Saturday AM Review: The Scribbler

I was not aware of the movie or graphic novel The Scribbler, but I happened upon a DVD release story regarding the movie. I have always been a Katie Cassidy fan so comic + her = I’ll check it out. Turns out the movie is pretty cool and makes me interested in the book.

Based on Dan Schaffer’s graphic novel, The Scribbler follows Suki, a recently released patient from a psychiatric hospital, who moves into a sketchy apartment building full of former patients. However, the cuckoo building is having a problem—a lot of its residents are jumping and committing suicide, since Suki’s arrival. Suki has multiple personality disorder, and one identity is called the Scribbler; the persona causes Suki to blackout for days and writes backwards messages all over Suki’s room. Besides having to contend with her crazy neighbors, Suki is trying to “cure” her personality disorder with a tool called the Siamese Burn, which is basically the electric shock method. This “treatment procedure” is supposed to eliminate personalities with each shock. Things get weird with Suki and up in the loony bin apartment building…

The cast of the movie is quite the fanboy assemblage: Katie Cassidy (Arrow), Eliza Dushku (Buffy), Michelle Trachtenberg (Buffy), Garret Dillahunt (Terminator: Sarah Connor/Deadwood), Billy Campbell (Helix/Killing), and Kunal Nayyar (Big Bang Theory). The film is quite dark and gritty, and each character is very stylized with their own set of issues. It seems like a large cast but most just appear for a scene or two. The movie revolves around Suki and the sole male resident. Without spoilers, I was surprised by Katie Cassidy’s transformation. Suki has choppy short hair, tattoos, piercings, and an attitude/multiple personalities. She plays evil/bitch quite often and well, but this part was beyond anything she has played before. 

Any movie involving a psychiatric hospital, mental patients, and killings is bound to be cray yet exciting. It is hard to pin down a genre for The Scribbler…comic book/superhero…thriller…drama…horror…a little mix of everything. I loved the genre potpourri. Dark thriller is probably my favorite genre and most tend to be indie movies, which makes the success rate even better. There is a somewhat twist ending that I didn’t see coming. The scenes where Suki shocks her personalities away are creepy and tense. How someone could be like electric shock sounds like a great idea in the 21st Century? A portable home machine…even better?! The Scribbler graphic novel was originally published by Image Comics so you know the material is adult and sinister. Also, the comic contains black and white art, which the film beautifully captures but not overtly a la Sin City. 

There is an awesome fight scene in the rain at the end of The Scribbler. I don’t want to spoil anything but Katie Cassidy is one side of the brawl. This fight has all the cool elements: rain, rooftop, supernatural abilities, and to the death. I was thoroughly entertained and surprised by The Scribbler. I am now interested in reading other comics by Dan Schaffer and seeking out the original graphic novel. Also, I’m not sure if Suki’s story continues but the movie seemed to have an open ending for sequel. The Scribbler is a genre-mixing, gritty, fun time. 

By Kasey Michael--a lover of all things entertainment. Born and bred in North Carolina, she can usually be found in front of a screen.