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CLOSET MONSTER Discovery D: Stephen Dunn. Canada. 90 min..
Discovery D: Stephen Dunn. Canada. 90 min. Sep 13, 5:30 pm Ryerson Sep 16, 3:45 pm, TIFF Bell Lightbox 2. See listing. Rating: NNN
There are many things to like about this Newfoundland-set coming-of-age/coming out/quasi-body horror picture, not the least of which are Bobby Shore’s low-key, obstacle-laden camerawork and a carefully graded performance by Connor Jessup as Oscar, an aspiring monster makeup artist terrorized by his own homosexuality.
But writer/director Dunn’s feature debut is marred by an excess of story editing. The heavy emphasis on events from Oscar’s childhood – his parents’ divorce, witnessing of a bloody hate crime – implies a troubling causality between these early traumas and Oscar’s sexual identity and professional ambitions.
Closet Monster features a compelling protagonist but it would have been wiser to explain a lot less about his psychological formation.