You Had Us at “Banned at Film Festivals”: An SML Review of “Coyote”

Whoever said sleep is for the weak is a harsh, compounded expletive idiot. As is evidenced by Bill here. While Bill may believe that if he sleeps he’ll die, it’s really just his sleep-deprived, delirium-triggered mind playing tricks on him. Really horrible, awful tricks. Prepare to follow Bill down into the rabbit hole – way, way down.

Coyote is the story of a man losing his grip with reality. Sure, we’ve all seen one of those, right? If I have to put it in relative terms, I’d say it’s Fight Club meets Falling Down meets The Machinist, with American Psycho banging on the door, really wanting to come in to play. (However, there really is such a thing as too much Christian Bale.)

While this film really taps into the essence of all of these predecessors, and I’m sure more that I can’t think of, it is distinctly unique and vividly horrifying. As the effects of sleep deprivation begin to take hold of Bill – who at first is a seemingly mild-mannered writer looking for a job (obviously) – we are awestruck as he’s transformed by paranoia, delusion, and the internal demonizing of the few people who are in his life. But..then again…maybe he was always crazy…

Coyote is driven by mystery, terrifying hallucinations, grotesque scenes of self mutilation and the eventual outward violence brought on by paranoia and madness. A brilliantly executed storytelling device in this movie is its aptly placed scenes of visuals with main character narrations that may or not have anything to do with what’s currently happening in the story line. But, when all is said and done, these scenes give us a broader understanding of the character and how his life has become what it is.

Also, there is some pretty great writing in there. My favourite line is, “People spend so much time wondering what you think of them that they never really see you.”

Coyote. Banned from certain film festivals and an award winner at others. Rated R for: pervasive language, violence, disturbing images, sex, alcohol, and penis. Yeah, there’s a penis.

Click here if this review makes you want to watch the film yourself.

Chris Moore is a freelance masochist and an aspiring wordsmith. His travels have made him a self proclaimed expert on all things frightening, odd, and entertaining. On breaks from jet setting and bourbon guzzling, he graces SML with pithy and satirical commentary on what – or what not – to watch. All hail the Maniacal Master of Movie Reviews! The second most interesting man in the world. Read more from Chris here.

Chris Moore

Chris Moore is a freelance masochist and an aspiring wordsmith. His travels have made him a self proclaimed expert on all things frightening, odd, and entertaining. On breaks from jet setting and bourbon guzzling, he graces SML with pithy and satirical commentary on what – or what not – to watch. All hail the Maniacal Master of Movie Reviews! The second most interesting man in the world.

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