THE MOTH DIARIES-Canada/Ireland-2011


Lily Cole as Ernessa

Lily Cole as Ernessa

Sarah Gadon (m) as Lucy

Sarah Gadon (m) as Lucy

Sarah Bolger as Rebecca

Sarah Bolger as Rebecca

Judy Parfitt as Mrs. Rood (Image not from film)

Judy Parfitt as Mrs. Rood (Image not from film)

Scott Speedman as Mr. Davies

Scott Speedman as Mr. Davies

Directed by Mary Harron

Screenplay by Mary Harron

Based on the novel by Rachel Klein

This is a tough one. I see The Moth Diaries not as a traditional vampire tale; i.e. Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu or Dracula by Bram Stoker; in which the vampire appears almost out of nowhere and begins to slowly insinuate its way into the lives of its victims. I may be wrong; and I am certain there will be enough eager people out there to tell me that I am; but I saw The Moth Diaries as a loss not of life, but of friendship. An alternate title could have been “How to Lose Your B.F.F. to the Pale Chick across the Hall”. Rebecca (Sarah Bolger, Once Upon a Time, Crush), Lucy (Sarah Gadon, Antiviral, Cosmopolis), Charley (Valerie Tian, 21 Jump Street), Dora (Melissa Farman) and Sofia (Laurence Hamelin) are best friends who attend the Brangwyn School for Girls. The bond between Rebecca and Lucy is stronger because, as Rebecca writes in her diary, Lucy taught her how to live again after the suicide of her father.

Enter Ernessa (Lily Cole, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus). Raven-haired, pale and with a foreign lilt to her speech and an air of mystery surrounding her; she slowly works her way into the circle of friends; influencing them, charming them, stealing them away until Rebecca is left with no one. What is Ernessa’s secret? Is she a vampire, as Rebecca wants to believe; or has Rebecca been taking Mr. Davies’ (Scott Speedman, Underworld) class on literature and the supernatural a bit too seriously? What about that smell, simultaneously sweet and rotting coming from Ernessa’s room? What about the thousands of moths? Did Rebecca and Dora really see Ernessa intangibly enter her bedroom window from several stories up?

I never read the novel The Moth Diaries. I base my review on the strengths and weaknesses of the movie alone. Two things I discovered are that I liked the movie better than I thought I would. It’s a well-acted and more capable film than its given credit for. The other thing is that I plan to read the source novel by Rachel Klein. Will I love the book and hate the film after reading; or will it be the other way around? Who knows? That’s the fun of it.

One more thing that I noticed: Scott Speedman, who plays the teacher Mr. Davies, also played a werewolf (lycan) in Underworld; which would basically make him a werewolf in a girl’s dormitory. I just wanted to put that out there for you.




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