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VICTIMS (2011)

Directed by David Bryant
Written by David Bryant
Starring John Bocelli, Sarah Coyle, Andy Cresswell, Nina Millns, Sharon Lawrence, Bradley Cole, Leighton Wise, David Bryant, Richard Stiles
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VICTIMS is a simple premise: a man is abducted by masked assailants. He is accused of a heinous crime, yet says that his abductors have the wrong person. The abductors insist they have the right man. The story takes place in one location (the abandoned warehouse) and could just as easily be a stage play as it is a film. What transpires is a fascinating story that will leave you asking yourself more questions than you might be comfortable asking. Writer/director David Bryant takes the viewer on an often painful, often insightful journey into one man’s soul.

Though shot from a first person perspective on a hand held camera, I wouldn’t categorize VICTIMS as a found footage film. Those films often ring false or depict events that defy explanation. VICTIMS is a forced confessional done by abductors. The effectiveness of this film hinges on the believability of the performers. Here, the masked abductors display rage that you can almost taste toward this man they have handcuffed to a wall. In the same sense, the desperation of the man himself is palpable as well. Though abduction scenes are not new to film, rarely do we see one so brutally real.

Without giving too much away, later in the film, both sides of this story come to the surface. Bryant writes a script that delves into uncomfortable territory. This may be too much for some viewers, not because of any graphic nature but because of the convincing arguments both sides have on the issue of a child accused of a grown up crime. It’s a tricky subject and one presented in an intelligent and emotionally powerful manner. Bryant’s smart script and unflinching presentation doesn’t offer any answers with VICTIMS, but his film does raise questions that will definitely cause unease. Though there are no vampires or axe murderers in this one-locale film, the horror in VICTIMS comes from the effect it has on the viewer and questions it forces one to ask and worse than that, the answers you come up with yourself.

Here’s the trailer!