Scarygirl (2023)

The Keeper (Anna Torv) is seeking a rare mythical octopus and is currently offering various bandits and bounty hunters a high-paying reward. While the reward is impressive, the only problem is that it’s nearly impossible for anyone to find one! After a brief conversation between The Keeper and Chihoohoo (Tim Minchin), Chihoohoo and his hunters once again set out on the hunt. They return to the planet Peninsula to seek and capture the rare creature once and for all.

On Peninsula is Arkie (Jillian Nguyen), a young girl who adores technology-related matters. Arkie has one eye, and one of her arms is a tentacle. Arkie and her father, Blister (Rob Collins), who is, in fact, a giant octopus, live on the planet Peninsula. Currently, Arkie is seeking a crystal to complete her latest invention- the light beamer- while trying to learn from her father a technique to regenerate plants. Each day, Arkie and Blister are concerned for their world, especially whenever they see a beam of light shooting up into the sky. Blister is confident that someone is destroying life as we know it by draining the sun.

When Arkie mistakenly tests her latest invention, she alerts Chilhoohoo and his crew about their location. At the same time, a pair of bounty hunters named Bunniguru (Remy Hii) and Egg (Kate Murphy) also crash onto the planet not far from Arkie. Soon, Arkie makes a heartbreaking discovery that her father, Blister, has been captured and taken. Arkie and her new friends, Bunniguru and Egg, set out on a rescue mission to the City of Light. For Arkie, who has never set foot outside of the Peninsula, the dangerous journey shocks her as she learns more about her past.

Scarygirl is an animated adventure film based on a popular graphic novel. Carrying strong elements of sci-fi and fantasy along with light-hearted gags, the film introduces a new world that is consistently filled with surprises and wonders. Some characters throughout the film are fun and lively, while others are creepy, dark, and more frightening. Given the sci-fi aspect, the opening scene reminded me of titles like Blade Runner, Mad God, and A.I. Artificial Intelligence. It’s also evident that the film is best suited for young teenagers as young children may find some scenes scary.

Throughout the film, there are some wonderful messages suitable for all ages. Some of these include accepting others and yourself, but I also enjoyed hearing messages like there’s always something you can do to improve the world. The animation is filled with stunning creations, and the many characters that appear are highly different and unique from one another. The voice cast is something that cannot be faulted, and again, there’s a great range here. Plot-wise, I must confess that I wasn’t overly invested initially because I was unaware of the graphic novel. Some of the storylines felt out of place, strange and bizarre. Thankfully, as the film progressed and reached the finale with its unexpected reveals and twists, it felt like everything tied in well, and my investment and journey felt rewarding.

Overall, Scarygirl introduces many creative characters and stunningly beautiful worlds. The sci-fi and fantasy aspects reminded me of films such as Mad God and A.I. Artificial Intelligence. The voice cast throughout is surprising and terrific, and the animation style, like the characters, is creative and fascinating. I found the start of this film and its story slightly uneven and strange, but as I progressed, I couldn’t help but be drawn in. Arkie’s journey and major reveals in the finale felt unpredictable, leaving me feeling rewarded as the credits rolled.

6.0/10

Rating: 3 out of 5.

29th October 2023
Written by Peter Walkden

WALKDEN ENTERTAINMENT

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Set in India, we follow a young nine-year-old boy named Samay (Bhavin Rabari) who lives with his family. One day, his father decides to take the family to the movies. Samay questions the decision, claiming that his father doesn't even like movies. It’s been five years...

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem (2023)

Set in New York City, we follow the four well-known and popular Ninja Turtles. This time, things are very different. Here, we get to learn how the turtles became mutants skilled with ninja abilities thanks to their father, Master Splinter (voiced by Jackie Chan). In...

Theater Camp (2023)

Joan (Amy Sedaris) is a much-loved theatre camp founder and creator. However, this year’s upcoming theatre camp is suddenly at risk when Joan falls into a coma during a performance. Thankfully, Joan's son, Troy (Jimmy Tatro), is determined to keep everything going....

Past Lives (2023)

The film opens with three people sitting at a bar. We hear a voiceover and strangers questioning their status- who's dating who, and what kind of discussions are being had among them? One thing is sure: their relationship is awkward, emotional, and dramatic. After...

Outpost (2022)

After being involved in a horrifying and brutal violent attack, Kate (Beth Dover) struggles to move forward with her life. The medication she's been provided isn't helping, and she continues to struggle in areas of concentration and fails to maintain any form of...

Haunted Mansion (2023)

Well, ghostly gals and guys, saddle up because the Haunted Mansion has swung open its creaky doors on the big screen for a spirited rendezvous! Now, I won't say it was the full-blown Disney Afternoon Special I was looking for, but it certainly has its eerie...

Interview: Brian Vining / The Last Video Store (2023)

Walkden Entertainment (aka Peter Walkden) had the honour and pleasure of chatting with Brian Vining, director, writer and executive producer of The Last Video Store (2023), which is Now Available on major streaming platforms in Australia on Apple TV and Tubi and in...

Sound of Freedom (2023)

Tim (Jim Caviezel) is a government agent tasked with tracking and arresting paedophiles. Naturally, his daily work isn't the easiest as he is often required to watch disturbing video footage and occasionally go undercover to make an arrest with proper...

Four Rooms (1995)

Ted (Tim Roth) is a new Bellhop working in a luxurious hotel. His first shift is on one of the year’s biggest nights: New Year’s Eve. In the opening scene, we see Ted in his uniform and full of enthusiasm as he is given words of advice from the previous Bellhop, who...

Save the Tiger (1973)

Harry (Jack Lemmon) wakes up in bed from what seems to be a nasty dream. He pours water on his face and conducts his daily routine, having a shower and sharing chit-chat with his wife. During this conversation, we learn that Harry is stressed out. While Harry feels he...

John Wick: Chapter 4 (2023)

Time has passed since we last saw John (Keanu Reeves), and he is living secretly underground with the Bowery King (Laurence Fishburne). John continues to train his body and contemplate his next move against The High Table. At the same time, we learn that Winston (Ian...

Strays (2023)

Reggie (voiced by Will Ferrell) is a sweet, tiny, cuddly dog. Sadly, Reggie's owner, Doug (Will Forte), hates him passionately and often blames him for his failures in life. No matter how hard Doug tries to get rid of Reggie, Reggie always finds a way back home, not...

The Bounty (1984)

The film opens with Lieutenant Bligh (Anthony Hopkins) dressed in uniform and entering a court hearing. As part of his trial, the Lieutenant shares his recent experience as the captain of a large ship called ‘The Bounty’. Lieutenant Bligh’s comments reveal that he was...

The Haunting of Julia / Full Circle (1977)

Julia (Mia Farrow) wakes up one morning to have breakfast with her husband and only daughter, Katie. While eating, Katie begins to choke on her food, and Julia and her husband attempt to prevent her from choking. Sadly they are unsuccessful, and Katie dies on the...

Dracula: Voyage of the Demeter (2023)

Soldiers in London discover a large ship that has crashed onto the shore. Upon investigation, the ship seems to be known as The Demeter, and a journal that belonged to the ship's captain is recovered. Within a few pages of the journal, the soldiers discover warnings...

Everybody Loves Jeanne (2022)

Jeanne’s research project, Nausicaa, was designed to remove microplastics and other waste from the ocean, making the world a better place. She consistently wrestles with her inner voice, which speaks to her, suggesting she would be better off just walking in front of...

Subject (2022)

The film begins with a view of a computer screen. The person in control of the computer screen is unknown, but it is evident that the mysterious viewer is accessing confidential footage from an event in 2019. As the video playback begins, viewers also get to watch...

The Flood (2023)

A hurricane is ravaging Louisiana with wild storms, rain, and flooding. People within the community are advised to leave the area as best as possible; however, we soon see firsthand that escaping or trying to stay dry and remain safe is not easy. We witness a...

Ginger Snaps (2000)

When a little boy playing in his sandbox discovers some blood, it isn’t long until he and his mother find a dog paw in the sand. From here, we are introduced to two sisters, Ginger (Katharine Isabelle) and Brigette (Emily Perkins). The sisters hear of their...

Armageddon Time (2022)

Set in the 1980s in Flushing, Queens, we are introduced to Paul (Banks Repeta), who is in the 6th grade at a Public School. We see Paul's classroom, his fellow peers and a teacher filled with frustration trying to get a well-focused classroom. Paul enjoys being...

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On (2021)

When a documentary filmmaker discovers he's not alone in his rented house, he decides to film and interview his findings. Sharing the house with the filmmaker is an adorable little shell named Marcel.  He has a cute, shy personality and wears shoes. Marcel...

Old Man (2022)

The film opens with an Old Man (Stephen Lang) waking up from having a bad dream. Upon waking, he calls for Rascal (possibly a dog) and walks around a cabin, continuing to look for him. His search is interrupted by a loud knock at the front door, and the Old Man...

Barbie (2023)

Welcome to Barbie Land- a place where everything is incredible, colourful and 100% perfect in every way. In Barbie Land, there is every kind of Barbie and Ken that has ever been created and other Barbie-like dolls that sadly never became a massive success, like Ken’s...

Quicksand (2023)

Quicksand begins with a panicked man fearfully running around a forest armed with a shotgun. Joining him is another mysterious man, perhaps his partner in crime. The two have been attempting to steal snake skins worth a significant amount of money, more valuable than...

Carmen (2022)

Carmen (Melissa Barrera) is a young woman forced to flee home. Her reasons for fleeing the Mexican desert are somewhat mysterious, and all we know is that she is being hunted by a pair of men who will destroy and kill anyone in their way. We also meet Aiden (Paul...

Red, White & Brass (2023)

Maka (John-Paul Foliaki) and his best mate Veni (Dimitrius Schuster-Koloamatangi) are massive fans of all things rugby. When it is announced that their town will be hosting the ultimate Rugby World Cup game of Tonga vs. France, the pair will do anything to make sure...