Just when we thought A24’s blistering streak was coming to an end – or at the very least, beginning to slow – the studio pumps out a mesmerizing trailer to hook us right back in.
And so, after engineering the likes of Moonlight, The Lobster, The Witch, Room, and Alex Garland’s cerebral sci-fi Ex Machina – and, hopefully, this year’s It Comes at Night – into bona fide sleeper hits, the latest to tumble off A24’s production line is Woodshock. It stands as the feature film debut of Kate and Laura Mulleavy, two sisters who’ve made a name for themselves in the fashion world in recent years under the chic label Rodarte. Now, they’re hoping to make a similar splash in the film industry. Headed up by Kirsten Dunst, Woodshock is a psychedelic horror-thriller in which we find Theresa (Dunst) circling the jaws of depression after the crippling loss of her mother.
In her desperation, Theresa indulges in a potent cannabinoid drug that ostensibly elevates her onto a new level of consciousness, and the perpetual sadness and eerie, otherworldly music evoke memories of Lars von Trier’s Melancholia, a film in which Kirsten Dunst also succumbed to an existential crisis. Color us intrigued.
The exquisite feature film debut of visionary fashion designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy (Rodarte), Woodshock is a hypnotic exploration of isolation, paranoia, and grief that exists in a dream-world all its own. Kirsten Dunst stars as Theresa, a haunted young woman spiraling in the wake of profound loss, torn between her fractured emotional state and the reality-altering effects of a potent cannabinoid drug. Immersive, spellbinding, and sublime, Woodshock transcends genre to become a singularly thrilling cinematic experience that marks the arrival of the Mulleavy siblings as a major new voice in film.