Year Released: 2022
Runtime: 1h 27m
Director(s): Jamie Bailey
Writer(s): Jamie Bailey, Simon Phillips (story)
Cast: Simon Phillips, Caylin Turner, Anne-Carolyne Binette, Marie Luciani-Grimaldi, Jason Sedlar, Iyore Edegbe
Where To Watch: Available now on Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube, Vudu, and more
RAVING REVIEW: I may be on a sinking ship alone here, but I was impressed with most aspects of this film. I was warned before watching that it was low-budget, so that immediately brought me to the idea that it was going to be in line with some of the terrible low-budget films I’ve seen (I’m looking at you, AMITYVILLE: MT. MISERY ROAD and 20+ of the other Amityville films.)
As I mentioned above, there is a lot of unjust hate directed at this film. That is one of the most annoying aspects of some film reviewers. Instead of finding any positive, they repeatedly return to all the negatives they saw, no matter how small. Is this going to win Best Actress at this year's Oscars? Of course not, but anyone going into a small-budget indie horror film expecting otherwise… Well, that's on them.
Where this film shined was in the technical categories, the sound and video felt anything other than small-budget (when I say small budget, I don’t mean small Hollywood budget, I mean indie film budget.) The majority of the visuals of this film would’ve felt perfectly at home in any modern horror film. With some apparent nods to the SAW franchise, I bought into this story, making amends for the “wrongs” you’ve done.
I’ve seen people mocking parents for allowing young children online (clearly, they don’t have children, this is a different world we live in than even ten years ago.) I also saw a lot of harsh criticism aimed at the actors in the film; I found that to be unjust and almost laughable. The film is about a social-media influencer (I dare you to find an influencer who would seem like a “professional actor” while under duress.)
I’ve learned more than anything that people need to go into a film with realistic expectations; otherwise, you’ll be let down more often than not.
As a whole, I was impressed; the film wasn’t perfect, but it was enjoyable, and it also taught some important lessons along the way. Oh, and that twist, I appreciated it far more than I even realized while watching it. The more I think about it, the more I realize how well done it was.
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[photo courtesy of BLACK MANDALA]