A Midwestern Methamphetamine Fairytale is a tragic, memorable short film that leaves the viewer pondering what kind of people would put a child in the situations in which young Chloe is immersed. An extremely well-rounded film from start to finish, this story is one that I find heartbreaking because I know there are children and families living like this every day.
It begins with adorable Chloe telling a fairytale about a princess, who we know is herself. The drawings on the turning pages of the book look like Chloe wrote her own story, in her own words. She has been conditioned to do what her mother, the Queen, asks her to, because she knows if she does, they get to go to fun places and do fun things. She loves her mom. Her mom is her hero. Chloe is too young to understand the consequences of what she does for her mom and the abusive man in her mom's life.
The fairytale turns to a scene of Chloe's mom tucking her in to sleep, asking if Chloe understands what "favors" are and what it means. Chloe says she understands that we do favors for those we care about and in return, we get to do fun things. Chloe asked if they can go to Castle Land the next day, and her mother answered that they can't tomorrow, but soon, very soon. The expression on Chloe's face
reveals that she knows what will be happening soon, and it's not pleasant.
As soon as Chloe falls asleep, we see that her mother turns right into tweaker mode, wanting the "glass" (meth) from her male...companion. He is not kind or polite. He is verbally abusive and tells her she knows what they need to do and it's almost time. She is trying to back out so he gives her some drugs to convince her. We see her take the drugs and immediately get an intense high and she still says to "Tiny" that she doesn't feel like going through with their planned activities. He says they must, and she says she wants to wait until Chloe is awake because she wants Chloe to go.
It changes to a man getting a bag out of his car and going into a house to wait, 56 minutes until it's time. We see the legs of a child wandering in the night. The man figures he has time to light up some joints, and he's getting happy, when there's a knock at the door. It's the child and he seems to recognize her. He wants to turn her away, but he does have a conscience because she's a child, so he lets her come in. He asks her questions about where her mom is and why doesn't she have a key, etc. He calls a girl friend to try to get her to watch the girl while he does the deal he's waiting on. Meanwhile Chloe is exploring things in the living room...porn, bags of drugs, alcohol bottles. It's sad that she seems unfazed by these things. The lady on the phone refuses to help because Chloe isn't her child. She's just angry that it might mess up the big "drop". The man lets Chloe go to sleep in his bed. She thanks him and seems sincere about it....he's helping her complete the "favor" for her mom and the abusive Tiny, but this man is unaware of the plan.
What happens next is shocking and so sad. We see what the "favor" was and I cannot imagine ever putting a child in that position. I'm not going to give away the ending. But I understand now why earlier the other Lexie asked if Chloe had said her prayers, and when Chloe asked her mom why she doesn't talk to God, Lexie answered "Because life gets complicated." We simultaneously feel sorry for Lexie because of the abusive situation and it appears she has no choice but to do what Tiny says, but we also feel anger and disgust that she uses her daughter for favors, with deadly consequences. The main idea is the dreadful impact of drugs on everyone involved, because nobody is trustworthy and it's all about greed, selfishness, addiction, and manipulation.
This film is excellently executed. I loved everything about it, except the devastating feeling it left me with. But that's the point. The writing, directing, acting, music, sound, cinematography....everything works perfectly. I hope many people will be able to see this. I won't forget it. It's haunting and certainly effective filmmaking. Bravo to everyone involved. I wish I could rescue Chloe from that world, and all the children she represents. I even felt empathy for her mother. Addiction is a monster. Drugs are evil and I'm sad for anyone stuck in that trap. Thank you for making this film. I hope it helps people stay away from drugs.