“Sharp Objects” Review

Photo courtesy of “mandeepmani” on Flickr Creative Commons

HBO’s newest and most captivating miniseries, Sharp Objects, came to a shocking conclusion last week. It left viewers wide-mouthed and, if they’re anything like my roommate, screaming. Sharp Objects is based on the book written by Gillian Flynn, author of renowned novel, Gone Girl. Flynn is known for her twisted, yet engrossing characters and dark storylines that keep readers guessing. Sharp Objects is no different. I read the book before watching the miniseries and the tumultuous conclusion still had me jumping out of my seat. I would argue that Sharp Objects is one of the best series I’ve seen in a long time, however I must warn you, it’s not for the faint of heart.  

As Amy Adams’s Camille Preaker pulls up to her hometown bar, I could feel chills down my spine and an eerie foreboding of the drama to come. Camille has been commissioned by her editor to investigate the brutal murders of two teenage girls in the quiet town of Wind Gap, Missouri. Yet, her strained relationship with her mother and her persistent self-destructive behaviors turn her business trip into a physical and emotional whirlwind. Let’s just say that there’s a reason its called “Sharp Objects.” The series covers issues such as mental health, fragility of youth, scapegoating and toxic relationships. The intense filmography adds an element of suspense that drew me in immediately. The ominous music paired with some classic slow-motion filming and contrast contributes to an already unsettling plot. Although parts of the show twisted my stomach, I couldn’t look away. 

I cannot talk about the show without praising Adams’s depiction of Camille Preaker. Camille, a habitual drinker and masochist, finds herself reliving an abusive and depressing past in Wind Gap. Many of the episodes show flashbacks of Camille struggling with the consequences of living in a small town with no secrets. Having endured sexual assault, self-harm and drug use at an early age, Camille is now forced to face problems that she has long suppressed. Adams perfectly encapsulates a character of  intense emotional trauma. Every mental breakdown and fight involved strong emotion, and Adams more than delivered. I firmly believe this is her best role yet, but you’ll just have to see it to believe it.

Another actress worth raving about is teenage Eliza Scanlen, who plays Camille Preaker’s sadistic little sister, Amma Crellin. Scanlen plays a complicated and challenging character. Amma acts as the town bully, but endures abuse at home. She serves as both her mother’s doll and Wind Gap’s rebel. Amma is the wildcard of the series. Like many of the characters in the show, Amma Crellin is neither wholly good nor wholly bad. She could be framed as a tyrant or victim, depending on the circumstance. Scanlen made a huge impression on critics and viewers alike and if she doesn’t win an Emmy, I may just throw my television out the window.

I must emphasize that this show can be disturbing. It deals with the savage murder of teenage girls and it certainly isn’t sparing any details of their deaths. However, the basic storyline and conclusion is worth the gruesome bits scattered throughout the episodes. I cannot express enough how much I loved the show, and I promise you won’t be disappointed!  

If you choose to watch, here’s a quick tip: watch the finale through the credits. You won’t regret it. 

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Alison Mader is a Junior english major from Alpharetta, GA. She is a staff writer for Cistern Yard and a self-proclaimed Harry Potter expert.

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