“Tideland is a spine-chilling tale from the visionary mind of acclaimed director Terry Gilliam.” Or so says the backside of the recently released DVD. These words seem to be quite the understatement. This film acknowledges “the line” and purposefully crosses it on several counts. It is gruesome at it’s best and unspeakably disturbing at it’s worst.
The story follows the life of a young girl named Jeliza-Rose (played by the ever-creepy Jodelle Ferland.) First her expertise in preparing heroin-filled syringes is depicted as she aids her father in shooting up for a “vacation.” Shortly after the opening, the girl’s mother over-doses. Jeliza-Rose and her father wrap the woman in sheets and flee to a deserted, dilapidated farmhouse in the countryside.
The movie slips into a downward spiral from here on out as you are forced to endure pointless scene after pointless scene. The first two-thirds of the film are exhausting and confusing as you try to find out where the storyline has gone or if it ever existed. Jeliza-Rose roams the countryside with four doll-heads as her only companions until she encounters a “ghost” woman. Dell, the ghost woman, lives nearby and is partially, if not completely, out of her mind. She is the caretaker of a mentally challenged man who becomes something of a playmate to Jeliza-Rose.
From here until the end, there are unsettling allusions to pedophilia, necrophilia, and human taxidermy. The film is disturbing above all else. Do not waste the money it requires to rent this film. You will be sadly disappointed. Your money is likely better spent on films like Pan’s Labyrinth.
This is a sad little 1 out of 5 in my book.