A 2006 real-life mass shooting in Seattle is the inspiration for this harrowing drama by writer and director Jagger Gravning. "Wallflower" does not offer much information about the mind of the unidentified killer (David Call), but neither does it seem concerned with delving into its unknown motive.
Cutting between the morning and evening murders, "Wallflower" follows the killer and his victims at a rave and the ensuing party. The killer interacts with those who will become his victims, even receiving an invitation to the post-delirium hangout.
"Wallflower" jumps back and forth in time, but its final leap – an epilogue in a survivor's life – and its lively sequence of credits are very simple after the horrors we witnessed. There is merit in communicating that there is life after tragedy, but this ending is shocking and very abrupt.
Gravning shows technical prowess with the film's visuals that incorporate elements of the party scene in light and color, but he seems disconnected from the humanity of the story. The drug-fueled conversation of supporters may seem true to life in its banality, but it does not generate good dialogue or work to humanize the victims. “Wallflower” is a tiring viewing experience at times, and never truly justifies its existence and the audience that goes through this pain.
Runtime: 1 hour, 24 minutes
Playing: Starts October 18 at the Laemmle Monica Film Center, Santa Monica; Only on October 19th and 20th, Laemmle Playhouse 7, Pasadena