charlie says review

In the 50 years since the Manson Family committed the brutal murders that shook the nation, the cult and its infamous leader Charles Manson has never really left the public consciousness. And this year, the number of movies attempting to decrypt the notorious Manson and his all-consuming influence has ramped up, with everything from shockingly offensive horror films to star-studded Quentin Tarantino dramas taking on the cult leader. But what about the women who were under Manson’s thrall?

Charlie Says attempts to answer that question, examining the horrific Manson Family murders through the perspective of three of Manson’s most devout followers: Leslie Van Houten (Hannah Murray), Susan Atkins (Marianne Rendón), and Patricia Krenwinkel (Sosie Bacon). But despite the three women bringing this story to life from behind the camera — American Psycho‘s Mary Harron helms while frequent Harron collaborator Guinevere Turner wrote the script, and Dana Guerin produced — the film’s purported female gaze feels partially obscured.

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Charlie Says trailer

Charles Manson is having an unexpectedly busy year on the big screen. In addition to The Haunting of Sharon Tate and Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, the infamous cult leader is also featured in Charlie Says. Former Doctor Who star Matt Smith plays Manson, but this film from American Psycho director Mary Harron isn’t about him. It’s about the Manson Girls – star-struck followers willing to kill because Manson told them to. Watch the Charlie Says trailer below.

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