Film Review: AIMY IN A CAGE (2015)

IMDb: Aimy in a Cage (2015)
Director: Hooroo Jackson
Stars: Crispin Glover, Allisyn Ashley Arm, Terry Moore

AIMY IN A CAGE (2015) opens with infectious music, eccentric set design, and a strangely approachable cast of characters. It is no surprise that it opens by referring to itself as a Hooroo Jackson trip. This is an appropriate description since this film is truly an experience. It is sure to take each individual viewer through a unique experience, depending on what it is they are watching for. This movie isn’t exactly a horror film; but for this viewer, it had a disturbing psychological quality that has been hard to shake days after viewing.

Now when I say disturbing, I’m not talking about American Guinea Pig, Salo, Mordum, or A Serbian Film. Instead, people will watch AIMY IN A CAGE and start throwing around names like Tim Burton and Wes Anderson. These guys have films that can mess with you visually. They also have films that can make you really think about aspects of life that can be deeply troubling. So while some readers may think disturbing is too strong of a word, I think anything with strong emotional content can disturb a person’s psyche on different levels, for different reasons. This film definitely has the settings, costumes, eccentricities, and weirdness that can disrupt a person’s mental stability. For that, it can be compared, for it will by many, to the work of Tim and Wes. I, however, am going to draw a stronger comparison of this film’s darker side to someone else. This director is one of my favorite visual directors. I am also going to go out on a limb and compare it to one of his more underrated films, in hopes that you go check it out as well.

The director is Terry Gilliam, and the film is Tideland. Gilliam uses many of the same techniques as the two more famous directors mentioned, but takes the darkness to another level. Aimy in a Cage can be compared to Tideland from its strangely disturbing themes of youth trying to survive in a sick society. Aimy’s story also takes place in a dystopian society, enhanced by a steampunk-ish design that I also found strangely disturbing. There were even strange characters who were portrayed by over-the-top acting that will provide some WTF moments. At times, this film’s tendency to go over-the-top separates it from Tideland’s dark realism. I think the ominous tone in Tideland is the reason that it has been such an overlooked film. I hope that this does not happen to Aimy in a Cage.

I really love the fact that this film dives deep into the world of psychology. It asks hard questions about the individual in society, science, and medical technology. It also places you in a claustrophobic setting, where you are stuck in a building while a plague ravages the outside world. Further adding to the strangely disturbing nature of the film, is the fact that you really don’t know what’s going on outside. Therefore, you are stuck in this tiny building while families and children waste away physically and mentally.

AIMY IN A CAGE stars Crispin Glover and many other talented actors. The entire cast does an amazing job of creating a intriguing strangeness to their roles. This is truly a film that is hard to ignore. Everything about it is intoxicating. So while it is not a horror film that normally gets reviewed on this site, it is a very well made dark satire that any fan of film will appreciate.