Film Review: The Canyons


My first experience with Lindsay Lohan was back when I was a teenager. I used to babysit these three little girls that lived across the street and their film collection consisted of every Olsen Twins film in existence and The Parent Trap remake. In an attempt to never seen an Olsen Twins movie, I always voted for Lohan and being that I was the oldest, I always won. Needless to say, I saw The Parent Trap more often than I ever wanted to.


Years later I would experience Mean Girls, where I actually enjoyed Lindsay Lohan. Afterwards, however, came a handful of flops including her horrible portrayal of Elizabeth Taylor. I’m still not quite sure who ultimately thought THAT was a good idea.

When The Canyons was offered to me, I was instantly attracted to the name Brett Easton Ellis, who penned American Psycho and The Rules of Attraction. If he was involved, I wanted in on it. Then there was the director, Paul Schrader, who wrote the greats Taxi Driver and Raging Bull and directed American Gigolo. So far this was perfection! Then I saw Lindsay Lohan’s name splattered across the case. Lohan couldn’t singlehandedly ruin something created by two amazing minds, could she?

The Canyons is about young rich guy named Christian (James Deen) who shares his girlfriend Tara (Lindsay Lohan) with numerous men and women upon his request. When he decides to make a horror movie, Tara runs into her ex Ryan (Nolan Funk) at the films’ audition and their relationship picks back up. Despite Christian’s willingness to watch Tara with other men and women, Tara and Ryan’s encounters are seen as a betrayal and Christian begins to create a mental hell for the two that they couldn’t have prepared for.


Now, to answer my above question as to whether or not Lindsay Lohan could single handedly ruin the movie, the answer is no. She is actually relatively good in the film. My issue is the way she looks. Now, before Lohan fans jump down my throat for being shallow, hear me out. All of those years of drug and alcohol use have really caught up with her. She looks very bloated and old considering she is only 27. I am not sure she is physically the right fit for the character of Tara who is supposed to be this sexy character and Lohan’s substance abuse definitely took that away from her. She just didn’t physically fit well with the two attractive male leads. Perhaps six years ago she could have pulled it off but she just looks rough now. I would’ve better believed her as a prostitute.

James Deen is great in the role of Christian as he is obviously familiar with the world of sex considering his porn background. I’m sure his cinematic preference helped him play the role of cocky yet sociopathic incredibly well.

Nolan Funk, however, was a bit flat. With his looks and physique mixed with his single facial expression and tone of voice, I would’ve sworn he was the one in porn movies.


As expected, there is an awful lot of sex and nudity. What you might not expect is the blood. If you’re unable to handle a little violence, I would steer away from The Canyons. That being said, we all know blood in film is like a magnet for me, so naturally I enjoyed that part.

The film is slow to pick up but has its moments. There was never really a single moment when I was truly captivated. In fact, I am not entirely sure what I was supposed to walk away from that movie with. I didn’t really get the point. Again, to answer my question above, Lohan did not single handedly ruin the entire film. It was a collective effort due to poor acting, strange dialogue and a lack of solid purpose. But, as I said before, there is nudity so at least that will keep the attention of some and maybe you will take away a bit more than I did from the film. It just wasn’t a film for me.

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Just a giant nerd in love with horror, 80's action flicks, Star Wars and Harry Potter. Hit me up on Twitter or Instagram @scarletjupiter to talk horror or just to browse the horror collection.


  1. Bret Easton Ellis’ work frequently lacks purpose…it’s barely narrative, and even more rarely is it plot-driven.

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