Wednesday, June 02, 2010
Release date: 2007
It is always a challenge with micro-budget films to see through the layers that accumulate due to that very lack of budget. This is made worse when the film happens to be ambitious. Sometimes there are no redeeming features, with others there certainly are.
Before I look at Chasing Darkness in depth I will state in advance that there are problems with the film. Much of these are born out of budget constraints and some, I’d say, came from inexperience. However there are also some very redeeming features in the film that, if nothing else, suggest we look out for Jason Hull in the future.
Vinnie is a mob hit-man and the boss (Larry Liggett) calls him in, when the boss calls you come a-running. Sort of, he is an hour late and the boss is less than impressed that his last hit fouled up. When he asks what happened, Vinnie can’t remember – the entire hit is blurred in his memory. He has to go back – the next night – and he has to take backup (and a watchman, as it were) in the form of Johnny (Dennis Carver) – only trouble is, Vinnie works alone.
The performances in this are a mixed bag. The primaries all do rather well, indeed Humes and Porada managed to give Vinnie and Faith a palpable chemistry that worked really well (bar a diversionary kissing moment during a fight that was just kind of misplaced scene wise – but that is far from this point). The minor actors were not so good. The good old boys just didn’t work for me (especially as their only reason for being was to become vampire fodder), the mobsters – especially the boss – didn’t feel so real, but the small town, rural setting didn’t help that. Whilst I am on the mobsters, I'd have liked to have known what the vampires had been doing to attract a mob hit.
Anyway, Cierra happens to be stalking in the bar when Vinnie (innocently at this point) meets Faith. So it is that she decides to follow him the next night – on his job. The job is far out in the countryside (and seems to centre around a shed) and it messes up again as bullets are generally useless against the undead. However a vampire bites Cierra and this becomes a mixed part of the film with some of the highs and lows attached.
The film has a twist you can see coming and then a further twist that you don’t.
4 out of 10, in this case, represents a film worth catching so long as you realise it is a micro-budget production. A film that has flaws, but more, the score also recognises that this is a building block and Jason Hull can use it to move forward as a filmmaker and take those things that worked well with him.
The imdb page is here.