limp. is the story of Mr. Grot (Eoin Quinn), an awkward man, and his relationship with a corpse. Talk about a love story doomed from the start. It’s not as gruesome as it sounds though – the film isn’t graphic at all, in fact, and the corpse is pretty fresh. It’s not like she’s full of maggots or anything. Besides a brief moment of necrophilia, limp. probably won’t gross you out. The lack of grisliness may come as a a surprise, but viewers will soon realize that the film frequently subverts expectations, particularly ones about a highly disturbed corpse fucker.
The prologue features stunning imagery of waves and wheat fields ala Terrence Malick. Over the images, a young boy tells a story about seeing a creepy kid in a window once. This chilling anecdote appears to be completely unconnected to the narrative, but in the end it’s revealed how it ties into the overall chronicle of Mr. Grot.
This type of role could easily devolve into a caricature of a psychopath – becoming funny rather than dramatic. On the surface, Grot is your typical horror louse: he’s anti-social, greasy, wears coke-bottle glasses, and leers a bit too long at women in public. When we first meet him, he’s in a women’s clothing store, affectionately fondling the dresses. Sure, he could be buying one for his lady friend or wife, but then it cuts to a very long take as the camera slowly moves down a hallway into Grot’s bedroom, where he’s putting the dress on a corpse. I knew going in what the story was about, but this lengthy reveal still gave me a wicked bad case of the willies.
Writer/director Shaun Ryan chronicles the deterioration of Grot’s fanciful relationship through a viscerally engaging structure that combines striking imagery with patient pacing. The film only runs about an hour, but it packs a helluva punch. Eoinn Quinn’s performance is genuinely remarkable. He underplays certain aspects of Grot’s psychopathy, then goes wonderfully over the top other times. With minimum dialogue, Quinn’s able to deliver some truly powerful moments.
I only have one issue with the film. Even though it’s only an hour long, it could benefit from a bit of cutting. Some of the artsy shots of nature and waves linger a little too long for my tastes and feel tedious. This is just a small problem though and if viewers are more patient than my ADHD ass, they probably won’t have any qualms.
limp. is an assured, haunting first feature from Ryan. Keep this one on your radar for sure, guys.