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Tideland DVD Review

by Kam Williams

Kinky Coming-of-Age Flick Released on DVD


Jeliza-Rose (Jodelle Ferland), the lonely, little daughter of a couple of strung-out heroin-addicts, has been so neglected by her dysfunctional parents that she was essentially expected to raise herself. Part of the way in which the emotionally-abandoned girl learned to deal with her predicament was by escaping into a parallel universe peopled by colorful characters fabricated by her imagination.


Then, when her mother (Jennifer Tilly) dies of an overdose, her father (Jeff Bridges) decides that they should move from the city to the family farmhouse in the country, where Jeliza only ends up even more isolated. There, the traumatized tyke is befriended by a one-eyed witch (Janet McTeer) and the village idiot (Brendan Fletcher), when she's not retreating deeper into a suspense-filed world of hallucinations involving disembodied dolls, talking squirrels, lightning bugs and freaky fireflies.

This bizarre blend of surrealism and eccentricities supplies the cinematic fuel which feeds Tideland, a macabre fairy tale based on the best seller of the same name by Mitch Cullin. Faithfully-adapted to the screen by Monty Python's Terry Gilliam as a morbid mindbender, the picture might be best described as a kinky cross of Psycho and Alice in Wonderland.

Deliberately disturbing, disgusting, and designed with the unshockable in mind, Tideland is strictly recommended for the very open-minded with cast-iron stomachs.

Good (2 stars)
Rated R for profanity, drug use, sexuality, bizarre behavior, disturbing images, and gruesome situations involving a minor. Running time: 120 minutes
Studio: ThinkFilm
DVD Extras: Interview with director Terry Gilliam, production interviews, bonus footage, trailers, "Behind-the-Scenes" and "The Making of" featurettes, and a video introduction by Gilliam.

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