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Film / Compulsion

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Compulsion (2013) is a Canadian psychological thriller film based on the South Korean film 301, 302, directed by Egidio Coccimiglio and starring Heather Graham, Carrie-Anne Moss, and Joe Mantegna.

When aspiring actress and advice columnist Saffron (Moss) disappears from her apartment without a word, Detective Reynolds (Mantegna) turns to her neighbor, aspiring TV chef Amy (Graham), to find clues to her fate. What he finds is a stew of secrets and psychological disorders that devoured the lives of both women.

No relation to the 1959 film based on the Leopold-Loeb murder case.


This film contains examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Saffron's mom not only constantly pushed her toward stardom regardless of what Saffron wanted, making her anorexic with frequent comments about keeping down her weight, but actually let her be raped by one casting director to secure a part.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Saffron may be a lesbian, or just using Amy's increasingly obvious attraction to have her accede in cannibalism and murder.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Saffron suffered from an abusive mom who had pushed her toward stardom no matter what, causing Saffron's anorexia over anxiety as she constantly chided her to keep her weight low. Worst of all, she even had Saffron be raped by a casting director for her to get a role. As a result, Saffron is not only still anorexic decades on, but also wishes to die.
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  • Death Seeker: Saffron is revealed as wanting to die more than anything because of her traumatic past.
  • Depraved Bisexual: Amy seems normal, if pushy, at first, but soon becomes obsessed with her beautiful neighbor Saffron. It gradually becomes clear she is completely unhinged, and after having sex with Saffron, she's got zero hesitation in agreeing to her request that Amy kill and then eat her. She'd already killed her male fiancee's pet parrot and then fed it to him.
  • Food Porn: Amy associates food with love, so naturally she presents her dishes in the most sensual way possible, especially on her imaginary cooking show "Food is Love".
  • Former Child Star: Bordering on White-Dwarf Starlet. Saffron had a decently healthy acting career in her youth before dropping off into obscurity. Throughout the film she tries to get more acting roles, to no avail due to her age.
  • I Ate WHAT?!: After several scenes of Fred doting on his parrot Sebastian and ignoring her, Amy cooks the bird up and serves it to him as part of a meal. When he realizes that the parrot is missing, it doesn't take long for him to put the pieces together. For the second instance of this, see I'm a Humanitarian, below.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: By the end of the movie, it becomes clear that Amy has killed, butchered, and eaten Saffron—at Saffron's request. Detective Reynolds only figures out what Amy has done after she serves him the last few pieces of evidence.
  • The Immodest Orgasm: Amy is quite loud while having sex with Fred, her fiance.
  • Loony Fan: Amy lapses into this as she becomes more and more determined to have Saffron eat her food.
  • Not Good with Rejection: Amy, both in love and with her food. Especially her food. She takes Saffron's refusal to eat Amy's meals (due to her anorexia) as a personal rejection of Amy herself and flips out.
  • Obsessed with Food: Amy loves her gourmet cooking and prepares every meal to perfection.
  • Psycho Lesbian: Saffron possibly, assuming she's genuinely attracted to Amy, not simply using her. They have sex, then she asks Amy to kill and eat her (off screen). Amy agrees.
  • Rape as Backstory: It's revealed that Saffron, while just a teenager, was raped by a casting director (which her mother arranged to get the part for her).
  • Stage Mom: Saffron's mother was an overbearing woman who buried her daughter in her desires for stardom, and drove her to anorexia with her obsession over Saffy losing a few pounds. She also arranges for teenaged Saffron to be raped by a casting director to get an early part.
  • Stepford Smiler: Amy is cheerful and good-natured 95% of the time, which makes the 5% when she flips her shit all the more shocking.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: Several, as Saffron purges. Interestingly, in one scene when she purges in front of Amy, the abrasions on her fingers are visible from sticking them down her throat.
  • Yandere: Amy. She is sweet as pie on the outside, but as the movie progresses it becomes more and more apparent that she is completely mental.


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