To say that there have been a few different tellings of the story of Alice in Wonderland would be an understatement. Disney has had a few cracks at it, Sci-fi did an original miniseries on it and there have been countless numbers of Alice in Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass/Jabberwockey spoofs and remakes that it's hard to remember all of them. But considering the new Alice in Wonderland remake/sequel is coming out soon I figure I might as well review one that not everyone may have heard of. Thanks to THIS review from the guys over at Cool Awesome Movies I remembered one that had slipped my mind. It was a trippy gangster indie drama from last year called Malice in Wonderland. Shortly after reading their review, I dusted off my copy of the film I bought at the local indie film distributer store and rewatched this highly underrated film.
Not to be confused with the Snoop Dogg album, Malice in Wonderland is a strange and unique twist on the classic tale. Maggie Grace plays Alice, a girl who is running around when suddenly she is hit by a car and knocked out. The guy, Whitey, throws her in the back of his car and takes off, since he is very late for a very important date. When Alice awakens she happens to be in Wonderland. But this isn't your parents Wonderland. Gone are all the friendly, bright and smiling faces and in it's place are dangerous thugs who are no fun to mess with.
The first thing you'll notice about this film is the style, especially for an indie movie. Everything is very sharp, clean and vivid and the visuals are quite a sight to behold. They are over the top, twisted and quite a treat for the eyes. It's definitely a darker Wonderland and it really works for this film. The acting is overall quite great and in very good quality with Maggie Grace doing extraordinarily well. The plot moves along at a great pace and overall it's a pretty damn well put together indie film. My only gripe, which seems to be the biggest gripe around, is the length. It's too short. Now usually I don't complain about that but, despite the great pacing, it felt like it was over too soon. But that is a minor gripe for a great movie.
If you like unique takes on an old story and maybe like your Alice a little darker and more British, you can't get better than this. A twisted gangster drama that proves to be quite enjoyable. I look forward to seeing more Simon Fellows films.
MY VERDICT: OWN IT