Sharp Objects, a 2018 TV series directed by Jean-Marc Vallee, is a small-screen adaptation of the novel of the same name by Gillian Flynn.
In the center of the events of eight episodes of the series is the provincial town of Wind Gap, Missouri. Among the local inhabitants is a family of decaying aristocrats: the mother of three children Adora, her second husband Alan and the youngest daughter of 13 years old Emma. Marian, Adora’s middle daughter from her first marriage, died of an unspecified cause under strange circumstances. The elder Camilla has long since moved to St. Louis, where she works as a reporter for a small media outlet.
The reason for her return home was the murders of two schoolgirls, Ann Nash and Natalie Keane, that took place in the town one after another. Both victims had their teeth pulled out by the maniac. The editor of the Chronicle instructs Camille to conduct a journalistic investigation. But for the main character of the series, a trip to her small homeland becomes not a business trip, but an immersion in a painful pool of memory.
Camilla returned to what she had been running away from all these years: the death of her sister, the domestic violence of a domineering mother, gang rape, stalking and other not harmless antics of her peers. A 40-year-old journalist is met by people who have not changed a bit since her childhood. And it was truly terrible: so much so that the girl became addicted to drowning out emotional pain, fears and complexes, disfiguring her own body with sharp objects. The reaction to psychological or physical abuse was cuts on the skin, words of curses and insults.
The return to the reality of Wind Gap’s provincial life turns into a chain of nightmarish events for Camille Preaker.
The first thing she encounters is fear. The young woman realizes that she continues to be afraid of her mother, as if she is still 13. Emma reacts differently to Adora’s antics. The younger sister, who looks like a porcelain doll, seems to be a good home, almost does not act up, loves to play with a doll house – an exact copy of the mansion ruled by an aggressive mother. Emma does not want to run away from here, but says: “I need to remain a good girl.” The second feeling that gripped Camilla was horror. The guess is terrible: the third sister was the victim of a mentally ill mother. Suffering from Munchausen syndrome, Adora slowly poisoned the child with toxic drink, and with her out of control care killed Marian. Seeing that her mother is treating Emma with some strange medicine, Camilla realizes that the situation is repeating itself.
The girl’s decision is obvious – to save her half-sister, to go to the police. During a search of the mansion, more than just the rat poison cocktail that Adora gave her children is found. In the kitchen, detectives find pliers with traces of blood from Ann and Natalie: the woman is accused of killing local schoolgirls.
It seems that the detective story has ended, fitting into the framework of the Southern Gothic beliefs about a deranged woman in white who steals and destroys children. The director arranges the chess pieces of this dramatic family game in their places. Adora Crellin is convicted and imprisoned. Camille and Emma are rescued, they leave the town and start living together.
But the shocking and abrupt ending of the series literally cuts the heart of the viewer with a sharp object.
Final episode. Camille, while cleaning, pays attention to Emma’s dollhouse. The eye is drawn to the ivory floor in the toy bathroom: instead of tiles, it has dozens of human teeth. A terrible guess is confirmed by the unexpected appearance of Emma. Seeing the stunned Camilla, her stepsister whispers, “Don’t tell Mom.” Scenes after the credits. A cute china doll who turned out to be a clinical sociopath did not commit murders alone. When Emma strangled Ann, the victim was held by her girlfriends. And before putting an end to Natalie, a company of monstrous schoolgirls mocked her for two days: she “looked after” in the tradition of Adora taking care of her daughters.
Camilla is mentally devastated. Fearing hereditary pathology, she directed the tendency to cruelty not outward, but on herself, inflicting cuts. But it turned out that maternal inhumanity was transmitted to Emma and “bloomed in her with a magnificent bouquet.” The sister killed the girls because her mother drew attention to them.
Last post-credits frame. Jealous Emma’s victim is her new friend, May’s neighbor, whom Camilla welcomed in their house. Epilogue. Juvenile sociopath Emma went to a juvenile colony. Camilla moved in with Curry and his wife, who took care of her.
Here is the viewer and a surprise from the director of the series “Sharp Objects”. Such are the “shkolotrons”, at the sight of which the townsfolk are seized with anxiety and horror. Goody at home, and outside – the asocial and cruel heroes of de Sade.