Elisabeth Moss is outstanding as the lead in "Queen of Earth," a grim new drama from indie darling writer/director Alex Ross Perry.

But she's playing a character that is utterly repulsive in a movie that plunges into insufferable territory pretty quickly, the sort of pretentious psychological study about awful people that might be done well but seems utterly bereft of a sufficient reason for being.

Moss plays Katherine, paying a visit to best friend Virginia (Katherine Waterston) at a lake house, where their longtime bond comes apart through a series of unrelenting close-ups that reveal the onset of madness in the protagonist.

Perry, who had a big art house hit last year with "Listen Up Philip," has a strong grasp on these characters and the suffocating world they inhabit, while Moss delivers the sort of immersive performance one can only expect from the most talented of actors. She's the reason to see the movie. But don't expect to be entertained, enlightened or feel much at all beyond Katherine's suffering.