We hear it on the news twice a week, it seems: A young dead woman has been found on the road, in a ditch, back behind someone's barn, etc. We give the news a casual listen, perhaps offer a brief bit of sympathy to the girl's family, and then throw our focus back into our own lives. The world can be an ugly place; best not to dwell on the more horrific aspects of it ... until we have to.

Karen Moncrieff's follow-up to 2002's Blue Car is a decidedly unique take on the "serial killer movie." The Dead Girl is not a mystery, nor is it really a thriller. It's more of an anthology piece that introduces us to a collection of people on the periphery of a horrible murder. It's not a movie about the killer, per se, nor is it a character study of the victim ... except when it is. It's a tough movie to describe, a tougher movie to "enjoy," but an easy one to recommend -- provided you don't mind a little darkness, gloom and sobriety mixed in with your indie-style ensemble pieces.