Celebrity Crush

**

Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode

Celebrity Crush
"Brusque and energetic, this is a film no more interested in justifying its choices than its anti-heroine."

In an era when every horror film feels obliged to have a new trick or to spend more time on references than on its own story, there's a purity about Celebrity Crush that's rather endearing. Jonathan (Oliver Robins) is a celebrity of sorts, a former child star known for cult horror film Chain Faced Clown. Emily (Alissa Schneider) has had a crush on him since she was a child. She's figured out the number one rule of hitting on one hit wonders - wait a decade or two and they'll be grateful for the attention - but, having collected everything associated with him in the meantime, she can't stop there. She just has to collect him too.

Jonathan isn't what most people would think of as hot stuff. He's just an average middle aged guy with thinning hair and debts and a wife who gently urges him to keep exploiting the only thing that ever made him any money. His former co-star, however, encourages him to think of conventions as places for picking up women. Being new to it, he can't even tell when disinterest is being feigned. He has no understanding of what hotel rooms are for or why he should never go back to a fan's place - at least not until he wakes up chained to a mattress in an outbuilding being told that from the moment she first saw him, Emily knew he was the only one she would ever love.

Brusque and energetic, this is a film no more interested in justifying its choices than its anti-heroine. Schneier embraces the role with gusto, mixing straight-out mania with that pitiable quality possessed by all the best movie monsters. The acting is not what one would call refined - or even rehearsed - but one gets the feeling that the actors probably know this and their cheaply stylised banter will hit the spot for fans of straight-to-VHS genre favourites. The direction, too, is just too precise in its roughness to be accidental. There are no knowing twists or unexpected revelations, but the whole thing powers along at a pace that makes sure viewers don't have time to get bored.

With a good side helping of gore for those who like that sort of thing , Celebrity Crush is a comedy that always keeps a straight face. Like Emily, it seems entirely certain of its course, no matter how messy that course may be. Exhausting though her determined cheerfulness can be, it bleeds out into the film more widely, making it more fun than it should be and dealing with any resultant discomfort by simply ignoring it. There's not much to this film but one can easily see it attracting dedicated fans of its own.

Reviewed on: 19 Jun 2019
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Celebrity Crush packshot
An obsessive fan kidnaps a former child star.

Director: Oliver Robins

Writer: Oliver Robins, Jeff Rubin

Starring: Oliver Robins, Alissa Schneider, Melissa McNerney, Jonathan D Lee

Year: 2019

Runtime: 92 minutes

Country: US

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