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DieRy (A Movie Review)

DIERY (2020)

Starring Claudia Maree Mailer, Thomas Q. Jones, Keisha Castle-Hughes, Danielle Guldin, Ciaran Byrne, Philip Alexander, Nick Mathews, Jim Turner, Samantha Strelitz, Brendan Robinson, Chase Coleman, James Sutorius, Jocelyn Jones, Donovan Patton, Samantha Watkins, Kayvon Esmaili, Rae Ritke, Gina Briganti and John Buffalo Mailer.

Screenplay by John Buffalo Mailer.

Directed by Jennifer Gelfer.

Distributed by Mailer Tuchman Media. 100 minutes. Not Rated.

DieRy is certainly a lot better than you would guess by its awful, punny title. (DieRy? Get it? Diary? Die? Get it? Get it? Yeah, yeah, we get it.)

I’ll even go so far as to say the first half was surprisingly strong, before DieRy spins out of control a bit and ends up on some sour notes. It becomes a film that has too many ideas and no real clue on how to tie them up. And, honestly, the horror sections of DieRy are the least interesting things here, anyway.

Had DieRy stuck to the social commentary and psychological chills of the first half, it may have been something special. Instead, it’s a decent but flawed film which could have been better.

Even the behind-the-scenes story caused worry. Writer/producer John Buffalo Mailer seems to have created the film as a starring vehicle for his new wife, Claudia Maree Mailer. The end credits suggest that the actress is being introduced in this film, but while this may be her debut as a lead actress in a feature film, she has previously been in twelve movies, shorts or TV shows under her maiden name of Claudia Peters.

Therefore, it’s my pleasure to acknowledge that Mrs. Mailer is definitely a strong and charismatic enough actress to carry the film – in stride. (Mr. Mailer, on the other hand, is somewhat confounding in broadly portraying the exceedingly oddball supporting character that he wrote for himself.)

Mrs. Mailer plays Marie, a gorgeous and glamorous Instagram model and social media influencer. However, unlike the Kardashians, et al, the cyber-celebrity is not just a way of enriching herself and going for fame. Though she lives a glamorous life – photo shoots, swanky parties, swag – Marie is somewhat more multi-dimensional than most social media sensations.

Instead she does it as a way to finance her true love – academia – and afford a nice place to live. Her parents died when she was young (in a somewhat mysterious way) and she is mostly estranged from the extended family. She wants to be able to afford being a teaching assistant and gain her masters. Social media is a means to an end.

Marie keeps all of her secrets in her diary – and there seem to be some doozies in there. She may have had some mental issues in the past, and she obsessively protects her journal. Therefore, when the diary disappears and she starts receiving anonymous notes from the person who seems to have the diary, Marie is thrown off her axis.

And then the bodies start to pile up…

Of course, the more you learn about what is happening, the more levels that are peeled away, the more ridiculous and far-fetched the whole thing gets. However, the setup and the whole social media connection makes DieRy better than the average slasher film. The ending is a bit of a disappointment, but otherwise DieRy is a surprisingly compelling film.

Jay S. Jacobs

Copyright ©2020 All rights reserved. Posted: August 21, 2020.

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