A few weeks ago, while writing up the YouTube video round-up post for mid November, I stumbled upon a trailer for an upcoming movie called Girl with No Mouth. I was thoroughly impressed by the short teaser’s visuals and pacing, and I quickly added the movie to my mental must-see list.
It wasn’t long before I read more and more praise for the film, which actually released in its home country of Turkey back in February. I dug deep for international reviews of the movie ahead of its December 8th North American release, and knew I had to share what I found with you.
Girl with No Mouth is the story of a group of children who all suffer various physical deformities stemming from a toxic explosion that spiraled society into some sort of apocalypse. In addition to the main character, Peri (Elif Sevinç), who lacks a mouth, the group of children also consists of one without a nose, one without ears, and one without eyes. It seems to be a “See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil” situation with a “Smell No Evil” thrown in for good measure.
The movie’s tagline is “A Grim Post-Apocalyptic Tale for the Whole Family,” which conjures thoughts of good wholesome fun, but apparently it goes a bit darker than that. See, the explosion that caused the deformities was triggered by an evil group called “The Corporation,” who is dead-set on rounding up and eliminating the last of these children to save their reputation.
Director Can Evrenol, whose previous works include horror flicks like Baskin and Housewife (currently available to watch on Shudder), also co-wrote the film to appeal to his particular style of horror film — i.e. weird. But Girl with No Mouth doesn’t quite delve as deeply into the realm of those previous films, according to critics.
Movie review site Roger’s Movie Nation gave the film a score of 2 stars out of 4, citing a few glaring issues.
“As with many movies set in this sort of dystopia, there’s a bit more showing us the world that was lost and the kids’ confusion about it than we need,” the reviewer states. “The kids may be archetypes, but typically, there’s a more obvious parable packed into a feral childhood tale like this. Lacking that as a driving force to the narrative, ‘Girl With No Mouth‘ and her crew just wanders about, into and out of bloody trouble, living through a pointless parable and survivalist tale with no real goal or destination.”
But ultimately, it seems that the movie did have some redeeming qualities: “Can Evrenol’s thriller is heavy on parable, semi-nonsensical in plot, but benefits from good acting and a grimly-realized children’s odyssey undertaken in post-apocalyptic future.”
British review site Eye for Film gave the movie 3 out of 5 stars, explaining that “On the one hand, a parable of corporate greed and exploitation, and of society’s treatment of the disabled or ‘deficient’, and on the other a story of the way we all reinvent ourselves precisely through story, Girl With No Mouth‘s narrative is so successfully reimagined by its child characters that it is practically a children’s film.”
Despite the seemingly lukewarm reception from these early English-language reviewers, I plan to check the film out on December 8th when it releases on Blu-Ray, DVD, and select Video-on-Demand services in North America. How about you?