So, you know how people will say that nonconformists are actually conformists because they conform to nonconformity? Don’t listen to those people; they’re wise-asses without the wise. Nonconformity suggests a collection of people with staggeringly diverse tastes, personalities, aspirations, and ideals. Nonconforming groups like hipsters and hippies aside, it would be incredibly difficult to find two free spirits who think exactly alike. Now, take around twenty of those personalities, cram them into a single, sassy protagonist, and set her loose in a very tall halfway house for the socially and mentally inept; that there is the recipe for The Scribbler.
Suki, our delightful protagonist (played by Katie Cassidy), is afflicted with that brutal case of dissociative identity disorder, and flew the cuckoo’s nest all the way to Juniper Towers. Sometimes called the Jumper Towers due to the inanely high suicide rates within, this “psychiatric purgatory” is Suki’s final step on the road to normalcy. Doctor Sinclaire, Suki’s psychiatrist, employs the use of a seemingly volatile technique called the Siamese Burn; it is a form of electroshock therapy that regulates synaptic firing and effectively “burns away” excess personalities while counting those that remain.
The Scribbler is given a vague presence early on in the film, but as the counter on Suki’s burn box shrinks, it becomes much more prevalent. Characterized as the film’s tentative antagonist, Suki is afraid that this mute but powerful personality is her true self, leading her to struggle with her ultimate goal: To follow through with Sinclaire’s treatment and risk losing out to the Scribbler, or to consider herself a permanent, incurable resident of the Jumper Towers and risk being incarcerated once more.
But then, a third option opens up. Out of the blue, Suki wakes up after a day-long blackout to find that her Siamese Burn box has been dramatically modified by none other than her brain-sister. Hogan (Garret Dillahunt), Suki’s long-time friend, tentative lover, and the only male patient in the Towers, samples the modified box and claims that it let him experience his true self. The stakes are raised all the more; if our protagonist were to use the newly modified box, who would she become? Suki, or the Scribbler? And why does Alice (Michelle Trachtenberg) keep pushing her down the stairs?
This one’s definitely lacking in budget, but as far as B-movies go, The Scribbler is solid gold. Sure, it can feel a little nonsensically preachy at times, but that’s part of the charm. Up until the end, that is. The conclusion of the movie seemed rather… out of place. Epic, but out of place. Regardless of its shortcomings, the characters are strong (though most of them short-lived), the plot is gripping, and the musical score ain’t half bad. Watch you The Scribbler.
Matt Donato of WeGotThisCovered reveals the sad truth about poor little Scribbles: It yearned to be a cult classic and a seamless comic book adaptation, but lacked the chutzpa to pull it off. It seems the general consensus is that the conclusion was icky, but it is nice to see the Scribbler personality get some actual screen-time. Even if it is spent kung-fu fighting in the rain! Check out the WeGotThisCovered review right here, okay?