The Canyons is not a good film. However, I stuck with it all the way through. I could have turned it off, but I didn’t. And, even though I knew it could have been better, I didn’t entirely regret the experience. Because, somewhere buried deep within the screenplay, is actually quite a good little film.
It’s written by (American Psycho-famed) Brett Eastern Ellis, who specialises in showing us shallow, rich, decadent characters. Therefore, don’t expect to particularly identify or relate to any of the leads. It’s about a rich young man who has links to the film industry. He starts to suspect that his girlfriend is having an affair and sets about destroying his potential rival.
Its plot is nothing special, but, there must have been a way of getting a little more intrigue out of it. However, all you have is beautiful people, wandering in and out of equally beautiful (or actually quite sleazy) locations, having conversations and then moving on to the next.
Yes, despite being pretty short on action, it definitely had a ‘vibe’ to it. It was certainly raw, as if it was filmed on video without much thought going into the shots’ framing or lighting. If you’ve seen David Lynch’s Mullholland Drive, then you’ll know the kind of haunting atmosphere which was created here (only minus the supernatural element). That’s the main reason I stuck with it. The film was genuinely creepy, showing us much of the seedy underbelly of L.A.
It’s a hard film to watch, especially during the first two halves, as little excitement is contained within. If you’re looking forward to the sex scenes, they’ve been somewhat exaggerated and you can probably find better on Youtube! You need to be in the right frame of mind to watch quite a slow movie with no real redeemable characters if you want to get something out of this film.