Director: Jaron Henrie-McCrea.
Cast: Danni Smith, Tim Lueke, Martin Monahan, Rick Zahn.
Released: On DVD 18th July.
Reviewed By: Stu Laurie.
Have you ever wondered where your odd socks go? Or random knives and forks? Jaron Henrie-McCrea’s takes a look at one hypothesis in his second feature length directorial project, Curtain. The follow up to 2012’s Pervertigo provides some intriguing underlying emotional subtext along with some impressive performances and imagination, yet the over all film feels clunky and disintegrated.
Our protagonist is Danni (Smith), an ex nurse who fell out of love with her previous role and instead took on a role of a charity mugger. The kind that accost you on the high street all smiles and clipboard. Along with the unorthodox and intensely motivated Tim (Lueke) they trawl the streets in an effort to garner support to eliminate whaling. To match her dull and unrewarding new career path, Danni has relocated to a small, dingy DIY decorated apartment. Only the apartment isn’t as dull as the job, and as Danni’s shower curtains begin to go missing she discovers a portal in her bathroom wall that leads to a menagerie of untamed horrors.
Curtain, or The Gateway as it is also known, is just as bizarre as it sounds. The film feels like a throw back to 80’s late night, Sci-Fi channel low budget B movies but without the comedic self-aware ridiculousness that they brought with them. Whilst Henrie-McCrea has created a film that is aware of, and at times embraces it’s low budget DIY roots, there still lacks a uniformity and pace that would make this film much more audience friendly.
Danni’s character is intriguing. Her reasons for changing her life, her general lack of interest in anything happening around her and her detachment from friends offer a good depth of character, yet this is then juxtaposed by the utter lunacy of the over all concept. Her partner in crime Tim is also a character with an evident back story. His peculiar methods of grabbing the public’s interest in his cause, and the intensity to which he believes in it are all intriguing yet they still jar against the main plot line.
Do not completely dismiss Curtain. The performances are solid, and if you are a fan of indie B-movie horror there are aspects that are enjoyable. The DIY style make up and eccentric plot will have an audience, however for the mass audience the film feels unpolished. It’s as if a psychological drama has been braided with an 80’s creature feature horror and they do not mesh.
Curtain tries to provide an outlandish plot with substance but the final product feels jarring and uncoordinated. Whilst the character development and performances are strong, this is almost belittled by the kooky, off-the-wall monster plot. Potentially enjoyable to a select audience, but other wise the Curtain can be drawn in this 2015 Frightfest participant.
Curtain is released on DVD on the 18th July.