Movie Reviews & Interviews from Washington

‘The Canyons’ Review: Lohan is Back in Schrader’s Erotic Thriller

Lindsay Lohan is back in director Paul Schrader’s newest film about a trio of young adults who live in the Laurel Canyons neighborhood in Los Angeles. Screenwriter Bret Easton Ellis wrote an erotic thriller that certainly has some American Psycho moments.

Christian (James Deen) is an LA trust-fund kid who produces movies to pass the time. His actress girlfriend Tara (Lindsay Lohan) is having an affair with Ryan (Nolan Gerard Funk), the lead star in Christian’s newest project. Tara and Ryan dated years ago and she recommended the unknown actor to Christian for the film. Ryan’s girlfriend Gina (Amanda Brooks) is completely oblivious to the affair, while Christian has suspicions. Though Christian is no saint himself, the fact that he can’t control Tara drives him crazy and out of control.

Lindsay Lohan is easily the best part of the movie and despite her personal struggles and rumored drama during the film’s production; the 27-year-old is a fine actress and is the most interesting part of the movie. Lohan’s haters may think otherwise, but many of them might agree that this is the best thing she’s done since 2007’s Georgia Rule. Lohan gives Tara an amiable personality, even though her character makes some terrible decisions. The actress adds a vulnerability to the character, as she expertly reminds the audience why she’s still in pictures.

lindsay lohan the canyons

The Canyons certainly has its problems, including a slightly miscast James Deen as our lead star and a little disconnect in the middle narrative; but is reminiscent of films like Cruel Intentions, Basic Instinct and even this year’s Spring Breakers. Cinematographer John DeFazio, who known for his work on short films like Forget Me Not and Samsara, photographs the film beautifully, almost like the audience is a fly on the wall. His technique is part documentary

The Canyons may not be your typical erotic thriller, but Lohan’s performance and Ellis’ wondrous screenplay make the film worthwhile. Also, could this be the Lindsay comeback us Mean Girl fans have been waiting for??

The Canyons receives 3.5/5 Stars because of Lohan’s performance, Ellis’ screenplay and DeFazio’s lovely cinematography.

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