Electrick Children (2012) Film Review

Seeing that it came out eight years ago, I understand there isn’t much demand or excitement for a review on Electrick Children. Yet, with constant political dissent, economic turmoil, and a world that seems more and more eager to drown in its own misery, The unrelenting positivity and touching innocence of the film seemed perfectly relevant. 

The story revolves around 15-year-old Rachel Angela Mcknight, a Mormon girl who lives in a colony in the middle of the Utah desert. When Rachel becomes pregnant after listening to a cover of “Hanging On The Telephone” on a cassette tape hidden in her basement, she decides to leave everything she knows behind in order to find the man who sings on the tape. During her journey, Rachel discovers love in every meaning of the word as her inner voice guides her through a maze of miracles. 

The beauty of Electrick Children lies in its subtleties. In a movie that skims dark subjects such as child molestation and depression, the emotional value is surprisingly derived only from the outstanding writing and poignant performances by leads Julia Garner and Rory Culkin. Unlike so many cheap modern tear-jerkers, Elecrick Children doesn’t rely on the careless insertion of sensitive subjects and images in order to evoke emotion. Instead, Rachel’s heartwarming innocence and spirituality allows for an unexpectedly intimate reflection on personal faith. 

The grand, dream-like cinematography in the film provides an exhilarating feeling of being small in the eyes of a higher power. Having grown up without any kind of religion, and knowing next to nothing about the bible, it was still impossible for me not to be moved as Rachel recited biblical passages through the grainy audio of her cassette player. Rachel’s biblical narrations combined with both sweeping and intimate visuals create an ethereal, yet deeply human sense of the divine. 

Electrick Children is, as the tagline states, “a movie about miracles.” In order to truly enjoy this film for the masterpiece it is, discard all rational and cynical thought and see the world as Rachel does. If you can, try to bring something back with you. The world could use a few miracles.