Electrick Children

Sunday 1 March 2015

Earlier this year, I decided I needed to make a concerted effort to watch more films - interesting films, that is - not just terrible low-budget horrors or films which are just 'entertainment value' to pass the time. One of the films I (re)watched recently was Electrick Children, released in 2012, written and directed by Rebecca Thomas - her debut. In a conservative Mormon community, sheltered fifteen year old Rachel listens to a song on a tape. When she finds herself pregnant, she believes she has had an immaculate conception, caused by the music. Whilst a few of my burning questions were left unanswered, I found the film sweet but not sickly; a quiet, interesting coming of age story slash teenage romance, hinting at something darker but not lingering on it. It's surprisingly nonjudgemental in its take on all involved, given the ease at which Mormon communities can be (and often are) reduced to cults and skater kids reduced to tired cliches. Julia Garner had me enchanted with her portrayal of the naive (but not slow by any means) Rachel, and Rory Culkin made for a perfectly sincere, kind-hearted misfit 'Joseph' in the modern-day nativity. The film's visuals are also beautiful, with a saturated 'road trip' colourscheme, and quiet moments for Rachel's self-taped narration to shine over flashes of old memories and the streets of Las Vegas. As usual, on my second (or third) rewatch of a film, I take screenshots throughout - I find it interesting to see how much of the film tells a story when reduced to a still, and Electrick Children passes the test for me.