Starring: Anthony De Marco, Matthew Josten, Brooke Bloom, Sean Bridgers, Monette Magrath
My Review and Thoughts:
For starters I really enjoyed this movie. It's simple, it's fun, it's what a child's imagination can do. This is part drama, part childhood spook flick, part kiddie imagination. I think the riveting drama transforms this movie into not just a simple flick to pass up for a simple drama type film. This is more of a riveting story supported by wonderful actors that tell this gripping and sad ordeal of one child's experience through his parents divorce.
First things first, what needs to be spoken of is the character of Jake played by Anthony DeMarco. Anthony is extraordinary. He is a gorgeous little boy that shines on camera. His emotional acting, his facial expressions make you the viewer really understand his terror, his transforming attitude, his claustrophobia.
It seems that the viewer gets there sense of reality. Jake's creepy surroundings, his horrible and demented ordeal as his whole family structure falls apart and soon his mother turns her back on him dating a random man. She seems to avoid his every waking moment and the time she has for him, she is altering his brain into thinking his father is horrible.
She talks about his father in horrible ways to turn him against him. Add in a sad cruel babysitter, a horrible neighbor and her bratty little son and poor Jake starts to see things. His world is slowly closing in as he believes that there is a zombie living in his closet and his fears are fed over and over again as he thinks the creature wants to eat his flesh.
The extraordinary acting is what stands out. All the characters are actually very amazing and belivable and acted perfect by Brooke Bloom and Peter Bridgers who are very, very extraordinary in their part as mother and father. You can sense the anger, the fighting, the frustration of divorce in their performances.
Another extraordinary little actor is Matthew Josten who plays the bratty little son or neighborhood friend to Jake Who both are basically forced to play with each other because all Dillion's mother Ruth wants to do is fill Jake's mother with the idea that her husband Jake's father is nothing but a horrible, horrible man.
Matthew Josten just like Anthony DeMarco are both wonderful. Matthew grabs the character perfectly and I think we all can relate to a character of Dillon. Matthew captures that character perfectly, flawlessly and wonderfully through his acting performance. I can only hope that both Matthew Josten and Anthony DeMarco continue to grow in their acting field and become amazing little actors from now and on up until their teenage years and into their adulthood, because if there were more actors like both of these two boys more movies would be flawlessly created through performances that shine.
Next I have to mention the writer and director Shelli Ryan a newcomer to the independent filmmaking scene. She created an extraordinary little character driven film with imagination and a manipulative type of story that all persons can relate to. We all grew up with the idea of the monster in the closet or under the bed or the creature waiting for us in the dark. We all know someone or even went through it ourselves, divorce and the torment in the heart that it can cause upon one person especially a child who doesn't understand. Who blames themselves or creates something more horrible to rid his current surroundings and placing them into a darker reality.
Is Jake's fear just the divorce? Or is it his parents relationship crumbling? Is it the stress of a child going through something he doesn't understand. Is it his manipulative neighbors, friends, his mother? Ot is it real?
This is a powerful little film that Shelli Ryan blends all the emotional reality and imagination of a child struggling.
Something I really like is the filmmakers filming of the movie from the view of Jake's reality. We all go back to that childhood playing in the backyard, of catching bugs, of using their imaginations to create fear.
I also like how Ryan plays homage to one of the greatest horror creators of all time George Romero's Night of the Living Dead playing on the television in it's wonderful black-and-white glory as Jake comes up on his sleeping drunk mother which only feeds into his fear, building upon his imagination.
There has been many negative reviews on this film and I think that's a true shame. I can understand that maybe hard deep dark horror fans are going into this expecting a spook flick when in reality it's more of a drama with the underlining aspects of a childs imagination playing on the aspects of horror.
Thus to me is a wonderful film to be hold in the acting performances let alone the storyline. The acting by Anthony DeMarco is extraordinary. The movie deserves to be seen just for the acting. The relationships between the characters, the thick characterizations of every person on the screen is worthy to be viewed just for it.
I speak highly of this film just because I thought it was a great story, great acting, a great premise and a great reality-based understanding of the horrors of a child facing the separation of his parents, his surroundings being altered, changed slowly, manipulatedm, destroyed and created in a whole new atmosphere.
In reality the monsters are the ones around him. The monsters, or what he has to face is his ultimate fears which is his daily life.
Truly a touching piece of wild imaginative truth.