“Pink” (2014): Is It Reality, Reverie, or a Wraith That Haunts This Man?


Australian short chiller Pink does a splendid job of providing viewers with a thought-provoking, well-told, and wonderfully acted tale that leaves much open to interpretation, in the best sense of the term. This is certainly no easy feat, but writer/director Lynne Vincent McCarthy handles the task splendidly.

A young man named Leon (Brendan Donoghue) wakes up and obviously has something on his mind. He goes outside where some kids are playing cricket on the street and becomes the target of a well-aimed ball. A young girl in a pink party dress (Olive Fitzgerald) consoles him with the fact that it’s not him they’re picking on; the kids do the same thing to many passersby. She then follows Leon on his walk from their neighborhood, which has seen better days, to a wooded area near a river. He makes it clear that he isn’t interested in her company but she continues to tag along anyway. Soon something tragic happens . . . or does it? Viewers are left to interpret whether the event actually occurred, and if so whether it keeps reoccurring, or whether it is a dark bit of imagination on Leon’s part.

A young girl (Olive Fitzgerald) won’t take no for an answer when it comes too following Leon (Brendan Donoghue) to the river near their homes.

Leon is a haunted man, whether he is doing it himself or whether it is brought on by supernatural forces. I’ve already given away more than I would like to here, so I’ll avoid going any closer to spoiler territory. Pink is the sort of film that needs to be experienced with as little foreknowledge as possible.

Lynne Vincent McCarthy fabulously blends the harsh realities of life in an industrial area with a dreamlike quality that she gives to the characters’ wandering through the river area. She also does a fine job of presenting what might be either memories or hallucinations without tipping her hand too much either way.

A little girl (Olive Fitzgerald) seems to follow Leon wherever he goes in writer/director Lynne Vincent McCarthy’s Pink.

Brendan Donoghue gives a riveting performance as Leon, a socially awkward man who seems troubled. Donoghue brings Leon to life with a tight-lipped visage and eyes that seem to go between thinking too deeply or wandering into the distance. Olive Fitzgerald makes an impressive screen debut as the little girl who just won’t leave him alone, no matter what happens.

Pink is a dark drama that stayed with me long after my first viewing. I find it just as intriguing on repeat viewings and I’m still enjoying trying to unravel its mysteries.

Pink screened at the Scream Queen Filmfest Tokyo tour event in Nagoya, Japan, in February 2016.

Pink: 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Joseph Perry
Joseph Perry fell in love with horror films as a preschooler when he first saw the Gill-Man swim across the TV screen in "The Creature from The Black Lagoon" and Mothra battle Godzilla in "Godzilla Vs. The Thing.” His education in fright fare continued with TV series such as "The Twilight Zone" and "Outer Limits," along with legendary northern California horror host Bob Wilkins’ "Creature Features." His love for silver age and golden age comic books, including horror titles from Gold Key, Dell, and Marvel started around age 5.

He is a contributing writer for the "Phantom of the Movies VideoScope" and “Drive-In Asylum” print magazines and the websites Horror Fuel, Diabolique Magazine, The Scariest Things, B&S About Movies, and When It Was Cool. He is a co-host of the "Uphill Both Ways" pop culture nostalgia podcast and also writes for its website. Joseph occasionally proudly co-writes articles with his son Cohen Perry, who is a film critic in his own right.

A former northern Californian and Oregonian, Joseph has been teaching, writing, and living in South Korea since 2008.