10 February 2012

Chop 2011 - REVIEW

I find that I spend less and less of my time trying to catch the latest big studio horror flicks and more of my time hunting and pecking my way through Indie films hoping to find a winner. As with most instances in life, you gotta weed out the bad ones (and there are A LOT) to get to the good ones (not so many). I came across this one after seeing the poster pop up on Jennifer Blanc Biehn's Facebook page a number of times. Every time she'd post something about The Victim and link it back to WTF is happening at WTF? this would always show up as the thumbnail. I can only look at it so many times before I gotta know what all the fuss is about.

Lance Reed (Will Keenan) is just your average guy living an average life with his beautiful wife Emily (Tanisha). A recovering drug addict, Lance has done some horrible things in the past and one of his "victims" (Timothy Muskatell) decides it's time for a little revenge. After kidnapping Lance he tries to force him into confessing his dirty deed. The only problem is, Lance doesn't remember. Growing more and more frustrated with the situation, the kidnapper decides the only way to get the apology he wants is to start removing his limbs one by one. When Lance finally does start spilling the beans and confessing his evil deeds it becomes clear that he doesn't remember who his kidnapper is or what he's done to him. Frustrated, he decides to go a different route. If he can't get his apology maybe the other people Lance has wronged can get theirs.

There are some great overall performances in this film. Having never seen the previous work of any of them, I really had no idea what I was in for. Keenan and Muskatell are both hilarious. Particularly in the scenes that are suppose to be heartfelt, soul melting scenes where they both go from one extreme to the other. Although they spend little time on screen, the supporting cast knocked it out of the park too. The two detectives, Adam Minarovich (who also penned the script) and Tamil T. Rhee, are like The Odd Couple of cops. Not stereotyping here at all so don't get your knickers in a twist but the mannerisms of Rhee instantly made me think of Tim Kang's character in The Mentalist

Chop flows at a break neck pace without ever really slowing down. From the minute the main character hitches a ride with the wrong guy the audience feels for him but as time goes on and we learn more and more about our protagonist, you start to question who the bad guy really is. Where most films would fail miserably, director Trent Haaga and writer Minarovich are able to hold the story together rather well. As each new character is introduced you find it harder and harder to figure out which direction they're gonna take it. And when the final reveal comes... head/desk. Really?!? It was hard to not be disappointed but it was completely obvious that that's exactly what they had in mind when they were making it. Despite my disappointment in the ending, I really did enjoy the film. It surpassed my expectations (that's a really hard thing to do) and I have to recommend it for that alone. As a dark comedy or horror/comedy or however you wanna classify it, it's for sure one that you won't forget any time soon.

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