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An indecipherable 'Scribbler' goes nowhere

An indecipherable 'Scribbler' goes nowhere
Katie Cassidy stars in "Scribbler."

Someone should have scribbled a better script for "The Scribbler."

Not only does this goth thriller with sci-fi (or are they supernatural?) undertones never make much sense, but the script that Dan Schaffer adapted from his graphic novel can't seem to find a credible dimensionality for his story or characters.

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Wry, punkish Suki (Katie Cassidy of TV's "Arrow") is plagued with multiple personalities, the most dangerous of which is known as the Scribbler. So Suki, a "bona fide lost girl," agrees to experimental therapy via the Siamese Burn, a hokey-looking, high-wattage contraption created by the mysterious Dr. Sinclair (Billy Campbell) to systematically eliminate multiple personalities — one shocking treatment at a time. But will Suki ultimately end up erasing the "real her" and leave only the deadly Scribbler?

By the time that loaded issue develops, viewers may have already checked out from the convoluted narrative that shifts between an interrogation room where Suki is being questioned over a string of deaths, to the site of those fatalities: an uber-grim, tenement-like halfway house for remedial mental patients where Suki has been sent to mend.

Director John Suits seems more concerned with plying eyeballs with creepy atmospherics, showy visual effects and sexy interludes than with propulsive pacing or roiling tension.

The effective Cassidy jumps into her role like a deranged panther. But the rest of the cast, including such normally reliable actors as Michael Imperioli, Garret Dillahunt, Gina Gershon, Eliza Dushku, Michelle Trachtenberg and Campbell are all over the map.

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"The Scribbler"

MPAA rating: R for violent images, strong sexuality, nudity, language.

Running time: 1 hour, 30 minutes.

At the Arena Cinema, Hollywood. Also on VOD.

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