Ginger Nuts of Horror
It was the odd mix of Mary Poppins Disney like sweetness mixed with the dark serial killing madness of Katie Holmes and a six shooter that really caught my eye. Imagine those Disney films where all the birds come down to the female character and join in a song tainted with the cold hearted psycho killer of any serial killer movie.
Miss Meadows lives in one of those picturesque American towns, where all the picket fences are perfectly straight and Delux white, the lawns are perfect, everyone knows everyone else, and everyone is great friends no one dislikes any one. But lurking, underneath this postcard picture perfect facade is a dark undercurrent, rapists lurk the streets in their cars, paedophiles hide around the local school. Such is the insidious nature of the threat the local police have no idea that their lovely town is not as lovely as they think it is.
Luckily the town has a teacher like Miss Meadows, who on the surface, appears to be everyone's perfect teacher. Uncontrollably jovial she is an amalgamation of every single Disney princess, Mary Poppins, and everyone's favourite mother. She is so happy that she likes to suddenly break into a little tap dance in the street. But look closer. Look into those dark almost shark like dead eyes, and you will see the soul of a murderess.
It is a dirty old man whose attempt to force Miss Meadows into his truck that sets her on a rampage of revenge to clean up the streets of her lovely little town.
Miss Meadows is an odd little film, one that on the whole works really well. The film is largely carried by Katie Holmes performance. Her performance in this film is typical of her acting career, bland and dead eyed. However where this would normally be a hindrance, but the director of the film utilizes Holmes limited acting capabilities to the fullest, and injects the Miss Meadows character with an almost Michael Myers cold faced silent killer mentality.
It's always hard to get the balance right in a black comedy, and in general the direction of the films gets it right, it perhaps veers to far towards the twee end of the spectrum. If they had gone for a slightly darker approach, then Miss Meadows would have been a fantastic film rather than just a good film. Perhaps we could have seen her be more ruthless and go after criminals who didn't really deserve a bullet in the head, a sort of spiral of madness as she killed more and more people.
However the lightness of touch that the film has is a refreshing change to the standard dark as dark can be serial films. Katie Holmes is supported admirably by the rest of the cast, in particular James Badge Dale who plays the local cop who falls for Miss Meadows, is portrayal of a cop torn between love and duty is handle very well.
If you are looking for an interesting and original take on a suburban thriller then Miss Meadows is a great choice.