“One-Eyed Girl”: Bleak Australian thriller might not become a cult classic


Movies about cults are difficult to pull off well. At some point, we have to understand how right-thinking people would so completely give themselves over to another person’s control. If done well, in a movie like “Martha Marcy May Marlene,” the effect can be insidious and unsettling, making us question if we’d be strong enough to resist under the same circumstances. If not does well, such as in Jonestown-esque “The Sacrament,” you wonder just how these rubes could so willingly march to their own destruction.

Falling somewhere in between is “One-Eyed Girl,” an Australian thriller that’s being released on DVD in the United States under the Dark Sky Films imprint. Dark Sky usually releases straight-up horror films, but “One-Eyed” is psychological horror if anything, a war of wills between two fallen healers. It looks terrific (first-time director Nick Matthews is a former cinematographer) and has some strong performances, but is narratively shaky.

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