CFR recommended this movie in the strongest terms as we walked out of a basketball game. I think she may have grabbed and shaken me but maybe not. Eventually it came up in my queue and I carted it off to the bedroom where 1. I can be alone for a while with the excuse of watching a movie and 2. I can safely watch even the nastiest films without worrying about being woken up later due to horror movie exposure.
There are several things that give this movie a definite zombie film vibe, including a social media voice over at the very top, only this time about police officers being found not guilty of shooting a young black man. About this time Kevin the cop suddenly finds himself unwelcome at a neighborhood café so he goes back out in the rain and pulls over a van for a traffic stop. This is when we find out it may not be zombies but it’s definitely horror.
Mary J. Blige is Renee the cop, out for the first time with her new partner. She’s still dealing with the grief of losing her son, and has to prove to the department she is entirely without feeling before they’ll let her come back. They’re first on the scene of an abandoned cop car and this is when the film quickly gets thrillery and gritty. Renee begins to fight the department about what she sees and things get worse and scarier.
Blige is a decent actor who reminded me of Reba McEntire when she started acting in Tremors. A singer of that stature lends a level of gravitas that transfers well to the big screen, even without a lot of experience up front. I totally bought her as a cop who has not been completely corrupted by the Blue Force, and I’m looking forward to seeing her in this capacity again.
Technically, this is a solid movie throughout. Acting and writing are okay, though sometimes the messaging tries to get too loud, like hearing the line, “the optics are bad” and sometimes the dialogue in general was poor. There was a bit of mustache twirling but nothing too annoying. Lighting was powerful with a mostly dark palette lit very deliberately and skillfully, often with some great flashlight work that showed just enough to raise the heartbeat. Music is there but understated, meant to impart unease not a blaring IMMA BOUT TO JUMP HER! A couple of scenes were outstanding like a jump scare at the end of a dream sequence and a basement search that very much reminded me of Silence of the Lambs. One thing the writing definitely got right was not flinching at killing sympathetic characters. That’s always hard to watch but makes for a much better thriller.
I’m with CFR with this one, it’s a film we can both recommend enthusiastically. It’s not groundbreaking, but a solid horror movie that might leave you on the edge of your seat. I noticed the theme of origami cranes everywhere and unfortunately pieced together what it meant just a tad too soon. Still, I enjoyed watching and hope you do as well.
CFR: In Addition: OMG! LOL on me! At first I couldn’t remember about Body Cam until I started reading the review. Then AH HA! I remembered recommending this excellent movie. Thank you Mildred for liking it and writing about it. I didn’t catch the crane thing so well done! Now you, dear reader, go watch.