The payoff isn’t nearly as interesting as the cryptic set-up and disquieting performances and scenes that precede it in “The Wait.” Still, this movie about a family failing to deal with the death of the matriarch and the differing forms their denial takes is promising enough in premise that M. Blash’s solid script attracted actors of some repute.
Jena Malone and Chloe Sevigny are sisters who have gathered in their mother’s spacious home in a wooded subdivision in the mountains of Oregon. They’re there to say goodbye and watch mom die, which she does in the opening moments of the movie.
But Emma (Sevigny, of TV’s “Portlandia,” “The Mindy Project,” etc.) fields a phone call from a stranger, a woman with a folksy, re-assuring drawl.
“Love is in the air, darlin’. Things always happen for a reason.” And here’s the kicker.
“They will return. Have a good life, now.”
Emma is beside herself. She’s expecting a resurrection. Odd, seeing as how she’s a hospice nurse and there hasn’t been one of those in millennia. She refuses to surrender the body or even admit to a mortician that her mother has passed on. She enlists her young daughter (Lana Elizabeth Green) in her fantasy and starts planning a party.
Younger sister Angela (Malone, of TV’s “Dakota” and “Hatfields & McCoys”) is nonplussed, but apparently unwilling to challenge her elder sister. She finds ways to get out of the house and a reason to want to in the hunky would-be historian Ben, played by Luke Grimes of “True Blood”, just cast as the lead in “Fifty Shades of Grey.”)
And the sisters’ much younger brother, Ian (Devon Gearhart) wanders off, carrying a teenager’s priorities, and seemingly in shock at Emma’s decision to wrap the body in a sheet and wait for…something.
Everybody’s dealing with a secret something here, be it a troubled mind, a broken marriage or bisexual curiosity. And as they cope and try to avoid each other or learn about each other’s issues, a forest fire is working its way toward them.
“The Wait” is a quiet and austere picture, and the setting and tone are reminiscent of the Tilda Swinton thriller “The Deep End.” Except this isn’t a thriller.
Blash, who used the same two leads in his 2006 film, “Lying,” hints at mysteries within mysteries and maintains a faintly chilly tone. Is something sinister or supernatural about to happen? Are they all doomed by the coming blaze?
Striking landscapes — often with smoke in the background — and odd images prevail; a horse, accidentally doused in reddish-pink fire retardant, a viral video of a little girl yanking free of an adult to hurl herself in front of a train.
So Blash puts an awful lot of intriguing ideas and possibilities on the table. But he is plainly a filmmaker who hasn’t yet worked out that tricky business of making them pay off.
MPAA Rating: R for some sexual content, brief nudity, language and drug use
Cast: Chloe Sevigny, Jena Malone, Luke Grimes, Devon Gearhart
Credits: Written and directed by M. Blash. A Monterey Media release.
Running time: 1:37
Top Posts & Pages
- Movie Review: "Alien" breaks its "Covenant" with the audience
- Movie Review -- "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales"
- Box Office: "Pirates" fatigue sets in, "Baywatch" drowns
- Movie Review: Waterlogged "Baywatch" goes down for the third time
- Movie: "13 Cameras" tries to get under your skin by getting inside your house
- Movie Review -- New Netflix doc remembers "Joe Cocker: Mad Dog with Soul"
- Movie Review: Worthington is strong, silent and deadly in "The Hunter's Prayer"
- Movie Review: "The Case for Christ" gets tossed out of court
- Movie Review: "Before the Fall"
- Movie Review: Sons are tested when dad takes them to the "Edge of Winter"
Find a Movie Review