Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Movie review: Almost Mercy

Jackson and Emily have been friends since their troubled childhoods. They have also been outcasts, different from everyone else. Now in high school, their sociopathic tendencies becoming more apparent and difficult to contain, who will break first becomes the question.

Danielle Guldin (Emily), Jesse Dufault (Jackson), Bill Moseley (Pastor Johnson), Kane Hodder (Coach Elwood), Allie Marshall (Erica), Eva Senerchia (Young Emily), Noah Sanderson (Young Jimmy), Sean Leser (Jimmy), Jonah Coppolelli (Young Jackson).

First meeting in elementary school over a dead animal, Jackson and Emily remain friends. Now in high school it is hard to tell if they balance or feed one another's manifesting sociopathic tendencies, and who will explode first. The childhood trauma they experience is broad and deep for a film and is built upon wonderfully as they mature with psychological defects becoming more apparent. Toward the end the film becomes more of a horror flick but with a few twists, including mental issues, interest is held well with the full impact of the story taking some time.

Acting was interesting with Guldin delivering a solid psychologically disturbing performance. Dufault also did well thought with much less dialogue or emotional presentation. Moseley and Hodder fit their roles well and felt realistic. The remainder of the cast was solid, interesting, and delivered well.

Camera work, sets, and backgrounds were mild but enjoyable with a solid feel. Action scenes were decent though a lack of detail during horror scenes was obvious. Horror scenes included plenty of blood and disturbing psychology. Dialogue felt a bit lacking at times which actually added to the mentality of the film and characters. Sound and soundtrack were enjoyable.

Almost Mercy could easily be called a horror flick but the film is really much more with surprising emotional and psychological depth. And creating a film expressing mental issues resulting in multiple murders of school age children by their peers takes some courage in this day and age. Fans of psychological horror flicks should enjoy this one.

With plenty of gore, disturbing psychology, foul language, and violence including possible sexual abuse, save this one for the oldest teens and above.

Released: 2015
Reviewed: 12.8.15
Star rating: 3 out of 5
Genre: Horror, Psychological Horror, Teen Screams, B-Horror movies, Psychological Drama

copyright ©2015 Dave Riedel

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