Cinema/TV, Film Notes

FrightFest review – Failure!

FrightFest review – Failure!

I wasn’t a fan of Alex Kahaum’s Forgiveness, but this follow-up is a much more satisfying work.  It’s a one-take shaggy dog story about a middle-aged businessman with a lot on his plate, with James (Ted Raimi) showing a ruthless, criminal streak as well as fast-talking ingenuity to manage the possible sale of his family business, some massive debts, a few inconvenient people (living and dead) and a demanding daughter’s wedding plans.  In a possible echo of Death of a Salesman, James talks with an ‘unknown man’ (Noel Douglas Orput) in a bathrobe who may be a projection or a ghost and fits into a complicated backstory somewhere … and Raimi’s worn-down, yet tenaceous rich guy in a mansion, who sheds all sorts of qualms in order to get through the evening is a keeper of a performance.  It’s funny – the putative son-in-law’s pretentious, inept brother (Spencer Langston) attempts to get the wedding party to wear themed outfits is excruciating – but all the prowling camerawork and roaming about the luxurious, but also dark interior builds up the suspense … with a variety of escalating threats coming to the door in the shape of an angry employee (John Paul Medrano), a gun-wielding business partner (Daniel Kuhlman), a blunt fixer (Ernest Cavazos) and a smooth criminal (Merrick McCartha) who also turns out to be in a ridiculous fix.  Melissa Diaz is sweet and funny as the understanding daughter who isn’t getting married.

Here’s the FrightFest listing.




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