Compound Fracture Reviews
I would categorize this film as a rich, well-built and suspenseful, ghost story. It was like sinking into quicksand, but in a good way. At first, the situation seems familiar and easily dealt with, but as the story unfolds and the characters sink into your mind, you find yourself being sucked in and increasingly unsettled by your surroundings. By the point in the film when all hell breaks loose and the cards are all on the table, you are on the edge of your seat, gripping the chair and enjoying the ride. You may notice that I'm not spilling a lot about the actual story, but this is a film you'll want to see without spoilers or a clear breakdown of plot, so you're getting nothing from me!
I cannot stress enough how much I enjoyed the build of this film. It is rare that you see a story structured this well. It is a fresh departure from the Hollywood formula that often leaves the viewer two steps ahead of the movie. I was taken along with the story, not the other way around, and it was fun.
The performances were spot on with each performer uniquely suited to their role. For example, Muse Watson is solid as the fading head of the family with a violent past and numerous demons in his closet. Who better to compliment this than Mane as the son who is now the alpha male in the house, capable of going down the same abusive road (and perhaps a hair away from doing so), but fighting the urges to continue making the same mistakes as his father. And who better to threaten these two powerhouses than the menacing figure of Derek Mears. This type of past/present reflection is also seen wonderfully in the characters portrayed by Leslie Easterbrook as the weary step-mother and Renae Geerlings, as the son's fiancÚ, as they explore exactly what being a part of the family truly means.
Acting was grounded and sincere with a script that tapped into a natural dialog in spite of the supernatural circumstances in the story. To point out shining spots would be to name everyone in the cast. Is it perfection? No, but even the imperfections seems a bit crafted. Any wooden or awkward interactions to be found happen within the first 15 minutes of the film, but seemed stylistic and purposeful. Like a slight-of-hand that sets the viewer up for one film, then rapidly pulls you to a place you don't expect.
On a side note, it was great to see the actors in the film given an opportunity to stretch their skills beyond the "masks" we may be accustomed to them wearing. The fact that Mane was a major creative force on this production speaks volumes for his potential and leaves me looking forward to his next work.
EDIT: I actually drove close to 2 hours with traffic and am still very impressed with this movie. If you get the opportunity I would highly recommend checking it out.