13 May 2012

Huff 2012 - REVIEW

Most of us are raised to believe in fairy tale endings. The girl gets the guy and vice versa. Good triumphs over evil and missing children always find their way home. As we grow older and wiser to the ways of the world we realize this isn't always the case and not everyone gets their happy ending. Now if you go back in history and read the original versions of fairy tales, what we grew up with is far from the way the story actually goes. The history of fairy tales began with our primitive ancestors and grew to reflect the uncertainties, traumas and dramas of the age. In the original Red Riding Hood tale, there was no Grandmother, only a ravenous wolf who misdirected Red so he could eat her. Yep, in the original tale, Red didn't escape the wolf. Some of the very early tales even have Cinderella as a murderous daughter who was punished with a life of chores for killing her first step-mother. Sleeping Beauty wasn't awakened by a kiss from a handsome prince, it was the nudging of her newborn twins that actually woke her and Goldilocks, well she became a hearty meal for the three bears. Take the Brothers Grimm for example, they were notorious for writing very gruesome tales that rarely ended in "happily ever after".

Lorelei (Elina Madison) finally realizes that she hasn't done whats right by her three daughters. For seven years she's trapped them in a home with an abusive, drug running, pedophile step-father who hides behind the Bible. Seeing the err of her ways, she decides to steal Huff's (Charlie O'Connell) drug money and send the girls off in search of a better life. The girls split up thinking it will be harder for Huff to find them. But, there's nothing worse than a pissed off drug runner with a tendency for violence. Once Huff wakes up from his drunken slumber and realizes his money is gone, he sets off in a bloody pursuit to get it back.

From the onset, the most recognizable face of this cast is Charlie O'Connell. Hell, he's been in everything from Sliders to Dude Where's My Car to 2-Headed Shark Attack. The best thing about it though, is this isn't the Charlie O'Connell we're all used to seeing. This is a much darker Charlie and it's frightening how well he pulls it off. He gives the most powerful, brutal, intense performance of his career right here and he nails it. I've always seen him as this cute, charming good guy but not anymore... nope... he's skeery! I was also surprised to see two of my favorite actors show up. Who, just in case you didn't know, are father and son, Rance and Clint Howard. Both had rather minor roles but as usual, played them to perfection. The rest of the cast were relatively unknown to me until now. Gorgeous, gorgeous girls who know how to play it up on screen. Madison is an emotional wreck (because she's supposed to be) and you instantly feel for her. A woman trapped in a marriage of convenience who only wants what's best for her girls and she makes it look effortless. Now, it's the naming of the girls where we get our first glimpse of the "Three Little Pigs" aspect of the film. Brixi (Marie Bollinger),  Styx (Jenna Stone) and Shay (Elly Stefanko). Bollinger is more than effective as the self sacrificing, God fearing "good girl" quoting Bible verses to deflect the attentions of her pervert step-father away from her sisters. Stone is the rebellious one who wants nothing more than to escape the hell she's in and she's extremely convincing. Stefanko is the cute but naive baby of the family and you'd think, this being her first film, there'd be some kind of learning curve for her but she delivers a rather flawless performance. Natasha Alam is Huff's girl on the side who is trying to escape her own nightmare. Little does she know, she's stepped right in the middle of another one.

I must admit when I was first approached to review Huff, I had my doubts. I mean really, a film based on The Three Little Pigs? My perception of films is so skewed these days. However, even after reading other reviews on here, writer Cort Howell was convinced that I'd enjoy it and he was right. The thing about it is, Huff could've easily gotten very gimmicky and gone downhill fast but Howell and director Paul Morrell made damn sure it never went in that direction. The references are very subtle and if you didn't know it before hand, you'd probably never put the two together and that just makes it a more solid film. We here at Twisted Central love the Indie film circuit (when it's good) and what it all boils down to is that Huff is an intense, compelling play on a childhood favorite that is a must see for genre fans. Kudos to the Huff team and I can't wait to see what else Windchaser Pictures has in store for us!

1 comment:

  1. I must admit when I was first approached to review Huff, I had my doubts. I mean really, a film based on The Three Little Pigs. Huff Post