Electrick Children is the directorial debut from Rebecca Thomas. The screenplay focuses on Rachel – played by Julia Garner – who is part of a strict Mormon community. After listening to rock music on a cassette tape she stumbles across, Rachel then discovers she is pregnant. Convinced it was the music on the tape which caused this, she drives off to Las Vegas (unknowingly with her brother who has just been exiled after being suspected of incest in tow) in an attempt to unravel the mystery of the tape.
Although the plot does sound barmy, it is very watchable – mainly due to Garner’s charming and innocent screen presence. The lighting and photography are great, both on the farm in Utah and amongst the glittering lights of Las Vegas. However, although pretty on the surface, there is not much substance underneath this. After meeting a young guy from a rock band in Vegas he tells Rachel he doesn’t like her and then says he will marry her, what are his motives behind all of this? He seems to show little emotion. This is similar to all the characters, like the brother Mr. Will. He discovers what life is like outside of his Mormon household, but decides to go back to the community. Electrick Children is an artistic and compelling first film by Thomas, but is let down by a lack of character depth; as well as an ending that ties together a bit too neatly.