Suspicious River (2000) Poster

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subtle and haunting
octomagneto6 January 2005
If you're a fan of Molly Parker then you definitely should see this film. Ms. Parker proves in this role as she does in the HBO series "Deadwood", that she is an accomplished, diverse and talented actress.

Suspicious River is gripping story of a woman who as a hotel clerk, begins to seduce her male guest. However she allows herself to become prey to one of the more unstable guest as she becomes ever more recklessness.

Well shot with gray, melancholy scenes of the wooded North West. Muted colors, and misty landscapes are apropos to the story.

The soundtrack of indy music contains several interesting songs.

If you enjoy independent film this is worth renting.
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Edgy, Deep Film
courser-11 August 2003
I read quite a few reviews here before I opted to buy Suspicious River. I had heard quite a bit about it while it was filming, but then was a bit put off on actually buying it. I finally did and am glad I did.

I've become a fan of Canadian film the last few years and find that many of them could be considered 'disturbing' by some. I didn't find Suspicious River all that disturbing, but an interesting view of a young woman fighting her demons. Certainly this film was no more disturbing than, say, Crash or The Sweet Hereafter.

I thought the film was extremely well done. Both Parker and Rennie did justice to their roles. I never considered Parker's lack of emotion to be a flaw, but an integral part of her character.

Probably a bit too edgy for mainstream audiences, with its long silences and scenery shots, but for me, it all enhanced the mood of the film.

I've found I really enjoy the smaller scale, more character driven films by Canadian filmmakers. It's also fun, since the pool of Canadian actors is much smaller than in the US and therefore, you get to see actors playing a multitude, very different parts.

I enjoyed the film very much.
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Dark Wonderful Amazing film. Bravo Molly Parker!
zombiezen14 December 2004
Warning: Spoilers
I have read some of the other reviews of this film and obviously they were written by people who probably thought it was gonna be something sexy and erotic. IT IS NOT! It is sexy is some parts but this is about a woman at a crossroads in her life. She works at motel as receptionist and is also a prostitute for some of the customers. She is very unhappy with her life and looking for a way out of her current situation. Maybe a much darker way out than she will admit to herself.

I thought the acting by Molly Parker was amazing and she conveys every emotion perfectly in this film. All the actors in fact do a remarkable job and the direction is dead on. The film is very dark and contains some scary imagery but that should not put off serious film buffs. If you liked the film kissed or you like films like Mullhuland drive then you will really enjoy this. Its told in simple and pure tones and is riveting in its honesty. If on the other hand you thought a film like two moon junction was good cinema then stay away cuz this is nothing like that. It has a heart and some serious edge and will not leave you happy and sparkly feeling. It want to tell a real story about real people who are struggling with their own demons and trying to find a way to overcome them.
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It's no candy
abrilmay18 November 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Cinema can and should reflect all aspects of human nature. This movie is indeed very dark. It tells the story of a woman who uses what she can to get away from her past, her home town. Yet, in doing so - she turns tricks in the motel where she works - she repeats a past linked to her mother. We have here a woman with no self respect, who has had to deal with the tragic consequences of her mom's adultery. She seeks the attention of men, in that sense she's not only whoring for money. One day, she comes across a man in her motel, gorgeous Callum Keith Rennie, sweet talker,he wins her heart. Sadly, but in the same dark wave as the rest of the movie, he turns out to be a dangerous prick. Why do people hate this has very little light to guide our steps through this girl's nightmare. We are used to candy/vanilla stories where the good ones triumph, the bad ones ether go to jail or explode...This movie, and the psychological trauma it shows, is all too real. And it is a scary thing to watch...Molly Parker is great in this role...Not many actresses could have played this part. Not a feel good movie.
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Very tough to watch
gazebo24 December 2003
Warning: Spoilers

I have to say that the performances in this film is excellent. Molly Parker is very good as a mentally damaged young woman who can only find relief in her dull life by becoming a prostitute in a hotel where she serves as a receptionist. I couldn't help thinking, why is this nice looking young woman acting in such a horribly self-destructive way?

Things get worse for this woman when she meets a handsome man who wanted to stay in the motel. This man, played by Callum Keith Rennie (an incredibly intense actor), beats her up in his motel room. She doesn't do a thing to stop this abuse. Gradually along the way, she ends up having an affair with this dangerous stranger and things go from bad to worse. Oddly enough, a second story appears. This has to do with a young girl who has a dysfunctional family life. Her parents are not getting along and her mother has numerous love affairs. Tragedy happens to this little girl. The stories do not seem to relate to one another, but the ending, which is jarring and disturbing, ties the two stories together.

Like I said before, the performances are very good, but the story left me feeling a little ill. There is this one scene where Gary (Callum Keith Rennie) takes Lilah (Molly Parker) to a room in a house. He tells her he has to go out to do something and so she stays in the house. Men come into Lilah's room and pretty much rape her. She doesn't do anything but lay there like a corpse. The rape scene made me feel very sick at Lilah's violation and I was angry that she did nothing to save herself. Only in the end, did she find some sort of courage to get away from Gary.

This is a deeply disturbing film. Not everyone will enjoy this movie.

I give this movie a "B+" for the perforamnces and a "C-" for the story.
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interesting and strong in it's own ways
hidden_fear6 July 2002
some people might call this movie weak, i don't think so.. if you think it's weak your only seeing the surface of it, this movie has much going on but it's all deep down, this movie is "REAL" compared to some of the stuff that has come out of hollywood lately, it doesn't seem like it had a large budget either, it does not follow the normal cookie cutter image if a "blockbuster" or anything else.. parker had a very hard roll to play in this movie i thought she pulled it off quite well if you like independant films and something different this is a very good well done movie!
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Distasteful film with Miserable Characters
mrchaos3322 April 2003
This is a rather distasteful indie film from Canadian director Lynn Stopkewich. Set in Washington state, where apparently it rains all the time, it features Molly Parker as a hooker motel clerk who is trying to raise money to escape her dreary life. One of her clients, Callum Keith Rennie, appears to be her ticket out of dullsville, but turns out to be her worst nightmare. To describe these people as dysfunctional does dysfunctional people a disservice. The movie is populated by characters would make even Jerry Springer blush - drunks, cheaters and physically abusive men. The only missing deviant behavior here is incest and necrophilia, and that's only because Miss Parker has already covered the latter in 1996's Kissed for the same director. Parker and Rennie are remarkable actors, and Stopkewich is a capable director who isn't afraid to push the envelope and take chances with her craft. I only wish they would have given us something to aspire to instead of dredging up the seedy lives of these miserable characters.
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Disturbing, dark, overbearing.
vdisanto4 November 2000
A deeply disturbing film, with some coarsely difficult scenes to view. Dark from the outset, with nary a glimmer of hope evident in its passing, this film is wanting to capture much more than it does. Overt symbolism weakens the plot, and were it not for Molly Parker and Callum Keith Rennie's stunning performances, this film would be seriously damaged. A difficult film to recommend.
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Below average
LeRoyMarko18 April 2002
Depressing movie about a woman who sells her body and then, just give it away. Molly Parker is very good as Leila, the motel receptionist who gives the male clients more than just the key to their room. But the movie is a little bit too much of the same, it seems to drag for most of the film. Only the last quarter of the film were interesting enough to keep me awake.

The movie still have some very troubling moments. It reminded me of what's happening in British Columbia these days: the police is discovering bodies of missing women at a pig farm in Port Coquitlam.

Interesting the story of the little girl in parallel. Symbolic? You decide. The setting is nice too. A little motel on the side of a secondary highway.

The movie is not really interesting, I guess, because of the script that seems not to be moving. Would probably have made a good one hour tv-movie.

Out of 100, I gave it 71. That's good for ** out of **** stars.

Seen in Toronto, at the Carleton Odeon Cinemas, on April 13th, 2002.
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A story ruined without reason
lea-121 February 2009
This movie at a running time of 92 minutes was about 62 minutes too long. The storyline in itself was good but the problems are in the story telling. The viewer did not need to be beaten about the head with the repetition of Molly Parker's expressionless face 'seducing' the travelers finding their way to this apparently dead-end town and Batesish motel. We sorta got the idea by the time Jay Brazeau shows up looking for a room and 'company'. It would have been ever so much better to make it a short film and get to the point. I had already figured out the twist in the storyline long before the audience was supposed to get it and spent the next hour bored out of my mind. I actually took a break from the movie to clean my oven just to make it more bearable!

The second detail that disturbs me was mentioned in another user comment and I agree. Why was this Canadian film made with Canadian funding, starring Canadian actors and shot in a Canadian location set in a fictitious town Americanized? Why could it not have remained a fully Canadian film?

I'm not sure why this particular group of women are so fascinated with the idea of placing their lead female in roles of such depraved degradation - I seriously question their intentions.
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Embley29 September 2000
i had a lot of problems with this film but the main ones were that it is largely boring and seemingly implausible. molly parker was rather weak and her character was thin - i didn't think the motivating force for her actions was adequate. callum keith rennie was fine but the dialogue they were all given was very stilted and silly. it did not come together at all. although i had heard it was offensively bad and horribly violent, it wasn't as bad as all that. but the swans were definitely annoying.
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Worst movie I've ever seen
kshort7 December 2004
This movie was disturbing, disgusting and dull all at once. I think that movie cases should warn you about multiple rapes and an attempted gang rape. I suppose in some cases, graphic violence is justified by the story, but in this case they weren't. The characters showed little progression -- Molly Parker could have played her role unconscious if she were rigged with wires. I bought this movie from Blockbuster for $5, used. I should have suspected something at the price. I thought about giving it away for free, but I don't hate anyone that much so I will be throwing it out. I highly recommend that you watch Men with Brooms instead.
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Spirit breaking, soul numbing, and shamfully offensive.
shiitttykitty13 November 2004
As a woman, I am deeply saddened and troubled by the fact that someone would invest human intelligence, labor, and money to produce such darkness and ugliness in the disguise of indie cinema. We all know that the world is ugly and cruel and we do not need to be constantly reminded of that. Why not create something uplifting and beautiful? Why not give us a chance to breath? Why some indie films have to be so meaninglessly vile in order to be artsy? I simply cannot believe that this film was both written and directed by women. How sickening! How disturbing! And what message were they trying to send to the world by depicting women in such offensive fashion?
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An AWFUL film watching experience. Who could like this drivel?
digitalcritic12 February 2003
An AWFUL film. What kind of abuse must the writer, director, and actors have suffered in their childhoods to want to tell, or be a part of this story? The performances are LAUGHABLE. Molly Parker is like a walking zombie incapable of expression. The lead male is soooooo faux. Pul-lease!! Enough already. If this director gets a chance to make more movies, then something is terribly wrong with the current film investment mentality. It's not an important story, nor well told. I felt like asking for my money back at the video store. That's a first. Actually, no. American Boyfriends by Canadian director Sandy Wilson was the first. Who would I recommend this film to? Psychos, serial rapists, or repeat sexual offenders. Save your money and pick another, ANY other, film on the shelf. It's evil! Don't watch it. And DON'T let your kids or loved ones watch it. I give it ZERO out of ten...since there is no rated negative value
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Words fail to describe how bad it was...
Sander Pilon29 June 2001
This HAS to be one of the most boring movies in the last few years. The story was vague at best, the acting was horrible, and I don't know where they found the music they used - but it was unbearable.

Definitely not recommended. If you want to see a good movie, go see Shrek for the fifth time or something.
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SnoopyStyle1 July 2017
Leila Murray (Molly Parker) works in a quiet roadside motel. Her husband is slowly wasting away. She starts prostituting herself to the motel guests. She is uncontrollably drawn to one of them, the possessive volatile Gary Jensen (Callum Keith Rennie). Her life slowly spirals downward and she can't stop.

Molly Parker has a haunted presence. The movie is a bit slow. It needs to have higher tension. The husband needs to do something. The most compelling confrontation actually comes from Millie. There is a bit of violence but it could be scarier. There is darkness here but most of it is hidden inside Leila. The movie needs to bring that darkness out onto the screen.
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