, Sev Ohanian
Stars: Sarah Paulson, Kiera Allen, Sara Sohn
Double Feature Fodder:
Initial: Aneesh Chaganty and Sev Ohanian were responsible for Searching (2018), which I enjoyed quite a bit. Also, I’ve been a Sarah Paulson fan since American Gothic (1995–1998).
Production Notes: Kiera Allen uses a wheelchair in real life. Chaganty and the producer were adamant about casting a disabled actress for the role.
What Did I Think:
It should be noted that Munchausen syndrome by proxy (now known as “factitious disorder imposed on another”) is a very rare thing. Yet I’ve watched two movies that include it this month. I’m sure there are more horror movies out there with factitious disorder imposed on another because it makes for a great scary situation: what if someone you love and trust is making you ill . . . on purpose for their own benefit.
Daughter Chloe (Allen) begins to suspect that her disabilities and health problems have been caused by her mother. The majority of the movie Chloe is proving this to herself and extricating herself from the situation. Both Chloe and her mother Diane (Paulson) are written as smart, resourceful characters. It’s a wonderfully tense chess match between the two. I’ve said it a lot this month, but this is a film that hangs on the performance of one actress and Kiera Allen is pretty impressive in this role.
There is some background that seems to be missing from the character of Diane (which I believe was cut) and there is a moment of revelation for Chloe that seemed eye-rollingly convenient, but generally, I felt this was a solid movie.