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The Independent Critic

Jennifer Faith Ward, Jessica Cheek
Johnna Troxell

 "Ambiguous Figure" Review 
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Julie (Jessica Cheek) is just an innocent child.

Or is she?

The best films, at least among those involving the more horrific side of life, are those that leave a little bit more to the imagination. Films such as The Exorcist or the original Halloween or even, to a certain degree, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, may have had their graphic violence and disturbing images but they also left room for the mind to wander.

Why were these killings happening?

What was really going on?

Is there more to the situation that we're not seeing?

In just over three minutes, Ambiguous Figure becomes a film that leaves your mind wandering long after the closing credits have rolled.

Are the images that unfold in Ambiguous Figure simply the product of a child with an overactive imagination? Does it actually matter given the content of these images if they are real or imagined?

The best horror, at least for this critic, exists within the confines of the fractured human mind, a mind capable of both intense and passionate love and of grave acts of depravity so inhumane it leaves one gasping for air. Ambiguous Figure is a film that would be equally at home in underground film fests, horror film fests and, yes I'll declare it, within even a social justice film festival.

There are so many possibilities contained within the 3:26 running time of Ambiguous Figure that it will leave you pondering its images and messages for hours - as a film should.

It helps, of course, for a film to possess performances that complement its ambiguity and Ambiguous Figure is gifted with two strong performances from young Jessica Cheek, the perfect weaving of innocence with a bit of a twinkle in the eyes, and Jennifer Ward, whose performance manages to ride that line (Is there a line?) between disturbing and disturbingly normal.

Ambiguous Figure's technical aspects are strong as well, with Paul Steward's camera work serving as a playfully menacing companion to the action unfolding . For more information on Ambiguous Figure and the work of Caisson Films, visit the Caisson Films website listed in the credits to the left.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic