Two Fans Abduct Their Favorite Actor From Portland’s ‘Rehab Shack’
The story of fictional films inside real films is as classically immersive as The dancing horseman (Sing in the rain) and as self-reflexive as the Stab franchisee (from Cry 2 ahead).
But such movies in the movie are rarely seen from the perspective of credible basement moviegoers like Rehabilitation cabinby Chloe (Lacey Jeka) and Domenic (Scott Mandel). The two lifelong friends are pretty ordinary fans, except for the fact that they’re about to kidnap their favorite actor, Amanda Campbell (Alexandra Stebbins), the star of the fictional teen movie. world witch.
Written and co-directed by Portlander Kate Beacom (who shares story credit with Domenic D’Andrea), Rehabilitation cabin is a bold, deconstructive comedy that premiered at the Portland International Film Festival in 2021 and will arrive on VOD (via Apple TV and iTunes) on August 2. walk leading to a crime which is, well, a very serious crime.
Rehabilitation cabin is the kind of movie that recognizes out loud that The beauty and the BeastStyle Stockholm Syndrome is the ‘best case scenario’ for Chloe and Domenic’s semi-benevolent plan to ferry Campbell to the upstate New York countryside, dry her off and get her career back on track .
Yet for all the weirdness of the premise, Chloe and Domenic’s journey will resonate with anyone whose social life is ingrained in the movies. The characters may be budding kidnappers, but when they see world witch (who has a Goose bumps aesthetics and star-making aspirations of Disney Channel Originals) for the millionth time, there’s a believable foundation to their friendship in the way they recite lines, lovingly roast storylines, and reclaim Campbell’s work.
While Beacom says world witch was essentially a “lightning” fabrication of the 90s VHS core, the inspiration behind Rehabilitation cabin stems from their childhood dream of rescuing a movie star in distress. Although they’d rather not name the actor, the archetypal struggling ex-child star is instantly recognizable (think Lindsay Lohan or Amanda Bynes).
“With child actors growing up in front of you, you really bond, especially if you’re around their age,” Beacom says of the film’s inspiration. “You’re able to project yourself onto them in a way, like, ‘Oh, I was [also] 13 when I saw this movie.
The result? Fandom with the potential to turn into possessiveness. The fantasy goes something like this: As the media extorts a once-famous prodigy, salvation lies in the perilous celebrity finding safety and normalcy with his most devoted supporters.
“I think there’s an element of the unattainable with fame, but it also makes you, as a normal person, feel exceptional,” Beacom says. “Because your relationship with [the actor] is so personal. He’s so weird.”
While Beacom describes this mentality as “insane,” they found it to be relatively common. In fact, part of what made Beacom comfortable co-directing the screenplay (which they first conceived at age 22, fresh out of visual arts school) was that the co-director -director Louis Legge and other cast and crew members tied to the dream of forcing a celebrity to live a normal life for their own good.
On screen, Lacey Jeka’s lead performance as Chloe encompasses both sympathetic arrested development and domineering mania – part fan girl and part guardian. Place Aubrey at Ingrid goes west might be a recognizable and recent cousin of indie comedy, but Beacom compares Jeka’s ease with fiendishly unsettling humor to Heath Ledger’s Joker in The black Knight.
“I find it extremely difficult not to watch her all the time,” Beacom said of Jeka, who appeared on Research group and is now Beacom’s close friend and writing partner on several ongoing feature scripts.
Even though Rehabilitation cabin is ultimately a comedic warning against detachment from reality, part of Chloe’s worldview may prove cathartic for many movie diehards.
“If you live your life like a movie, you add value in some way,” Beacom says. “I lived my life wishing everything was a really wonderful edit, and then I realized that life is actually all the parts between edits. But it makes life and movies special.
SEE : Rehabilitation cabin is available on VOD via Apple TV and iTunes starting Tuesday, August 2.