In the acting and directing style of 'Primer,' this film creates an atmosphere of unsettling ambiguity. I suppose it's full of movie cliches--a creepy basement, a distorted voice on the other end of a phone--but it's got enough powerful images (e.g. sulfuric acid poured over a butcher's cut of bloody meat) to effectively get under my skin nonetheless.
"It’s rare to find a genre film that takes the time to explore the human behind the madness while still providing thrills . ...TLLP offers up two fragile souls, both suffering and under attack in their own way, and suggests that the most powerful defense in their arsenal is the love, friendship and empathy they have for someone else." - Rob Hunter, FilmSchoolRejects
Legitimately tense, this psychological horror(?) manages to creep up on you without any violence or really anything overtly scary showing up on the screen. Few things are more deeply terrifying than losing your mind, and this captures it in a way that is heartbreakingly real. In addition to the battle with Wyatt's own self is the more subtle battle he and his best friend fight against masculinity.
I decided to watch this film on a whim, and I'm very glad that I did. There's a Hitchcockian element to it that breeds suspense seeping out of every frame, and a psychological bent that deserves much praise for how realistic it feels and how much we want to believe what Wyatt is experiencing. At the core, it's about friends never giving up on each other, and the conclusion is nothing short of heartbreaking. See it.
I simply don't understand the praise for this. We were waiting for the nerve-wracking tension and psychological turmoil - all we got was undercooked camera work and nonsensical script. Sure there were genuine moments of paranoia, tension, even moments that could have been frightening - but it all fell short. I'm able to look past low budget flaws, but this had too many.
2-3? Well-shot and well-acted, but not a lot of innovation; and doesn't QUITE fit together. The parallel between the two lead characters lends a hyperbolic implication to one, and an unsympathetic implication to the other. Glad I saw it once, but that's probably as many times as I'd want to sit through it.
An intriguing play on indie-drama conventions but its horror aspects are lukewarm. Well acted with sharp characterizations and natural dialogue, while the style of direction often shifts from workmanlike to being bland. The screenplay doesn't reach its emotive potential because the horror doesn't rise from the typical into invention or deeper purpose. In other words, the genre angle here is slight and feels cliché.
(Generous) 7 - I really like this thing's concept; a self doubt-riddled, elliptical take on the "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" formula. The final product is extremely rough around the edges in every way conceivable (some of the sound mixing here is unbelievably awful), but oddly intoxicating. "Hearing voices" as a parallelism/metaphor for self-centered machismo was a genuinely nice touch.
I think where American new talents pop up is in melodrama (Alex Ross Perry & Benjamin Crotty) or horror (David Robert Mitchell & Ana Rose Holmer.) So this gloomily desolate, heart-cringed dark horror, depicting a masculinity & anxiety called losing youth through a man's mind with SF-ish megalomania that "They look like people & War will come soon," shouts birth of new talent. You love "Bellflower"? Yeah, see it.