Fantasia 2018: Under the Silver Lake


A slacker goes to great lengths to find out what happened to his neighbour in Under the Silver Lake. Sam (Andrew Garfield) is directionless man in his mid-30s, whose daily routine involves playing retro video games and spying on his neighbours. It is during one of these spying sections that Sam sees Sarah (Riley Keough), a mysterious woman who lives in a apartment across from his. The two quickly form a connection over a few hours, before Sarah mysterious disappears overnight. Desperate to know what happened to her, Sam begins his own investigation and in doing so unlocks a conspiracy he was never meant to know.

From writer/director David Robert Mitchell (It Follows) comes this dark comedy about a man who inadvertently unlocks a conspiracy in within the Los Angeles suburb of Silver Lake. Sam’s search leads him to a wide variety of characters, such as a comic artist (Patrick Fischler), a man at a bar (Topher Grace), and a group of small time actresses, who also work as escorts. As Sam’s search progresses, the results become more bizarre than he could ever imagine.

It is definitely an interesting creative decision for David Robert Mitchell to follow-up his success with the horror film It Follows with a dark comedy a quickly moves from being quirky to outright weird. In fact, probably the best description I have of Under the Silver Lake is that the film is like a cross between Inherent Vice and Southland Tales. The plot of the film doesn’t make a lick of sense at times, but there is a certain charm to seeing Andrew Garfield’s Sam stumble his way through this mystery. Ultimately, this is the type of film that likely requires multiple viewing to fully understand.

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Sean Kelly Author

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).