Friday 8 February 2019

Triggered (2019)

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Online screener

Written and Directed by Chris Moore

Stars:  Meredith Mohler, Jesse Dalton, Sam Furman, Keni Bounds, Arian Thigpen, Caitlyn Driscoll and Amanda Wyss. 

I'm so pleased that I was given the opportunity to review this solid indie horror film - I can safely say I was as blown away by the movie as I was by its awesome trailer!

Triggered in short is a slasher movie with an original story and a fascinating array of characters who help to drive the film to its bloody conclusion.

Featuring a pair of high school friends Callie (Meredith Mohler in a scene stealing performance) and Ian (Jessie Dalton) who are only too aware of their towns macabre history decide to use a previous horrific massacre to their advantage. Obviously I wont spoil why they do this but the film finds Callie and Ian faking a vicious attack by the towns uncaught serial killer which backfires spectacularly when the real killer comes for them - and they are NOT happy.

I just want to talk about Callie a bit more. My god if you went to school with this girl you would end up in jail for murder. She is so annoying. Utterly obsessed with cutting down anyone and everyone who might offend those in minority groups, other ethnicity's, etc, Callie does not know when to stop. I'm a gay male and I definitely would find it hard not to strangle someone who was like Callie in real life. However it is this that makes Triggered even more of a standout movie. Yes the world can be shit at times and yes people are hateful and abusive but we have gone so extreme in regards to political correctness that sometimes it feels safer just not to speak at all. What happened to dark humour and banter? Soon any form of comedy will just be banned and life will become REALLY boring. I really appreciated this aspect to the film.

The acting was superb in this film. As mentioned Meredith Mohler does an amazing job as Callie. This actress has some true comedic chops and she has the ability to go really far - she so deserves it. Keni Bounds is a fucking HOOT as Callie's mother and made me laugh every time she was on screen. Jessie Dalton plays Ian brilliantly as an unsure young gay man who seems to just want to find happiness and also has a rather withering view on Callie's extremities.Likewise Sam Furman turns in a great performance as the hot alpha male who is even better when he shows a more vulnerable side to his personality. Plus Jessie and Sam have a fantastic chemistry which only serves to make you more invested in them as characters. Amanda Wyss - ahhh how wonderful to see her in a movie again. I always felt that Amanda brought something really special to poor Tina Gray in A Nightmare on Elm Street. Her short performance made her so much more than just the disposable friend of the final girl and I will always treasure her character as someone who was clearly going to die but that I rooted for all the way. Here Amanda plays the alcohol dependent Principle Gloria Fielding and she is a revelation. She so effortlessly veers from comedy to drama that I loved her character immediately and her scenes with Meredith are just golden. All round great casting here - Caitlyn Driscoll as rich bitch Lisa and her catty friends are also hilarious fun.

Chris Moore 100% knows his genre. There are so many brilliant nods to other horror films in this movie that you should have a great time trying to catch them all. It also nicely defies conventions (a fair bit of male nudity) and it has a playful use of vivid colours such as Callies hot pink wig. Chris has a big future ahead of him if he can make a movie at almost two hours this entertaining from start to finish!

Triggered is well worth your time, its funny, bloody and original and it so deserves your attention! Check it out when it gets released on VOD/DVD for a guaranteed great time.

Saturday 2 February 2019

Wretch (2018)

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Written by Brian Cunningham and Janel Nash

Directed by Brian Cunningham

Stars: Riker Hill, Spencer Korcz and Megan Massie 

A film that proves drugs really ARE bad, Wretch is a found footage style (partially anyway) creeper which befits greatly from a mysterious unfolding plot and strong performances.

A strange friendship group is present in Wretch which makes it hard to figure out if we should be rooting for anyone (or maybe none of them) but it does add to the mystery. Abby and Caleb are a couple rife with issues - he's a disgusting cheat and she seems to be horribly under his thumb. Enter Riker, a guy who Caleb doesn't want anywhere near his girl, a fact he doesn't hide well.

With this odd and blatantly toxic dynamic established the three go out to the woods (yep uh-oh) to do some drinking and hard drugs. What none of them count on is the horrific mystery which will follow when they awaken - this is no ordinary comedown!

The events upon awakening is a trip for both the three main characters and the audience as we watch their lives unravel- all the while being treated to flashbacks to their time in those woods. Audiences will get sucked into the story as they wonder why really happened that night, did the drugs do something awful to them or did something more sinister happen? I love a film that keeps you guessing and Wretch sure did that.

As mentioned the cast do a great job - Spencer Korcz plays the unfaithful jerk so well its difficult to like him in any way and Megan Massie is fantastic as the damaged Abby. Riker Hill who plays..well enigmatic and mysterious and great fun to watch.

The film has a great structure in terms of its style - it opens a la cinema verite with Caleb shooting everything but as the story changes angle so does the camera work. Brian has a great sense of direction with eerie shots and ominous closeups of the three main characters.

I look forward to what Brian Cunningham comes up with next, he has a great understanding of what makes compelling and complex viewing and for that reason I think there is going to be some really great stuff to come from him.

Wretch is out NOW and can be found on most VOD platforms (Googleplay, Youtube, Amazon etc ). I strongly recommend checking this one out - I don't think its comparable to any other horror film out there at the moment and that is a great thing.