Tag Archives: Low-budget

Review of Hellraiser: Revelations (2011)

6 Jul

Hellraiser: Revelations (2011) is a horror/mystery/thriller film and the ninth film in the Hellraiser film franchise.

Directed by Victor Garcia (Return to House on Haunted Hill (2007), Mirrors 2 (2010)).

Written by Gary J. Tunnicliffe (Megalodon (2002), Hansel & Gretel (2002)).

Starring: Tracey Fairaway, Jay Gillespie, Sebastien Roberts, Sanny Van Heteren, Steven Brand, Nick Eversman, Stephan Smith Collins and others.

This movie has received roaringly negative reviews, mostly due to Clive Barker bashing the movie on Twitter (for a good reason, but not having seen it), Doug Bradley not returning as Pinhead and the low production values. But beyond this, I personally didn’t find it that bad.

It opens with two guys filming themselves driving in a car. And I instantly thought “Oh, god, this is going to be a found footage movie”, but it isn’t. It shows that their car is stolen (which has no real effect on the plot) and then we see them opening the box and Pinhead appears. Then it turns out the mother of one of the guys is watching this on a video camera.

The parents of the other guy come over and it turns out they like to hang out together after their sons have been missing for a year and have a casual dinner. There’s also this chick that is the sister of one and girlfriend of the other guy and she goes to her brother’s room and watches some stuff on the camera. We then get to suffer through a jagged and pointless narrative when we constantly change back from standard to the handheld camera footage.

The boyfriend guy bangs another chick and then somehow kills her, while the other passes out. It’s very confusing, since we get a reaction shot from the sister after the killing part, which wasn’t filmed. Thank god, that’s the end of the videotaped shit, at least we don’t have to see it. The sister finds the puzzle box and starts playing around with it as her brother suddenly appears and everyone is mildly surprised by this. This is a running gag, as a character gets shotgunned in the stomach, but stays alive throughout the rest of the film, looking only mildly displeased with the turn of events.

We also get random flashes of Pinhead doing various hell-like things, like posing by some chains. He also is making another pinhead cenobite and stuff like that. The new Pinhead is kind of silly. I thought that after the first two movies, they were starting to light Pinhead too brightly and he lost his menace. Well this time we’re back with a Pinhead, who not only lacks the gravitas of Doug Bradley, but also looks sort of chubby for some reason. Is it really so hard to make a guy with pins in his head look scary?

The most pleasant surprise for me was the return of skinless make-up, it doesn’t look as good as in Hellraiser II, but still, it’s pretty bad-ass. And this actually signifies the return to the roots of Hellraiser, it has lack of skin, it has these darkly perverted hidden desire elements, it has some incestuous tones, all the good stuff. It feels a lot more like a Hellraiser film, than the previous, at least, four, probably mostly due to an original Hellraiser script and not a rewritten unrelated one.

So considering the film being rushed by the studio, because of copyright issues and having a very low-budget, I didn’t find it disappointing. The bad response to this film surprises me, since I would imagine fans recognizing it being closer to the original Hellraiser ideas, than those Rick Bota directed ones, which if they were children, wouldn’t be accepted in the orphanage for quadruple amputees.

Overall, a bad movie, but not one of the worst of the series. For a 300,000$ budget and three-week production, it has relatively impressive special effects and a decent twist. Not recommended, unless you’re a Hellraiser fan, who hated the previous three installments.

“Yeah, my parents don’t approve of my lifestyle. I guess they’re right. I won’t be a politician. I can take the pierceings out, but I will not drop the S&M!”

Review of The Lords of Flatbush (1974)

22 Apr

The Lords of Flatbush (1974) also known as The Lord’s of Flatbush (1974) is a low-budget drama/romance/comedy film about a street gang in Brooklyn.

Directed by Martin Davidson (Looking for an Echo (2000), Hero at Large (1980)) and Stephen Verona (Pipe Dreams (1976), Talking Walls (1987)).

Written by Stephen Verona (Boardwalk (1979)), Gayle Gleckler, Martin Davidson (If Ever I See You Again (1978)) and Sylvester Stallone.

Starring: Perry King, Sylvester Stallone, Henry Winkler, Paul Mace, Susan Blakely, Maria Smith and others.

Of course my main reason for watching this film was that it’s one of Sylvester Stallone’s earliest roles, two years before his big break with my favourite movie of all time – Rocky.

The movie, I suppose, is set sometime in the late 1950’s as Stallone is a member of a small gang, consisting of four greasers in leather jackets, slicked back hair and low intelligence. And they’re all going to school together, even though none of them look like they’ve been high schoolers for the last 10 years. One of the gang members is played by Henry Winkler, who went on to play his most well-known role as another 50’s greaseball in the sitcom Happy Days.

The soundtrack is really good, which is remarkable, because getting rights probably wasn’t so easy, considering the film’s budget. Although in one scene they really fucked up and put a song with lyrics under a dialogue, so I couldn’t make out what the characters were saying.

Sly looks already really beefy in this, even before Death Race 2000, so I guess he didn’t have to put on much weight for Rocky.

The style is well done, although it has more of a 70’s low-budget movie feel, which contradicts my perception of 50’s. One chick wears hair rolls for most of the movie, I wonder if that was considered cool back then? I’m not a car guy, but there are some beautiful cars.

Interestingly there doesn’t seem to be a lead here, the four guys have more or less equal parts. They each have their own fairly interesting troubles, one is talented and smart, but is wasting his time, another can’t choose between girls and dreams of going away after school, another one is getting married and the fourth one I don’t even remember. But what they all share is being not very likable, they are a bunch of insecure jerks, hiding behind their macho facades, bullying people around them. This for me made it hard to identify with any of them.

The movie has a lot of flaws, but as far as the performances go, they are pretty decent, Sly shows some of his acting chops in a weird scene on a roof, by his character’s pigeon coop.

They try to make the dialogue realistic, but it just comes across as clumsy, when a lot of times it consists of the characters not saying things and just silently fidgeting. Yes, often teenagers do act this way, but it isn’t very entertaining to watch.

It really seems to suffer from it’s low-budget, I think it was supposed to be a fun coming of age flick like American Graffiti, but at times it’s depressing and painfully dull.

Overall, it is an odd coming of age film, that’s not very entertaining, has a nice, satisfying and uplifting ending, but it isn’t really earned. Mostly not a good movie, not recommended, unless you’re really interested in early Stallone’s work.

"Lord's of Flatbush? What? It doesn't make sense!"
"Oh, yeah we got another symbol for free, we weren't going to waste it!"

Review of Dead Man’s Shoes (2004)

11 Feb

Dead Man’s Shoes (2004) is a British revenge thriller/drama film.

Directed by Shane Meadows (This Is England (2006), Somers Town (2008)).

Written by Shane Meadows (Once Upon a Time in the Midlands (2002), A Room for Romeo Brass (1999)) and Paddy Considine (Dog Altogether (2007 Short), Tyrannosaur (2011)), who is also the star of the film.

Starring: Paddy Considine, Toby Kebbell, Gary Stretch, Stuart Wolfenden, Paul Sadot and others.

It starts with two men just walking through some country areas and I at first thought that it might be about homeless people. I turned out to be wrong. The two men are brothers, that are walking back to their hometown. One of them is mentally handicapped and I liked that he was portrayed tastefully, thanks to Toby Kebbell. We get some flashbacks in a home video format of the brothers playing around together. And then through the film we get other similarly shot flashbacks of the younger brother being made fun of by a group of people.

Quite a challenge for me was understanding all the heavy accents and the lower-class slang, but once you get used to it, you don’t really notice a few words slipping over your head.

I knew basically nothing about this film when I started watching it, so I was pleasantly surprised when I got that it’s a revenge thriller. I just love those.

The soundtrack makes it feel like a very different kind of movie, almost like some art house film, when it’s actually a very brutal revenge story.

The main character is totally bad-ass, Paddy Considine, is totally amazing. He doesn’t even hide from the bad guys or anything, he just threatens them and then fulfills his threats. He’s as „anti” as an anti-hero gets and at a point you start wondering if he’s really better than the bad guys.

The bad guys are total idiots and kinda cliché, there’s one leader who is a bit cooler and better looking than the rest and a couple of morons.

The flashbacks with the younger brother being abused are just gut-wrenching, I felt bad watching them. They’re basically like that scene in The Elephant Man, where the drunk people just barge in and start having fun „with” Joseph Merrick.

The writing and acting are just perfect, mostly thanks to Paddy Considine.

I remember reading somewhere the film described as „Taxi Driver meets First Blood” and it sort of does describe the film.

I don’t want to say too much about it, because I enjoyed it more by not knowing anything about it.

Overall, a great movie, an unapologetic revenge flick, that is so much more than that. Totally recommended for everyone who wants be both touched by the issue and shocked by the brutality.

"What? Did someone write "tranny clown" on my face again?"

Review of Another Earth (2011)

2 Feb

Another Earth (2011) is a low-budget drama/sci-fi/fantasy film, setting an idea of an alternate Earth-like planet appearing in close proximity to our planet as a backdrop for a mainly drama film.

Directed by Mike Cahill (Boxers and Ballerinas (2004)), this is his first feature film.

Written by Brit Marling (Sound of My Voice (2011), The East (2012)), who’s also the lead actress of the film and the director Mike Cahill.

Starring: Brit Marling, William Mapother, Robin Taylor, Diane Ciesla and others.

As soon as I heard the intriguing premise I was hooked on seeing the film and even though I expected it concentrating and exploring it a bit more, I wasn’t disappointed, because it delivered in other departments.

It really doesn’t go into the sci-fi too much, they play it loose with the physics of having another planet so close to ours. It just sets up this world, which offers choices for the main characters.

The film opens with a car accident, which totally changes the lives of the two main characters. And it makes you realize how easily lives of good people can be ruined, by one of them making a bad decision.

Then it switches to four years later and shows the main character Rhonda’s life totally destroyed by the accident, her being emotionally tortured and having no career options.

All this time the Earth 2 is just there, it looks like an exact replica of our Earth and they arrange a contest, where people can send in letters stating why they should be chosen to go on a trip to the other planet. Of course Rhonda decides to write a letter. And then there is a scene where Rhonda and her family are watching a telecast of an attempted contact with the other planet and it is successful. It gave me goosebumps and left them on me for the rest of the scene, because the possibility of something like this happening in real life is kind of scary.

You really start to care for the relationship between the main characters, but weirdly it is the most heartbreaking in its happiest moments, because you know it can’t last forever and you keep dreading the moment when it ends and wishing for it to not happen. And you really have to thank the two lead actors of the film, they completely sell it. William Mapother is usually good, but Brit Marling is an amazing young actress, also really beautiful.

I loved the shots, where you can see all the dust particles floating around in a room, where there’s a beam of sunlight shining in, really gives this feeling of stillness. Also the score is really good and there’s this amazing melody played on a hand saw in one scene, it sounds almost otherworldly.

My one regret might be that the sci-fi (loose in the “sci” part) concept could be used for a variety of different films in totally different ways, taking it more seriously and this one didn’t explore it that much, but it would seem cheap if suddenly others would take the concept and start exploiting it. But this is in no way a complaint against this film.

The movie is kind of slow, but not dragging, I was totally captivated and thought the pace was perfect. And the ending was pretty brilliant.

Overall, great movie, one of my 2011 favorites, thought-provoking and heartfelt, yet not unnecessary overcomplicated for a small drama film, recommended for everyone.

Pictured: Brit Marling after watching 8 Mile.

Review of Cold Storage (2009)

27 Jan

Cold Storage (2009) is a low-budget thriller/horror film.

Directed by Tony Elwood (Road-Kill U.S.A. (1993), Killer! (1989)).

Written by Mark Kimray (Killer! (1989), Road-Kill U.S.A. (1993)) and Tony Elwood.

Starring: Nick Searcy, Matt Keeslar, Joelle Carter, Casey Leet, Brett Gentile and others.

The movie starts out with some nice gore, so you know you’re in for a treat in this department.

At first you think it’s going to be some Texas Chainsaw Massacre backwoods inbred psycho horror, but it turns out to be a bit more original and inventive.

We have what we might suppose is our lead, Casey Leet plays an actress who is driving to some kind of theatrical production. So you’d think well she’s going to meet the hillbillies, but no, she dies in a car accident and then meets a hillbilly, who is quite fond of her and takes the dead actress to play the role of his girlfriend. That’s right, meet our protagonist Clive.

Nick Searcy really does a good job of playing this uncivilized and probably retarded middle-aged outsider, who is sort of childishly innocent in a way. And it takes some acting skills to make that disgusting and despicable character in any way appealing. But he definitely succeeds. Which both explains his quite impressive career and makes me wonder what’s he doing in this kind of movie.

So the sister of Clive’s new girlfriend goes on a quest to find her and her sister’s boyfriend tags along. Again you’d think the focus would completely shift to these two twats, one of them being the soap opera type good-looking guy that is Matt Keeslar.

But no, we get to see Clive being awkward and taking care of his little bride, as she’s developing a slightly bluer skin tone.

And his courtship of her is the highlight of the movie, because we get to see him take a bath and then have a look at the water, which looks, like if I took a big handful of mud and threw it in the vegetable soup I had a couple of days back. After we see it going down the drain we are given a chance to see one of the most painful scenes to watch I’ve ever seen in a movie. It’s not  a spoiler, because it has nothing to do with the plot. So I’ll describe it to you.

And here’s the thing. I heard about the scene before seeing the film and it made me almost feel real pain. So hear this. Clive looks in a mirror, has a glance at his brown and infected teeth and isn’t really satisfied. Then he opens the “medicine cabinet” and takes out… a fucking barber’s straight razor! Of course, he proceeds to scratch his teeth with it, cutting out some blackened pieces of gums and shit, bleeding in the sink. If this doesn’t make you cringe, clench your mouth shut and run your tongue across your teeth, you’re lucky, because I told this to a couple of my friends and they hated me. So watch the movie, maybe that will leave bit bigger impact than my description.

So yeah, Clive does some disturbing shit, but you can’t really blame him much for it, because he’s grown up alone in the middle of the woods and doesn’t know any better. He’s a relatively nice guy and if you don’t identify with him, you still kind of feel sorry for him.

The third act went a bit down hill, because the film seemed to become unsure of what it wants to be a standard horror or something more than that. And also it started losing the sense of the pitch-black humor it had before.

Overall, an interesting small movie with an original idea, it has its shortcomings, of course, but I’d recommend it, even for non-horror fans, because it barely qualifies as a horror film.

"Want a shave?"

Review of Cannibal Holocaust (1980)

19 Jan

Kind of says it all, doesn't it?

Cannibal Holocaust (1980) is an Italian exploitation/horror/mockumentary film, because of its graphic portrayal of civilized people interacting with an indigenous tribe, it was charged for being a snuff film.

Directed by Italian director Ruggero Deodato (The House on the Edge of the Park (1980), Last Cannibal World (1977)), who is best-known for doing various gory genre films.

Written by Gianfranco Clerici (The New York Ripper (1982), The Bloodstained Butterfly (1971)).

Starring: Robert Kerman, Francesca Ciardi, Perry Pirkanen, Luca Barbareschi, Carl Gabriel Yorke, Ricardo Fuentes and others.

The movie was highly controversial, because of its relatively realistic semi-documentary format and graphic violence and this is one instance (unlike A Serbian Film or Human Centipede) where I actually can see why it’s controversial. It has some really quite disturbing shit and since they used real indigenous people as the tribe members and as we now know the animal killings are real.

It starts with some overhead shots of landscapes with a romantic music in the background, which makes it seem like some made-for-TV romance flick, which it really is not.

For such a low-budget movie the acting is pretty good, which might have also helped the controversy. Robert Kerman is great, he has an awesome pornstache. You know why? That’s right, he’s been a porn actor previously. Also he looks like Thomas Jane. And I really believed all those documentary crew characters were assholes.

The animal killings were just incredibly hard to watch, and especially that turtle gutting scene (spoilers?), I actually had to turn away, for me animal cruelty is really sickening. Well, I didn’t care much for the killing of the tarantula. I guess I would have been fine if I didn’t know they were real, I’d just be sitting there and thinking how awesome the special effects are. So in a way it is a snuff film. And the special effects are great as well.

I think all the animal violence was really unnecessary and after this the characters became irredeemable to me. Definitely one of the most graphic and cruel movies ever, even not counting the animal killings.

I feel bad, but I really liked the film. I thought it went out to shock the audiences and shock it did, 30 years later I was still amazed at its total rawness. And it is also surprisingly well-made, really solid.

And what most exploitation films miss, this actually had a message. You could argue it was unintentional, but I’d like to think it was on purpose. Because it really does serve as a commentary on how journalism and documentary filmmaking have a tendency to concentrate on violence, it was true then and it is even truer today.

Overall, a good movie, but I recommend it only to exploitation fans, because it’s not a film for the faint-hearted.

"Oh, I think I've got something in my eye."

Review of Paranoia (2011)

14 Jan

Paranoia (2011) is a straight-to-DVD thriller/film noir/mystery film, made by people associated with the comedy/movie review site thecinemasnob.com, which is great, I recommend checking it out.

Directed by Ryan Mitchelle, this being his directorial debut, he is the founder of Walkaway Entertainment, an independent movie production company.

Written by Brad Jones (Cheap (2005), The Hooker With A Heart Of Gold (2011)), better known as his character Cinema Snob, parodying snobby film critics.

Starring: Brad Jones, Brian Lewis, Sarah Lewis, Brian Irving, Jillian Zurawski and others.

I don’t think anyone, who’s not a fan of The Cinema Snob even knows about this movie’s existence. Obviously it barely has any budget so, that should really be taken into consideration when judging the film. It is really sad how shitty low-budget movies look nowadays, because for some reason digital video just looks unnatural and does not have the same presence as film. And it would have worked so much better on grainy film stock and set in like the late 80’s/early 90’s. I wish I had watched the writer’s cut, because the movie works better in black & white.

Mostly the music is very good and adds to the atmosphere of the film, which is very dark and suspenseful, but then there’s a club scene where the music is so weirdly generic, it’s a bit jarring. This illustrates how throughout the film I kept being pleasantly surprised by how some things are executed and then suddenly something cheesy would take me out of the film. Like the lighting being messy and illogical.

As much as I’m a fan of Brad Jones and his friends, so I was ready to forgive the shortcomings of the film, it was also hard to separate the actual people from their characters.

Of course, I don’t want to be too harsh towards the acting, because none of them are actual actors, but at times it was really painful. Sarah is a very likable person, but the acting at the start of the movie was so cringeworthy, I was glad she soon disappeared for rest of the film. On the other hand Jerrid Foiles, who I was surprised to see not hamming it up in his little cameo, which was really funny. Brian Lewis is somewhat ok as a police officer. Brad’s wife also does an ok job. Brian Irving is miscast and his acting is so unbearable, that I found myself with a furrowed brow every time he appeared on-screen. Brad Jones, of course, did the best acting in the movie, which sort of makes sense, because he wrote the character and understood him the best.

Covering blood with ketchup? Not a bad idea. People smoke a lot in this movie, which is something you don’t see very much in major studio movies nowadays.

The film was a bit confusing, but I guess the ending explains it. In a way this created some suspense and I was pretty entertained most of the time.

Overall, it’s not a great movie, but also not too bad for a no-budget indie thriller. Recommend mostly for Brad Jones & Co. fans, because others might not be invested enough to see it.

Sadly, this is how I felt at times watching this movie.

Review of Friday The 13th (1980)

4 Jan

Friday The 13th (1980) is a horror/thriller/slasher film, made to cash in on the success of  Halloween (1978), these two films are believed to be the main two horror films that shaped and brought to prominence the slasher genre.

Directed by Sean S. Cunningham (The New Kids (1985), DeepStar Six (1989)), he’s also produced some notable genre films.

Written by Victor Miller (A Stranger Is Watching (1982), Another World (2964 TV)).

Starring: Betsy Palmer, Adrienne King, Kevin Bacon, Harry Crosby, Laurie Bertram, Mark Nelson and others.

Sure, it is a blatant copy of Halloween, but nobody’s ever tried to hide that. But even as a rip-off it has some new, interesting ideas and considering  how suddenly the horror film market of the 80’s filled up with various worse rip-offs, which led to the sub-genre’s death as 90’s approached.

And I’m sort of ashamed to admit it, but I prefer this film to Halloween, although I admit Halloween is technically a superior film in every possible way. But if Halloween brought slasher genre to success, then this film shaped the genre and since this movie is when the formula got engraved in to the gravestone of the genre.

The acting is not good. But that almost comes with the territory. The characters are incredibly  bland, I don’t remember the name of the lead character or any other for that matter. Of course, except Jason and Pamela Voorhees. So yeah, I even only remember how three of the actors look. Adrienne King, because she’s the lead, Betsy Palmer, because she’s awesome in this and Kevin Bacon, just because he’s the only one who’s had a career after this. It’s weird to see him so young and playing this supporting character that we’re not supposed to really notice much or give a shit about. Or maybe we are.

Because when his awesome death scene came he was the only one where I was like „No, not Bacon!” (which is what I never say when I’m offered actual bacon). I would have said „Spoilers!”, but, come on, it’s a slasher movie and he’s not the lead or love interest, what did you think was going to happen?

Speaking of awesome deaths, the special effects are done by the great Tom Savini, who is known either as the guy behind  various cool effects on movies like Dawn Of The Dead or that guy with a revolver instead of a penis in From Dusk Til Dawn.

The slasher’s POV scenes in combination with the classic „ki, ki, ki, ma, ma, ma” sound effects really work, although now the POV is so overused and cliché.

Weirdly the slasher movies carry this weird message of disapproval towards teenagers doing „bad” things. Which is odd, because most of the audiences for them consisted solely of these „bad” teenagers. I just don’t understand why their parents were against these movies featuring serial killers teaching those darn kids some good lessons.

The twist in the end is really, really cool, but actually more so for the modern audiences, because back when the movie came out people didn’t think of Friday the 13th as one of the movies with Jason. And I don’t think many films have a twist that works better over time and the pop cultural references actually hide it. Except Scream, which totally ruined this for me.

Overall, I enjoyed it immensely, despite it’s obvious shortcomings and it is totally recommended for anyone who likes some good ol’ fashioned slasher fun.

"What? What are you looking at guys? Is there something on my face?"

Review of Cabin Fever (2002)

23 Dec

Cabin Fever (2002) is a horror/comedy film made by the horror enthusiast Eli Roth on a relatively small budget ($1.5 million). The film grossed about 20 times its budget.

Directed by Eli Roth (Hostel (2005), Hostel: Part II (2007)) and this is his directorial feature film debut.

Written by Randy Pearlstein (Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever (2009)) and Eli Roth (Chowdaheads (1999 TV), The Rotten Fruit (2003 Short)).

I’ll start by saying that Eli Roth can’t write dialogue, he seems to have learned how people interact from 80’s slasher movies and haven’t been good at that either. However, I must admit that he’s not all that bad at directing, although at times he’s not great at that either. He makes a jarring choice to have a scene where he is playing some bald guy in a campfire story immediately followed by him stumbling in with a fake goatee and acting as a total douchebag.

The characters just suck so much, almost everyone is written as an idiot or a dick/bitch. It is not good that you want the protagonists of a horror movie to die. They are neither likable nor realistic.

The acting is pretty bad, but I’m not sure if they are to blame, because it would take good actors to make the script tolerable and they are not good actors. Well, Rider Strong is sort of ok, maybe it’s because of the horrible performances from the others or the fact that I was a fan of Boy Meets World, but he stands out as not irritating.

The police deputy character was kind of funny, but then again I felt like being slapped in the face by the total disregard of any realism to introduce another stupid comic relief character. Also he shows up twice in the movie and the second time, which is the next day, his moustache is a lot thicker.

“Pancakes! Pancakes!” a kid in a bad wig at the gas-station screamed for no reason, before busting out in kung-fu moves. I guess it was to accentuate that the townspeople are real rednecks and he’s probably a child of incest. You know, a flesh-eating disease isn’t enough, we need some asshole hillbillies as well.

The special effects are pretty great, like when a girl decides to shave her rotting legs and the result shows that she could’ve basically just used a potato-peeler. So yeah, the gore is good, what I can’t say about a scene where they show a dog’s POV and it’s all tinted red. Why? Then there’s a shot where a guy has swallowed a harmonica horizontally, which I very much doubt could be possible.

Overall, it’s an ok throwback to 80’s “cabin-in-the-woods” movies, it is fun if you look past all the idiotic shit. I’d actually recommend it, although I didn’t like it that much.

"This is the last time I try to bleach my femstache using sulfuric acid."

Review of Primer (2004)

14 Dec

Primer (2004) is an independently made sci-fi/drama/thriller film, made on a budget of $7,000.

Directed by Shane Carruth (Upstream Color (2012)), this is his directorial debut, Carruth is a former engineer and it shows in the movie.

Written by Shane Carruth (A Topiary (2013)), his scientific education also obviously influenced the way he’s written the movie.

Starring: Shane Carruth, David Sullivan, Casey Gooden, Anand Upadhyaya and others.

It’s a short movie, talking about it is hard without spoiling too much, it’s a small movie (small budget, small names, small cast), it’s amazingly complex and I still don’t fully understand it, no one involved has done any previous work and so on.

But it is undeniably fascinating.

Weird how much the style of the movie is influenced by Carruth’s experience in the science field. His decisions were very guided by this. The dialogue is full of technical jargon, which audience isn’t really supposed to fully understand. And the main characters work on their projects in a garage lit by flourescent lights, so it gives the film this very sterile, yet dirty tone. They are not sure of what they are doing. And don’t bounce off the walls and ceiling, while operatic score plays in the background, when they discover something. It is an incredibly subtle film.

Carruth decided to portray one of the lead character, because he thought actors add too much drama to it and I can see how someone could easily come across as too dramatic in this film. A very energetic person showing up here would seem like overacting. But I’m not saying the actors here don’t emote, they do, but you can’t always catch it, like when in reality talking to people not every emotion shows up on their face. The acting from Carruth himself and David Sullivan is just great, as they show the friendship of two young men just changing as they make a big discovery.

Similar subtlety is in the narrative, where the big plot points are presented just as casually as the simplest exposition parts. This film doesn’t tell you which are the important parts, it actually tells you a lot less than you’d expect.

I think it’s not a huge spoiler that the movie involves time traveling. And if you’re not a genius with incredible concentration abilities, it’ll take you some time to actually get how it works, even after they explain it. And maybe you won’t understand it fully at all. I know that I keep trying to figure it out, because there are blank spots you have to fill in yourself, for it to make sense.

And it almost feels like a documentary, where you watch these people working, quietly debating stuff and being unsure of what they are doing. Also the device, which allows the time travel is no DeLorean or other futuristic space traveler accessory, but more like some unfinished part of factory machinery.

Overall, a great, fascinating movie, made on what can barely be considered a budget, an original take on the time travel sub-genre of sci-fi and rewards multiple viewings. Recommended for intelligent people and genre fans.

Pictured: Mind-fuck.