A young woman who works as a personal shopper for a snobby model uses her down time to get in contact with her dead twin brother. Prior to his death, they made a promise that whoever dies first would try to contact the other. She visits their old home hoping that she has the same gift as her brother in contacting the dead. It is during this that she suddenly begins to feel target by someone or something watching her. Is it her brother? Someone or something else? Or is she slowly going insane?
This drama/horror film is another entry in the slow burn psychological subgenre. What this movie does a great job with is putting is firmly into the world of our lead character and where her mind is at. We see her in this job she hates as much as her employer, as well as the desperation she feels to make contact with her brother. As it goes on and the horror begins, we see her world begin to spiral, and how much on edge this begins to put her. It all seems to clump together and take its toll on Maureen and she begins to question her sanity, whether this is all happening or not. We as the viewer also begin to wonder whether what we are seeing is real or if this is just Maureen’s psyche and emotional damage messing with her. All of the horror here comes from the fact that it’s a supernatural story, and while there aren’t any particularly scary moments, it has some rather intense and chilling effects to bring the horror to the forefront. We have a CGI ghost involved, but for what it is, it looks pretty fantastic. It’s not overdone, and it feels just right. On top of this we have amazing direction from Olivier Assayas. He has this way of capturing the setting with perfection and beauty, and the filming techniques he chooses are brilliant. Kristen Stewart turns in an excellent performance and really brings forth the pain, confusion, fear, and frustration Maureen is feeling. I would say this is definitely one of my favorite performances of hers.
Personal Shopper is different kind of horror film that while it does have more dramatic elements, it also allows you to feel the different variation of horror at hand. It leaves you guessing and wondering what is or isn’t real as you watch it, and even after it’s over.