Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Suspension (2015) - Review

Suspension (2015) **
D: Jeffery Scott Lando
C: Ellen MacNevin, Connor Fielding, Owen Fielding, Steve Richmond, Taylor Russell, Rustin Gresiuk, Courtney Paige Theroux, Duncan Ollerenshaw, Sage Brocklebank, Craig March, Chilton Crane

Plot Synopsis: A high school girl and her bullying peers are terrorized by an escaped psychotic killer who is more than meets the eye.

Review:  A troubled high school student (by the name of Emily) designs a graphic novel centered around a homicidal maniac that embarks upon a killing spree. The anti-hero of this novel is her father, a person who committed a real life killing spree of his own. Scenes from the graphic novel come to life, on screen, to show us how Emily is piecing this together.

As this is unfolding, dear old dad has seemingly jumped off the pages of Emily's graphic novel to exact revenge. The line between real life vs reel life and fantasy & reality is distorted. Even casual viewers will be able to pick up on what's going on and where all of this is going to lead pretty easily.

In an effort to bring some pizzazz to the overly familiar proceedings, the film employs some striking color palates and dons Emily's father in a mask that's supposed to be eye catching in the way that Jason's hockey mask was. To an extent, it works, because the film is able to hold your attention even though nothing particularly exciting or memorable has happened.   

By the time Suspension gets to the big reveal, the big plot twist (which I won't give away), it's pretty much a foregone conclusion, but yet again, the people behind this try to bring some grandeur to the proceedings. The score blares to an all time high. Flashback and slow motion techniques are used. The actors cry and scream in a theatrical way to try to give the ending more importance then it really deserves.

A big reason why none of this work, despite the efforts of those involved, is because Suspension is a film in service of a plot twist. What I mean by that is, that the film doesn't allow viewers to become involved with the characters or with the proceedings, because it's trying to hide its motives and keep viewers in the dark. Here's a suggestion. Why not make the plot twist, the jumping off point?

Think about it. When you have a plot twist that happens at the very end, it's only the beginning of the story arc that's being spun. The characters still have to address whatever issues come about as a result of this twist and the audience gets short changed, because they've put in the time, yet there's no real resolution. [R] 87 minutes.

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