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Screwdriver

USA 2023
produced by
Cairo Smith, Rand Vossler, Michelle Shundo, Christopher Corey Smith, Matthew Helderman (executive), Luke Taylor (executive), Craige Howlett (executive), Corrine Howlett (executive), Sergé Wilson (executive) for Askari Productions, No Sudden Movies
directed by Cairo Smith
starring AnnaClare Hicks, Charlie Farrell, Milly Sanders, Matt Munroe
written by Cairo Smith, music by Sean Renner

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Emily's (AnnaClare Hicks) life has recently gone a little off the rail, and her sleeplessness is just a really strong and annoying symptom of just that. So she happily accepts the invitation of her high school bestie/psychotherapist Robert (Charlie Farrell) to come halfway through the country to stay with him and his wife Melissa (Milly Sanders) for a bit, where he'll try to treat her sleeplessness with a novel and under-tested method - pretty much she'd be a guinea pig. Emily's stay doesn't run quite as smoothly as expected from the get-go, as Mellissa is a bit too high strung for her, and she doesn't enjoy Robert's method of "curing" her at all. But when she tries to leave, her hosts successfully prevent her from it, and Emily even agrees to more treatment. But soon enough it becomes apparent (to the audience, not to Emily) that the treatment is basically a way to brainwash her into obedience, turning everything she believes in, including her faith, against her. But what would the two of them need brainwashed Emily for?

 

A very maze-like thriller that might drop hints throughout - that seem quite obvious in hindsight even - while for the longest time obscuring in which direction the story is actually going. And the directorial effort, with a predilection for white-ish colours seems to only mirror that, as if the colour-scheme was a smokescreen. And the whole confusion is basically where the film's suspense is derived from. Now add to that AnnaClare Hicks's central performance that seems to effortlessly bounce from the insecure to the totally unhinged and back, surrounded by a small but strong ensemble, and you've got pretty cool and quite unusual thriller entertainment.

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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In times of uncertainty of a possible zombie outbreak, a woman has to decide between two men - only one of them's one of the undead.

 

There's No Such Thing as Zombies
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special appearances by
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directed by
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written by
Michael Haberfelner

produced by
Michael Haberfelner, Luana Ribeira and Eddie Bammeke

 

now streaming at

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
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Tales to Chill
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Tales to Chill
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
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Tales to Chill
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the new anthology by
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Out now from
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