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February 11, 2014

Movie Review: My Name is 'A' By Anonymous

Review By: Rob Sibley

I'm stunned, it's as simple as that. I've been a fan of Shane Ryan for many years with his Amateur Porn Star killer trilogy. All three were shocking art movies, psychological horror if you will.
Shane returns with his latest film that is easily his best work to date. I wasn't sure what to expect when I first watched this. I had no idea about the plot or the fact that it was based on a true story, I went into the film having no clue on what to expect.

People looking for torture porn or some B.S. like that look else-ware. Ryan isn't interested in gore, he's interested in the psychology of the characters, the emotional violence, the psychological word play which leads to violent actions that was truly horrific.Those of you familiar with my reviews know I don't play favorites or mince words. But Shane Ryan is the modern day John Cassavetes of emotional devastation.

The film tells the (sadly true) tale of Alyssa Bustamante a very troubled young woman who ended up murdering her neighbor... a nine year old child Elizabeth Olten. Many of you probably just decided to not watch the film after hearing the plot. But this isn't low rent exploitation, it's high art.

It's a film that dives head first into the abyss and misery of it's "A" character and it's unflinching in it's depiction of the rough teenage years. As someone who has dealt with depression my entire life I can say all of the actors involved captured everything perfectly. Not a bad performance in the bunch.

I realize I'm not discussing the actual events of the film or even providing a proper synopsis. This is because it's an important film that has to be seen to be believed. This isn't escapist entertainment, this is art, this is a slice of life. By the ending of the film... I was destroyed. I couldn't discuss it until I processed it. It's heavy, dark, depressing but real.

People are comparing this film to the works of David Lynch and I see that. But Ryan has his own unique voice which he's been perfecting over the years. Nothing I can say will prepare you for this picture. The only film I can really compare it to is Andrea Arnold's "Fish Tank" but much much darker.

You will probably not sleep the night after watching this. Personally this film should be shown to teenagers because it's a wake up call. They show real issues that millions of people deal with. The entire film it feels like were peeping in on conversations and actions that we shouldn't have access too.

This is the toughest review I've ever written because I'm not sure what to say. I watched the film days ago and I still can't shake it. When you finish this film, make sure you have a stiff drink and a pack of smokes on stand-buy. This is the highest compliment I can give a film. I've never seen anything quite like it before.

The experience was like reading a very dark poem. It's an hour and a half of sheer reality, in your face, unflinching, unforgiving. I applaud everyone involved in the production, it's not a one sided film... you really get to know each character. This is true horror, it's real life. It's straight out of the headlines. It will be tough to stomach if you're not in the right mindset... but you can't be for this film. You just have to click play and be ready for something that's unbelievabley believable.

The film comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. I can't say enough good things about this picture despite the fact that it still haunts me. But much like a tragic accident, you can't look away. Ryan flips from camera phones, to black and white and then to color. Every scene is so true and honest that it hurts. All high schools should show this film, it's that important.

For more information on the film visit

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