Note: post previously called "Night of the direct-to-DVD thrillers", I renamed it for clarity. And to see if I can get any replies.
Ahhhh... Boring night here in western Europe, so I've rented (and seen) a couple of direct-to-dvd thrillers. See, I absolutely love thrillers, and since those created for mainstream realease are often travestis, I've been trying to keep myself to watching the cheaper stuff, which at least is more restrained. Thrillers must be one of the few genres thaty work better with lower budgets, and since I don't have any problem with cliches (part of the fun, at least for me, is to identify them) I use to find these flicks quite enjoyable. A pity they don't get much attention in the B-movie world, really.
Tonight I was lucky enough to rent two respectable flicks.
1) "Emmett's Mark" (2002) aka "Killing Emmet Young". Forever baby-faced Scott Wolf ("Party of five") stars as a police detective (yeah, right) who is diagnosed with a terminal illness. Convinced that he doesn't want to live the agonizing months until his death, Young hires a contract killer and tries to use his last days to catch a real nasty criminal.
Plot is quite predictable, as I expected, but there is some good acting going on here. Wolf, despite being too young for the titular role, is quite convincing, but the real scene robber here is Tim Roth, in the role of the man who accepts killing Young for money. Plot also intercuts the intentions and lifes of both characters quite cleverly, although forcing credibility (no problem for me). Camerawork, however, is so restrained that some sections of the film are dull.
2) "The Barber" (2001) is an even better surprise. If I had to define this movie, I'd say it is a mixture of "Northern Exposure" and "Hannibal". The almighty Malcolm McDowell stars as the barber of a small alaskan village, submerged in its usual six months winter. To the isolation and its nasty effects on locals, add that there is a serial killer working in the neighbourhood, and nor the local police nor a just-arrived FBI agent seem much in charge of the situation.
More a dark comedy than a psycho thriller, the whole film is narrated, with delightful cinism, by McDowell's character, while the often witty script keeps things moving with competence. A must for McDowell's fans, and I'm one of them.
Post Edited (06-04-05 04:30)