Day 30: Female-Helmed Horror Movies For October
3: Eye For An Eye
Written, Directed and Produced by Lou Simon
1 hour, 22 minutes
I watched it on iTunes.
This is one of those be patient, it will be worth it kind of flicks. I full on thought a few of the performances were terrible until a good ways in and then I understood there was a purpose to the inauthenticity. But still, that’s a lot to ask of an audience, so it’s a strategy that doesn’t quite work. This is a movie that twists like a dance from the 50’s, just constantly, and yet, it doesn’t feel gimmicky. Instead, it feels like the process of discovering, of unpacking trauma.
“He” (Todd Bruno) wants to help his friend “She” (Aniela McGuinness) get justice after her unprosecuted rape from a year ago. So He kidnaps “It” (Mike Stanley – shout out to my Facebook buddy), the man she believes raped her and has gotten away with it, and ties him up in the basement. He’s going to videotape a confession and then turn him into the police. But It claims he’s innocent, lays it on thick that he has a depressed wife who needs him, please let him go, etc. But He only grows more and more frustrated that this confession is taking so long and starts to truly unravel.
The title is a mess but I do have a bias against the two title approach. Even at such a short running time, many of the beats feel too drawn out, in need of trimming. Simon might have been more effective if she’d kept everything a little more desperate and messy above that basement, too. She tips her hand a bit too much with the costumes, for example. The basement scenes, the cat and mouse between He and It are where the movie really shines. He is traumatized from Iraq and, after a few easier interrogations, eagerly resorts to the real torture. It’s thoughtful gore but be warned, it does get pretty gnarly.
Lou Simon is originally from Cuba, and this is her fifth feature. I haven’t seen any of the others but if you like “3,” you should venture into “Agoraphobia,” “HazMat,” “The Awakened,” and “All Girls Weekend.” She’s currently filming a short and a TV doc. All of this in the last six years! And how much do you love her tank top here?!
Overall, “3: Eye For An Eye” doesn’t quite gel. It has a bit too much of that low-budget awkwardness. But it does aim for something more complicated and emotional than your typical revenge flick. So I appreciate that about it. I hate that this write up is so short but I don’t want to spoil any of the surprises, as that strong mystery writing is one of its biggest strengths. Check it out and let’s chat!