This movie didn't have the cachet of An Education. Similar to Stephen King's Carrie, it was like a dark horror version of a classic fairy tale. A lovely, sweet and shy high school student is awkward with the changes occurring in her young body. Jess Weixler was excellent as Dawn. This actress gave an "A" performance in a quirky "B" movie.
Don't speak medical Latin? Take a look at the trailer to see what it all means.
And there you have it. I doubt that any man can sit through this 90-minute horror story without squirming. The storyline isn't quite as strong as Weixler's performance but the movie is so original and so freaky that it holds your interest. Director and screenwriter Mitchell Lichtenstein did some clever work, giving us witty chills. He taps into some primal fears about sex. Dawn is a teen undergoing physical changes she can't control -- like Peter Parker shooting streams of a sticky substance out of his body as he mutates into Spider-Man.
Jess Weixler keeps Dawn believable and sympathetic. She also blends in comedy without pushing it. Very skillful, subtle work. She doesn't comment on Dawn's character, she plays the insecure and confused reality of her. There are flashes of camp humor, like a parody of the 1950s style of sci-fi movie acting, but not enough overall camp humor in the film to make this a full-blown guilty-pleasure send up of a genre -- like in a Mars Attacks!, Mike Nichol's What Planet Are You From? or The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
I wonder if actor Michael Douglas has ever seen this movie.