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  • Writer's pictureGuy Jeffries

Personal Shopper Review

Director: Olivier Assayas

Olivier Assayas, director of Clouds of Sils Maria, writes and directs a dark, bleak and very European mystery-thriller that's skirts on the border of weird but in essence, is an intriguing ghost story. Nothing the title might suggest apart from being the lead characters occupation.

Kristen Stewart plays Maureen Cartwright, a personal Shopper for a high-profile, professional model. Scooting about Paris choosing, hiring and bringing back outfits for her boss to use for her shoots, but she appears to have another gift other than being able to pick out perfect outfits for someone else, and that is being quite acceptable to the spirit realm of our world. A gift she appears to have inherited from her recently deceased twin brother. Stewart is the complete focus of the film and does a really convincing portrayal of a strong, individual that could be under some sinister threat as she walks this path of spiritual discovery.

Assayas' style really brings a strong sense of realism, appearing to draw influences from accounts of real life encounters with the other side, possibly from his own experiences. This is something that separates it from other typical ghost story horrors. It feels more like a drama with a spirit seeping into the story, like how a true haunting would. You find yourself continuing questioning it, going from doubting to believing then fearing if what's happening is real or just imagination.

It's actually quite terrifying in parts especially for those of you who believe in ghosts and worst still, have experienced anything paranormal. There's a dip about half way that distracts us from the ghost story but that's only to prepare you for the unsettling horror that awaits. The sound mixing/editing is brilliant and resonates long after, which really emphasises the scariness of the film.

There's a lot more to this story than first perceived, possibly requiring rewatching to try piece everything together, but it's loaded with clues and references that at first, make little sense, and even at the conclusion might leave some baffled. This is what makes the film captivating and riveting, even distressing at times being totally unpredictable. However, there maybe too much drama, and feels drawn out with a running time of 105mins, but while I think I could have been cut shorter, something tells me it could have been a lot longer.

Though not making complete scene and thankfully for my own sanity, doesn't have much of a lasting affect, it's definitely the most scariest film of the year so far with me leaving with a lot of unanswered questions. A serious warning to those who fear ghosts or to those who have experienced hauntings, this might make you quite uncomfortable.

Running Time: 6

The Cast: 7

Performance: 8

Direction: 8

Story: 7

Script: 6

Creativity: 8

Soundtrack: 7

Job Description: 7

The Extra Bonus Point: 0

Would I buy the Blu-ray?: Probably not, but would rewatch it to hopefully figure it out.

64% 6/10

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