Her Name was Christa – 2020 – A Necrophila Love Story
Her Name was Christa was sent to me by the director and protagonist in the movie. It’s so cool when you don’t know anything about the movies that you see. I got a very spare explanation of the plot, well, not really an explanation, more like a brief description. But the description included the word necrophilia and that’s good enough for me. There are far too few movies about necrophilia out there. That doesn’t mean that I’m a maniac that gets off on explicit perversions. Or maybe I am? But first and foremost I like movies that deal with themes not every other movie already includes. In the case of Necrophilia as a subject, it’s almost always horror-like flicks that deal with it. Most famous is probably Jörd Buttgereits Nekromantik films.
But I wasn’t expecting Her Name was Christa to be like those movies at all. Because in the brief description was also the word romance. An interesting combination for sure. I was sure that Her Name was Christa wasn’t a movie that just explored gore-effect trying to shock the living daylight out of its audience. I was right! It starts pretty slow and we get to know the main character, Stephen Booth. He does telemarketing and seems to be a loner. In one of the early conversations with a colleague of his he even claims not to be a very good conversationalist. I think he is right because it all seems a little odd. It’s even odder that this is the only colleague he even seems to talk with at all. So, I guess he’s not that socially competent.
You can tell that the budget was probably not very big. But I usually like when movie creators have had to work with what they’ve got. I have never made a feature film but I would guess that it’s far easier getting it done if you have $50 million at your disposal. But on the other hand, I guess the studio will than some higher demand on you too. It’s funny though. Even though the pace is quite slow, I would prefer it to have a more rapid tempo. The conversations quickly get very personal. We find out that Stephen Booth is very lonely and that he hasn’t had sex for a few years. At least not with a woman. One thing leads to another and soon they talk about getting a prostitute for him. But that’s not at all what he’s after.
Besides, he tries that approach pretty soon but it’s a complete failure. He needs something else. Then his friend at work suggests “the girlfriend experience”. That is that he should hire a hooker to be his girlfriend. To create an illusion that it is for real. Said and done. He more or less bumps into this beautiful woman working outside of a diner he’s visiting. The proposition that he offers her is accepted and they negotiate a price and some terms for how it will work out. She introduces herself as Candy and a very costly adventure begins.
At this point, I was started to almost lose interest since the pace was so slow. But at least something happened now. Don’t get me wrong, I think the story needed to be developed first anyway. To just go right on the main themes too fast wouldn’t have been a good idea. But maybe some unnecessary scenes could’ve been cut to improve the pace. But anyway, I was confused, where was Christa? I only saw the Candy. Well, it has an explanation, I promise! I just didn’t get it at the time. And I won’t, in fact, tell you other. I think that it might ruin the experience a bit for you. But let’s say this much. Their relationship develops more and more and soon it’s not clear if it’s an act anymore. Or if there is a relationship at all?
The acting is not very good, but most of the characters are still believable. I think Director James L. Edwards does a decent job for the lead character and I also like Shianne Days as his female counterpart. There isn’t very much special effect, to begin with, but towards the end, there’s kinda crescendo of it. It becomes like an exercise in bad taste just like a John Waters movie. But I still don’t think it’s there to really shock the audience. For me, this is a film about the mind. About the tricks it can play on us and what isolation can make you become. There is necrophilia for sure, but not for shock value, more as contrast and as a companion to the romance.