Andra Day delivers a star-making performance as Lady Day, aka Billie Holiday in Hulu’s The United States vs. Billie Holiday from director Lee Daniels.
Every so often, a movie will come along that confuses me to no end, and Vertical Entertainment’s The Giant is one of those movies. David Raboy makes his feature debut with the film, which follows Charlotte (Odessa Young) just as she completes high school. On her graduation night, Charlotte learns her first love Joe (Ben Schnetzer) has returned to her small Georgia town for the first time since vanishing the year before, amid an awful trauma in her life.
But on that night, a girl her age is found dead – and then another. Something terrible has arisen in this place, and as her final summer speeds towards a nightmarish conclusion. Charlotte gets the unshakeable feeling that somehow it is coming for her – in ways more troubling than she could ever know.
To make matters worse, Charlotte is grieving the suicide of her mother. Not to mention her dad is clueless about what his daughter is going through. As the body count continues to rise in this small, will Charlotte make it out alive, or will she become another casualty?
After my initial read of The Giant’s plot, I can admit that I was under the impression the film would be a slasher flick. The movie buff in me thought the director would set up red herrings pointing to Joe as the killer. In the end, we found out it’s someone we least expect. Sadly the film doesn’t go this route, and days later, I’m still trying to figure out what David Raboy’s intentions were. As the film progresses, I thought maybe he would be going for a Twin Peaks vibe or perhaps a high school drama that Terrence Malik never made.
If that was the director’s intent, for me, there was no succession. From bad lighting to questionable shots and bland dialogue, The Giant appears to be weird, just for the sake of being weird. Odessa Young, who delivered a much better performance in 2018’s, Assassination Nation deserves better while the rest of the cast is just there with hackneyed performances and overdrawn dialogue.
While I’ll always commend anyone living their dreams and accomplishing the goal of directing a narrative feature, I can’t recommend The Giant unless you have insomnia.
Final Grade F
The Giant is available on digital and On-Demand today. The Giant | Official Trailer (HD) | Vertical Entertainment
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