Adapting a young adult novel seems to be all the range at the moment. This movie from 2011 (but only recently released in the UK) The Moth Diaries comes with model turn actress Lily Cole in a lead role. But does it hold the same magic as its contemporaries?
Sixteen year old Rebecca (Sarah Bolger) loves her life at her boarding school, including her friends, especially her BFF Lucy(Sarah Gardon). However when new girl Ernessa (Lily Cole) arrives at the school Lucy grows distant from Rebecca and closer to the mysterious stranger. Rebecca is suspicious of Ernessa but is it just jealousy or is there something supernatural about Ernessa?
I’ve never read the original novel so I can’t say if this is a good adaptation. However what I can say is that it’s a below average movie. It becomes fairly obvious who Ernessa really is, and the film bludgeons you over the head with references to popular literature so even the less genre-savy viewers can guess her secret. The film tries to suggest that Rebecca is perhaps mentally unwell due to her tragic past and obsessiveness over Lucy but it’s pointless considering how unsubtle the movie is about Ernessa. A lackluster ending also disappoints, needing a proper final confrontation to really raise the stakes. Even hints about schoolgirl lesbians doesn’t make it more interesting.
Perhaps whats most disappointing is that the director Mary Harron also made a little film with Christian Bale called American Psycho. Now of course I don’t expect characters to start killing people with an axe while Huey Lewis and The News are playing in the background (although maybe it would help), but I thought she could bring more horror and imagination to the movie.
The acting from the girls isn’t terrible, although Cole suffers from playing such a one-dimensional character. It’s also fairly watchable as long as you don’t expect anything too original. But if you’re looking for a new twist on an old genre movie then you should give this a miss.
Rating 2/5 – it may be easy watching but it’s also easily forgettable