Film Review: Almost Mercy

AlmostMercyPoster-346x500It’s always good to see quality local productions, and Almost Mercy doesn’t disappoint. Almost Mercy presents us with the story of small town outcasts Jackson and Emily, two burgeoning sociopaths who grew up being picked on, put down and put in their place by the arbiters of so-called normal society. Jackson and Emily meet in elementary school and grow up hating all the same peers and authority figures. When a bullying incident pushes Jackson over the edge, he is sent away and the pair gets separated. Upon his return it becomes obvious that Jackson is the more outwardly unbalanced, but when he plans an elaborate stunt and is unable to follow it through, we see that Emily is the one with true inner rage.

Almost Mercy is well-written, well-acted, stylishly shot, and has a stand out score by hip-hop artist B Dolan. With his third feature as director, Tom DeNucci has certainly developed a rapport with his actors as we are treated to strong performances by the two leads. Danielle Guldin as Emily and Jesse Dufault as Jackson appear genuine and believable in their roles, and the supporting cast is equally impressive. Horror fans are treated to horror icons Kane Hodder and Bill Moseley as part of the supporting cast, playing a coach and a priest respectively. While at times their characters fell into clichéd territory, they both turn in memorable performances. The film’s minor flaw is that its non-linear structure and narrative voice-over sap the tension from the build-up of the finale so that it plays like a quirky indie drama that suddenly shifts into slasher territory.

Almost Mercy is well worth a watch for horror aficionados as well as fans of quirky indie dramas who can handle some graphic violence. Be sure to support local filmmakers when this movie hits VOD on May 26, and keep an eye on Woodhaven Productions as these guys get more impressive with each new feature.

Almost Mercy (2015), Dir: Tom DeNucci, Starring: Danielle Guldin, Jesse Dufault, Kane Hodder, Bill Moseley

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