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‘The A-Frame’ Review: A Tonally-Awkward Sci-Fi Fable About Death

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variety.com

Siddhant Adlakha Calvin Reeder‘s “The A-Frame” is chock-full of loaded ideas that don’t quite coalesce. A film about confronting death and a lurid fantasy of escaping its grasp, its story of terminal illness has the potential to be intensely personal.

However, when it begins toying with sci-fi tropes and possibilities, it becomes both aesthetically and narratively malformed and feels lost in a liminal space between acerbic gallows humor and existential genre fiction without fully leaning into either one.

A therapy group for cancer patients, led by the thoughtful but to-the-point Linda (Laketa Caston), plays host to the movie’s wordy introduction and sets the stage for how the film expresses fear and desire. “The A-Frame” is a dialogue-heavy film.

It relies on exposition for both its science-fiction concepts and its drama, which makes for an awkward disconnect with its protagonist: the sardonic 20-something Donna (Dana Namerode), who joins Linda’s ongoing session just after her diagnosis.

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