Connect with us
SXSW (At Home): 'Make Up' Review

Movie Reviews

SXSW (At Home): ‘Make Up’ Review

Make Up is surprising and suspenseful and illustrates how searching for happiness can be a frightening yet rewarding experience. 

The phrase “lipstick on the collar” is a common saying when one suspects another of infidelity. In Claire Oakley’s 2019 film Make Up, Ruth finds lipstick and other clues that lead her to think her boyfriend Tom is unfaithful. However, as the clues add up, Ruth’s imagination begins to run wild. As Ruth’s search for the truth intensifies, a new mystery is revealed. Oakley’s  Make Up is a suspenseful tale of self discovery and growing up.

Make Up has all the themes of a coming of age story, but the direction of the film casts a haunting pall over it. A young girl arrives at an isolated holiday park in Cornwall. The setting places an enormous role in developing the tone of the film. The wind and waves are overhead throughout most of the film and Ruth is greeted upon arrival by Shirley, the holiday park’s manager. Shirley, played by Lisa Palfrey, is blunt unwelcoming, but not rude woman. She lets out a laugh that is almost Lynchian given Ruth’s lonely night time arrival. Ruth makes love to Tom on her first night there, but is distracted by a banshee-like scream that goes on throughout the evening. An eerie tone is set for the movie.

Listen to the latest episode of our weekly movies podcast, Adventures in Movies!

And yet it’s not a horror movie and it’s not a mystery. Ruth, played by Molly Windsor, is new to town, new to the job, and most of all is scared her boyfriend is cheating on her. This fear plagues her and she imagines her boyfriend with a faceless woman. She becomes obsessed with this woman and idea that most of Ruth’s scenes are a bit chaotic as she stumbles through the beach and runs through the vans at the park. Windsor gives a great performance as a scared but driven young woman.  She approaches strange sounds, she dives into dark settings, hoping to find answers.

Oakley’s writing and direction take a story of self discovery and elevates it. Windsor’s performance is excellent. Make Up is surprising and suspenseful and illustrates how searching for happiness can be a frightening yet rewarding experience.

Make Up
Is it good?
Oakley's thoughtful use of sound and setting add a touch of mystery to an interesting story about identity.
Interesting directorial style, adds sexiness and horror elements, that make the story unique
Great performances
Excellent use of scenery
There is a side plot and a character that does not quite fit in with the rest of the film.
8
Good

Like what we do here at AIPT? Consider supporting us and independent comics journalism by becoming a patron today! In addition to our sincere thanks, you can browse AIPT ad-free, gain access to our vibrant Discord community of patrons and staff members, get trade paperbacks sent to your house every month, and a lot more. Click the button below to get started!

Comments

In Case You Missed It

what lies below what lies below

‘What Lies Below’: Body horror by way of family drama

Movie Reviews

run run

Adventures in Movies! Episode 95: ‘Run’ review & movies that gross us out

Adventures in Movies!

Alex Ross blasts Warner Bros.: "I got screwed" Alex Ross blasts Warner Bros.: "I got screwed"

Alex Ross blasts Warner Bros.: “I got screwed”

Comic Books

SmackDown: The Uso family values soap opera SmackDown: The Uso family values soap opera

SmackDown: The Uso family values soap opera

Pro Wrestling

Connect
Newsletter Signup