Under the Silver Lake
A slacker sleuth wonders what it all means.
David Robert Mitchell is so full of wacky cinematic ideas that he “seems to have overwhelmed himself,” said Chris Nashawaty in Entertainment Weekly. Four years after the director made the horror film It Follows, his talent “still jumps off the screen.” But his long-awaited follow-up is “an overstuffed mess” that’s “so bonkers” only cultish viewers, like me, will love it. Andrew Garfield plays Sam, an L.A. layabout who turns amateur sleuth and falls down a rabbit hole when his pretty blonde neighbor disappears. Suspecting a vast conspiracy, Sam sees clues everywhere from cereal boxes to pop songs, and soon he’s following a trail of bread crumbs through a colorful L.A. underworld. Garfield’s performance is “a thing of ramshackle beauty,” said Mike D’Angelo in AVClub.com. His Sam is “haplessness incarnate,” and this “hilariously demented” detective story eventually becomes “a futile quest for transcendence.” With its coded messages and ironic 1940s-style noir score, “Under the Silver Lake is wonderfully barbed as a satire of the kinds of dudes who’d spend their time deciphering puzzle movies like this one,” said Inkoo Kang in Slate.com. The parody deflates when it turns out there really is a conspiracy afoot, but along the way, it’s still “a dippy blast.” ■