Tag Archives: John Ainslie

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Do Not Disturb

by Daniel Baldwin

It’s a tale as old as time. Sweethearts get married to fix their very rocky relationship and – surprise, surprise – it makes things worse! Chloe and Jack are longtime lovers turned newlyweds taking a honeymoon trip to Miami, hoping that it might bring them closer together. When a chance encounter with a strange drug mule leaves them with a stash of designer drugs, they hope that tripping together might help them achieve that.

Spoiler alert: Things get even worse!

Sometimes couples want to tear each other apart. And other times, they want to – as the kids today say – “eat each other up, no crumbs left.” But in the case of Chloe and Jack, it’s both! You see, while the cocaine-by-way-of-peyote high that they’re on might initially make them more open to physical and emotional intimacy, their moments of sobriety between trips drive them further apart. The solution? Do more drugs. Problem there is that in addition to a trippy high, the substance has this bad habit of making one crave human flesh.

Cannibalism CAN be an interesting metaphorical delivery system for a romance. After all, when we’re in love, we want to be a part of one another as much as possible. What is more a part of you than what is inside you? Throw in cannibalism as an additional flavoring and you’ve taken the allegory to its most extreme conclusion. This is illustrated nowhere better than in Luca Guadagnino’s masterful road trip cannibal romcom, Bones and All.

While John Ainslie’s Do Not Disturb does not reach those same heights, there’s a lot to like here. Kimberly Laferriere and Rogan Christopher turn in good work as Chloe and Jack, although they’re more at home during the drug trips and horror elements than they are during the grounded dramatic beats. This is largely the fault of the writing not quite being up to snuff in those sequences, but the highs of the more genre-oriented fare go a long way toward balancing that out.

Do Not Disturb is slow to start, but once it gets going, it earns that build up and is at its best when it’s freaking out, man. If you’re a fan of the aforementioned Bones and All or even the psychedelic ferocity of Joe Begos’ Bliss, you’re bound to find something to like here. Just be sure not to snack on your loved ones while you watch it!