16 December 2013

Cutthroat Alley 2003 - REVIEW

As the era of social media and direct access to infinite knowledge is on the rise, so is video on demand and all the perks that come with it. One being that movie watchers can now stream films that they otherwise never would have heard of. Direct to DVD is becoming an endangered species as sites like Netflix, Amazon and a plethora of others offer instant gratification when you don’t want to get out and head to your local RedBox or whatever. Such is the case with Cutthroat Alley. It’s one of those movies that I’ve brushed passed on Netflix a million times but never had much interest in watching. Might’ve been the cover art, might’ve been the description, who knows but It’s not often you see come across a slasher with an all black cast and the obligatory white guy (LOL) so I decided to give it a go.

Not everyone in the hood is out to do drive by shootings, get high and join gangs. Take Robinson Jacobs (Cisco Reyes) for example… a guy out to break the stereotype. Since the death of his father, he’s turned his life around and has big plans to go to college and get a degree and get him and his girlfriend, Angie (Marquita Joyce), out of the hood. Just as he’s about to leave, a serial killer emerges and starts killing off his friends one by one. As the bodies pile up, fingers start pointing in Jacobs’ direction and with the cops closing in and his friends and family turning against him, he must find and stop the killer before it’s too late.

I honestly wasn’t expecting much of this one but the acting was pleasantly surprising. Reyes does a great job as the leading man and Joyce does an equally good job as his damsel in distress. Josh Watson played the timid Winston (the obligatory white guy) to a tee. Jose Turner breathed life into the character of Bones, the misunderstood ex-con that just wants his life back the way it was. It happens quite often that a film with a small budget will sacrifice quantity over quality and in turn some aspect of the film will suffer and it usually ends up being the acting. However, I’d be hard pressed to pick a bad apple out of this bunch. Everyone held their own quite well.

Cutthroat Alley moves along at a steady pace and while there are some inconsistencies, none are so bad that they’re worth mentioning. The writing, directing and cinematography were very well done. I found it quite interesting how Folsome played on misleading his audience. I know, I know, just about every whodunit film in history does that but not all of them are this well done. In fact, I didn’t see the ending coming at all. There are subtle hints throughout the film that when the killer is finally revealed you’ll kick yourself for not figuring it out sooner. Gore hounds might be a bit disappointed as there isn’t much blood and guts but it doesn’t need it. Not being familiar with director Timothy Wayne Folsome’s work, I looked him up and unfortunately he hasn't done anything (other than a short film) since this one. I will however be sure to seek out some of his previous films. In the meantime, this one is available now on Netflix instant and I’d definitely recommend a viewing.

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