INDIE HORROR FILM OF THE WEEK: FACES

SYNOPSIS OF FACES VIA IMDB

“Frank lived alone.  He had no job, no friends and no girlfriend.  Then Charlie came along and everything changed.”

MY REVIEW

I’ve been thinking all day about how I would review this movie so that I don’t give away any spoilers. Frank is a down and out guy trying to find a job - we find out early on that he was incarcerated (but it’s something he wishes to not elaborate on) and takes medication (what type of medication we never find out - but I would think it’s to stop the voices in his head). He is extremely socially awkward and doesn’t know how to talk to chicks - or anyone for that matter. We also find out that Frank should never EVER stop taking his medication.  Things begin to change for him when he comes across Charlie, a new friend.  A friend that sticks with him for better or for worse.  A friend who is willing to give him advice - advice that once taken comes with extreme consequences. 

There are a lot of elements to this movie that I really enjoyed.  Thomas Ryan, who plays Frank, is extremely captivating.  He plays his role strong and is solid throughout the entire movie.  There were a few other actors that I thought held their own for the most part, but in my mind Thomas Ryan is what makes this movie.  I really enjoyed his presence on screen, and one of my favorite scenes is with him screaming in a car.  You don’t hear him screaming or yelling but you can see the anger and despair in his character - it was very raw and felt very real.  It made his character more relatable.  I only wish the other characters in the movie were as strong as Frank’s. 

Another aspect of the movie that I really liked was the makeup and special effects.  The makeup wasn’t overly done and wasn’t overly campy.  It had a throwback feel to it - back to a time when CGI wasn’t available and people had to use their own creativity to get whatever desired effect they wanted. I love how the makeup and the special effects weren’t over the top but had a passion and style to it.  When it comes to gore I’m not a huge fan (ironic considering how much horror I watch) and I feel as though a lot of directors miss the makr in walking the fine line with how much gore to use.  What I really really really liked about this movie was in one particular scene in which there was quite a bit of blood, it was executed near perfect! It was believable, the blood wasn’t spraying 3,000 ft away in large clumps, the timing was great.  I was actually really impressed with that scene.  Kudos for pulling off a realistic gore scene.

Lastly, I really enjoyed the music and the soundtrack.  I typically don’t pay too much attention to the score (I know, bad Shannon) but for some reason I was really drawn to it in this movie.  I found it to be fitting for the type of movie this is and it added a somewhat creepy atmosphere to the film.  I’m not sure who did the music but whoever did it they nailed it. 

My only critique of the movie is really in the acting of some of the supportive roles.  As I stated above, Thomas Ryan was great as Frank and the other notable actor for me was Joe Parascand who played Detective Jack Donnelly. I think if the acting had been a bit stronger this indie movie would have been off the charts.  Regardless, Thomas Ryan was still able to hold it together with his performance and his believability. 

In conclusion, I give FACES a 4 out of 5 stars.  Thomas Ryan did a terrific job as Frank and the makeup and special effects gave us a glimpse of classic old school horror in the new school genre.  I enjoyed watching the movie and I enjoyed finding out about the faces and what they meant to Frank, because in the end that is a huge aspect of what drew me into the movie (I would go on but I refuse to give spoilers on this!).  If you are looking for a movie that gives you a clever twist with some dark humor than I suggest picking up FACES.