Quick Take: Enemy (2014)

enemy

When Enemy ended, I immediately went to the Internet to figure out what the hell the ending meant. I saw one critic call it the scariest ending of any movie ever. I don’t know about that; it’s certainly up there among the most unsettling. Unsettling is a good word for the film as a whole, as we follow Adam (Jake Gyllenhaal), a college professor who has discovered a local actor who looks and sounds exactly like him. There’s clearly more going on here than a simple case of curiously accurate doppelgängers, since the creepiest music in the world is laid over the whole movie and creepy spiders are in every other scene and creepy spiderweb imagery infects the whole movie. Denis Villenueve, the director, also directed the more straightforward Prisoners, another movie committed to a very particular mood. Maybe Enemy suffers from underdeveloped characters or an occasionally opaque plot. But, overall, Villenueve and his cast do a great job of sustaining the movie on atmosphere alone. Besides, Villenueve isn’t going for coherence; he’s more interested in exploring themes of totalitarianism and conformity.

Quicker take: Eek, spiders!

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