1 February 2018 | stephenabell
There's A Few Issues With This Thriller
This is a clever little tale which has a pretty good twist to the main plot, though even a couch-potato will be able to work it out quite early on. It's just a shame everything else about the movie isn't up to that standard.
Please be aware that you will need to watch an awful opening sequence. This is both badly acted and scripted. However, it's not shot too badly. But once you're past this and into the story proper then things do lift... a little.
The main bother I had with the story was the whole "Fund Raising" arc. No matter how much I didn't try to think it out, I still couldn't relate to the fact that, mother of two, Stella (Hartley) would even consider hanging around with the self-gratifying Meredith (Williamson) and her kowtowing minions. Let alone, try to impress her. This entire scenario was filled with such stereotypical fodder that it muddled the main storyline; this should have been a better arc.
Secondly, the acting was all over the place. This could be due to the out of sequence shooting of the scenes, because Freya Tingley (Blake), would be dire in one scene and then pretty decent in the next. It really does disjoint the film to have this kind of acting difference. The rest of the cast was pretty average, though Brody Hutzler (Tanner) and Bree Williamson (Meredith) do add a bit of solidness with their portrayal of their characters. Though, I think the trouble with Lindsay Hartley's character is due to the writing and direction, rather than her acting. There were quite a few things that weren't completely believable with Stella.
Though the story is strong in its synopsis, it does let itself down on some of the narration and stereotypical characters. There's also the obvious antagonising scenes where we get to see Blake's real character and motivation. The number of times that their friend's daughter, Julianna (Green) told Stella that she was like a mother to her was near vomit inducing. Some of these scenes appeared forced and there were too many.
This film would have been so much better with these issues sorted out. But even though there were a few annoyances it still is a good film, not great.
For the most part, the direction and pace are standard and steady, not adding anything new to the film. The acting levels out at average. And the story is better and stronger for the character of Blake and her background.
If there's a rainstorm or blizzard blazing outside then spending an afternoon with this flick wouldn't be too bad.