Sunday, November 27, 2016

BITS '16 Film Review - Inspiration

Samantha (Emily Alatalo) has seen her fortunes as a writer plummet since she decided to leave the horror genera behind for romance writing. Her agent Coraline (Tianna Nori) continues to receive requests for more Grinning Charlie novels but Sam declares that she's moved on from horror. However with her husband Mark (Ry Barrett) business dealings faltering combined with her reduced income Sam can't refuse an offer from a large publisher linked to a film deal. Planning a surprise for Mark with the news on their anniversary she shows up at home unexpected to witnesses an event that turns her in a different direction. Sam decides to go to the small town of Warren for isolation and a bit of Inspiration to write her new book.

Once in town Sam's greeted by friendly real estate agent (Colin Paradine), knowledgeable but respectful neighbours Lena (Valerie Morrissey) and Maynard (Andrew Roth) plus two dogs that came with the house. Our heroine makes great progress with her novel until an unfortunate accident effects her mental state and alters the rest of her time in the community. She begins to see things that are not there, has premonitions about bad events while reports start to surface about locals going missing.

Writer Director Jason Armstrong pens his first feature after a long absence working with Emily Alatalo who he recently directed in his TV project 9 Days with Cambria. The narrative is crisp and concise. The story moves fast not telegraphing the plot forcing the viewer to pay attention and think along with the characters.

Emily Alatalo plays the physically and mentally challenging role of Samantha. She is onscreen for just about every frame of the film having to switch from being half of a big city power couple; to an isolated remote single home occupant in the dead of winter. Her character is aggressive, determined and in charge one moment then vulnerable, confused and a target the next. Andrew Roth is strong in the supporting role of Maynard. He does not speak much, knows the rural surroundings well and always has a piece of good advise for Sam.

Inspiration is a challenging film that will leave the viewer recalculating their current theory of the events several times. The action cumulates in a frantic third act where twists and turns in the plot spiral totally out of control. The cast acquit themselves well given the harsh setting of the bulk of the piece. The soundtrack could have been dialed back a few decibels but that a minor issue that does not detract from the film being one that I can recommend.

*** Out of 4.

Inspiration | Jason Armstrong | Canada | 2016 | 87 Minutes.

Tags; Horror Novelist, Mask, Bonfire, Cheating, Book Signing, Fans, Isolation, Divorce, Advance, Hitch Hikers.

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