THE SCARY OF SIXTY-FIRST
Horrific real-world news story becomes giallo-inspired horror in this gleefully deranged interrogation of our conspiracy-fuelled, edgelord-filled times.
Twentysomething New Yorkers Addie and Noelle can’t believe their luck when they find an apartment in their price range in Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Of course, there’s a catch, and it’s not the food left to rot in the cupboard or the blood-stained mattresses. As they soon learn, the flat used to belong to the late sex offender Jeffrey Epstein – and absolutely nothing good can come from staying there, stewing in the paranoiac, malevolent doom he left behind.
The Berlinale Best First Feature Award–winning debut film of actor and ‘dirtbag leftist’ podcaster Dasha Nekrasova (The Red Scare) follows the separate rabbitholes into which the apartment draws these two women. For Noelle (played by co-writer Madeline Quinn), it’s epic Epstein conspiracy theories and sex with her likeminded new girlfriend (Nekrasova); for Addie, it’s something more sordidly sinister. Shooting on grimy, gleaming 16mm and cheekily nodding to everything from Eyes Wide Shut and Brian De Palma to 70s horror and pornography, Nekrasova dives in to all-out madness but with tongue kept firmly in cheek throughout. And yet, underneath it all, The Scary of Sixty-First is driven by a palpable outrage and an acutely self-aware sense of the zeitgeist.
“There can be a fine line between a good idea and a terrible one followed through with utter conviction, and it’s along said line that The Scary of Sixty-First dances with heedless, wicked abandon. A brash, gutsy, morbidly funny first feature.” – Variety