starring Patrick Fugit, Ingrid Sophie Schram, Owen Campbell
written and directed by Jonathan Cuartas
by Walter Chaw The reason Dwight (Patrick Fugit) goes to diners is to eat a little toast, drink some coffee, and listen to other people go about their lives. His sister, Jessie (Ingrid Sophie Schram), waits tables at one where she suffers the indignities of the service industry with pallid, resigned despair. Between them, the extent to which they can empathize with people beyond their bubble will drive their existence to a crisis. Cut from the same cloth as Jim Mickle's exceptional We Are What We Are and destined to be compared to Tomas Alfredson's Let the Right One In, My Heart Can't Beat Unless You Tell It To (hereafter My Heart), the hyphenate debut of Jonathan Cuartas, finds its closest analogue in Claire Denis's Trouble Every Day, which is similarly about the brutal banality and biological horror of caring for a terminally-ill loved one. Dwight and Jessie look after their brother, Thomas (Owen Campbell--so good in Super Dark Times), who needs to drink blood to survive. Sunlight burns him badly and instantly. Well into puberty, he still acts like a child--not for any sort of mental disability, but rather, we surmise, because of a lifetime spent in a handful of the same rooms, his brother and sister as his sole companions.