January 23, 2022

The Darkish Film Exposing Jeffrey Epstein’s Home of Horrors

5 min read

Jeffrey Epstein was a monster, and his cursed spirit lives on in The Scary of Sixty-First, a wild indie throwback (Dec. 3 in LA; Dec. 17 in New York; Dec. 24 on VOD) that skillfully straddles the road between severe giallo homage and outlandish topical joke. Directed and co-written by Dasha Nekrasova (of Succession fame), it employs the late pedophilic financier’s crimes as a launching pad for sapphic Italian-style horror, delivering an odd mix of sincerity and silliness that marks Nekrasova as a proficient filmmaker to look at.

Counting Suspiria, The Past and Repulsion as a few of its many touchstones, The Scary of Sixty-First focuses on twenty-something pals Noelle (Madeline Quinn) and Addie (Betsey Brown), who transfer into an Higher East Facet house in Manhattan that comes with the earlier tenant’s outdated, glitzy furnishings, in addition to a Murphy mattress whose mattress, we’ll quickly study, is roofed in mysterious stains. Cleansing up the place, they discover a assortment of rotten and expired meals, which prompts Noelle to criticize Addie for her “poverty mindset” (as a result of she’s rejected the financial help of her rich father), and drives Addie to purify her bed room of dangerous power by burning incense. Extra ominous nonetheless, Noelle stumbles upon a tarot card of “The Solar” in her lavatory cupboard, whereas Addie spies claw marks on the within partitions of her closet and stares uncomfortably on the mirror located on the ceiling simply above her air mattress.

One thing is extremely amiss on this abode, and that impression is amplified from the beginning by Nekrasova, whose opening-credit sequence is a group of creepy close-ups of carved gargoyle faces and cherubic angels on the façade of a New York Metropolis house constructing, and upward-gazing pans down (and aerial photographs of) grey metropolis streets and skylines. In a way not in contrast to Peter Strickland (In Fabric), the director operates in a clear Dario Argento mode, replete with phony 16mm print blemishes and a synth-heavy rating to offer the proceedings a classic vibe. That’s additional underscored by the narrative itself, about two younger beauties who take up store in a beguiling new residence stuffed with weird doorways, chilling corridors and scary basements, solely to find—with the help of an enigmatic stranger—that there’s one thing supernaturally sinister happening there and apt to devour them complete.

The interloper into Addie and Noelle’s lives winds up being an unnamed lady performed by Nekrasova (right here credited as “the woman”), who barges into the duo’s house whereas Noelle is residence and instantly reveals that it was an “orgy flophouse” owned by none aside from Jeffrey Epstein. “Possibly he housed his slaves right here,” she opines inside minutes of assembly Noelle, and the sheer bluntness with which she introduces this twist—and begins meting out all types of particulars about her “investigation” into Epstein’s intercourse crimes—is each humorous and in tune with the final dreamlike ambiance conjured by Nekrasova. In true giallo type, The Scary of Sixty-First exists in an unreal panorama of terror and need, of foreboding and paranoia, and thus the bonkers high quality of this Epstein bombshell doesn’t really feel in the slightest degree misplaced; quite the opposite, it proves a pure match, given Epstein’s personal hyperlinks to the type of loopy Pizzagate-ish Satanic panic that always drives thrillers equivalent to this.

With an amusingly straight face, Nekrasova’s woman proclaims, “I’m not like regular individuals. I’m obsessive about political wrestle.” Because it seems, she’s additionally a fount of Epstein conspiracy theories who’s distrustful of the federal authorities, satisfied that the financier was murdered reasonably than dedicated suicide, and interested in the Caribbean “pedophile island” that he owned, which YouTube movies point out boasted a sq. construction coated in suspicious white and blue traces. Such motifs will reappear later in The Scary of Sixty-First, which turns into more and more lurid as soon as Addie falls beneath her house’s damned spell. Having been spurned by Noelle (with whom she had a previous school tryst), Addie seeks solace within the arms of her loser boyfriend Greg (Mark Rapaport), whom she unnerves throughout intercourse by requesting that he faux she’s underage—culminating with the demon-voiced demand, “Fuck me like I’m 13!”

Epstein’s pedophilic evil has infested Addie, who takes to frantically masturbating on the steps of the billionaire’s different NYC properties, sucking her thumb like she’s sucking on one thing else completely, and furiously rubbing her crotch with articles and photos of Prince Andrew. Ultimately awash in gaudy crimson mild, The Scary of Sixty-First is a concurrently brazen and tongue-in-cheek censure of Epstein and Andrew as pedophilic predators who apparently carried out their illicit actions in 5 house buildings whose areas, collectively, create a Satanic geographic pentagram. In between bouts of lovemaking and snooping about—together with the invention that Addie has ordered a commemorative silver spoon from Andrew and Fergie’s marriage ceremony!—Nekrasova’s woman opines about Epstein’s reign of terror and the pedophilic underworld it’s uncovered, “That is our 9/11.” It’s an overstatement of hilarious absurdity, with Nekrasova conflating fantasy and actuality, solemnity and schlockiness, to ace impact.

Epstein’s pedophilic evil has infested Addie, who takes to frantically masturbating on the steps of the billionaire’s different NYC properties, sucking her thumb like she’s sucking on one thing else completely, and furiously rubbing her crotch with articles and photographs of Prince Andrew.

A go to to a magical apothecary that leads to the acquisition of an obsidian stone additionally components into this sordid story, which is sexualized to such a fervent diploma that it manages the not-inconsiderable feat of elevating one’s temperature and eliciting chuckles on the identical time. Upon listening to that Addie loves all the things British, Nekrasova’s woman remarks, “Anglophilia is one factor, however pedophilia…”, to which Noelle responds, “What sort of fucking cuck bootlicker is even into the royals?” Nekrasova and Quinn’s script smears Andrew’s supposed guilt within the viewers’s face, by way of Addie behaving profanely along with his picture, and with a finale of unholy ritualistic sacrifice and homicide that marries old-school stylishness with modern-day wit.

Clearly, The Scary of Sixty-First is not going to go over properly at Buckingham Palace, however its use of real-world malevolence and scandal for B-movie kicks is assured, thanks largely to the stewardship of Nekrasova, who has a knack for the disorienting nightmarish irrationality of ’70s and ’80s exploitation efforts. Her characteristic directorial debut could typically come throughout as a lascivious lark, but it surely’s nonetheless an completed one that means she’s obtained much more daring work in her future.

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