Fantasy worlds. So many people like to create their own little fantasy worlds where they are the ruler and they can escape the hardships of reality. But how much fantasy is too much? When you’re pushed to the brink of insanity, that’s when you have to know your limit, unless you’re too delusional to notice already.
Peter (James Clayton) and Tess (Chelah Horsdal) are a happy couple getting a fair amount of free government money due to an accident Peter got involved in. Now that they’re living in a condo together, that means they can set their own rules and make it their own place. Which is just what they do as they turn their home into the fictional place of Candiland. And I hate to burst your bubble gum, but it’s not all lollipop plants, and chocolate goo swamps. It’s pretty colourful and creative in design with cardboard people and buildings with painted colours splashed all over the place. There’s no such thing as time, commercialism is shut out, and the outside world is too dangerous so they always stay in. But Peter’s father (Gary Busey) does not approve of Peter’s methods and attempts to get Peter saved from his mental issues before they move in on him. Because when you’ve been in or even to the same place for a long time, it really messes you up. Believe me, I say this from past experience. But Peter doesn’t let outsiders interfere with his fantasy land and the madness takes him over more and more.
The movie showcases the buildup of Candiland while the outcome and the explanations of Peter and Tess’s backstory are interlaced between. Editing is confusing at first, but it’s easy to get used to once you understand the pattern. The actors provide some very stunning and freaky performances as they slowly descend their characters into madness. Rusty Nixon himself did a very good job of doing multiple jobs of writing, directing, and even editing. A very nice use of cast members and a very interesting presentation of the story of how reality is sometimes a better option to stick to no matter what the hardships.