Perry employs the same tones redolent of Swedish erotica to add a hazy sense of disorientation to proceedings, allowing his camera to glide gracefully between Catherine and Virginia's increasingly strained communications, narrowly sidestepping the camouflaged bile and resentment that hangs on every italicised question mark. We're left pondering the value of this friendship, with this co-dependant relationship clear unable to facilitate the happiness of both parities at the same time. Filmed in forgiving 16mm stock by Sean Price Williams and punctuated by calligraphy title cards the film's soft, supple veneer is veiled in Keegan DeWitt's omnipotent score that prowls menacingly on the fringes of the film like a linger premonition of impending doom. As the mood escalates to an unbearable degree of tension, this prison of dependency and repressed emotions becomes entwined by the shackles of nepotism and entitlement.
Horror, more specifically psychological horror, has a long and problematic history when it comes to exploiting female insecurities. Queen of Earth's duo have as much in common with A Woman Under the Influences' Mabel as they do the titular mother in Polanski's Rosemary's Baby, yet whilst the notes of desperation are emphatic and resonate clear, the film never succumbs to melodrama, and both women are disconcerting comfort within their own skin. The performances of both Moss and Waterston are tremendous, filling the empty spaces of the frame with a suffocating mist of pain and suffering. There's plenty to admire in Queen of Earth, most notably Perry's ability to seamlessly shift between genres, yet it should be noted that the film's reliance on ambiguity will irritate viewers desperate for answers. However, if you favour feel and atmosphere over shocks and resolutions then you might find yourself a willing participant in the spiralling psychosis.
Patrick Gamble | @PatrickJGamble