TAD 2013 Review: Motivational Growth

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Motivational Growth is a grotesque, stomach-churning film about a man who is suffering from depression. Ian B. Folivor, who has secluded himself in his apartment for months, has no desire to leave his filthy living space or the front of his television set which he has lovingly named Kent. Yet, Ian’s way of life is suddenly interrupted when Kent irreparably breaks. As a result, Ian decides that it is time to end his miserable existence once and for all. However, when he attempts to kill himself in the bathroom, he botches the whole process by slipping off the ledge of his bathtub and smashing his head on the ground. When Ian awakens, he notices that a large mound of black mold has begun to speak and to give him a constant barrage of advice.

At first, it seems as though the mold is helping Ian, as it encourages him to clean up his act and achieve a certain sense of normalcy. Yet, things never become quite normal as a strange series of events are only compounded by a strange series of characters who cause Ian’s life to become even stranger. As the movie progresses, it becomes more and more clear that the mold has much more sinister plans than initially perceived. It is up to Ian to break away from the mold’s evil plans in order to escape from his apartment and meet the beautiful Leah, a neighbour he has fallen in love with.

Motivational Growth is a dark, although humorous film, that explores how Ian is forced to deal with depression and the blurring of reality. As events become more and more twisted, it is difficult for Ian, as well as the audience, to know what is real and what is hallucination. Between Ian’s obsession with TV and the mold’s questionable advice, it is never clear what path Ian should take or who he should believe.

Adrian DiGiovanni does an excellent job of playing the mentally unstable Ian. Jeffrey Combs, who played in the classic horror film Re-Animator, adds to the cast of Motivational Growth as the voice of the talking mold. The acting is fantastic, and the images are disturbing, making Motivational Growth a film worth watching.

Emily Andersen
Emily is a recent graduate from Dalhousie University with a degree in English language and literature. Getting to combine her two passions of watching movies and writing is basically the coolest.

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