|Index||6 reviews in total|
Frank Walker is on the edge. He hasn't had a job in a long time. He's
behind on his rent, and he is starved for female attention. He spends
his nights alone in his shabby apartment, or getting drunk (and failing
with women) at a local bar. When Charlie, a fellow drunk, follows him
home one night to share a few beers, and starts badgering Frank about
his life and his behavior, anything, anything at all is bound to
This is the setup for "Faces", the latest indie horror/thriller from writer/director/star Tom Ryan, and Theatre of Terror productions. As we follow the events of Frank's life over the course of a few days, we see a desperate man, spiraling out of control, but trying to keep some semblance of order, with the help of some new "friends" who come into his life. Who these people are, I will not say. You will have to see for yourself, but it all builds to a startling climax.
In 2009, New Jersey native Tom Ryan unleashed "Day 9" on the world, which was a decent, low-budget zombie short film, with a surprisingly powerful ending. With "Faces", Ryan has taken his game to a completely different level. The Horror Nerd has seen a lot of indie films, with all kinds of budgets. Some are good, many are bad, but with a budget of around only $1,000, "Faces" is one of the best.
The writing is tight and efficient, and there are very few "throwaway" lines or scenes. Sometimes, what happens in a low budget indie film is that everything suffers because of the lack of funds. I'm OK with minimal effects due to budget limitations, but you can still have a good script and good direction and thankfully, "Faces" has both.
I need to make special mention of the acting performances that Tom was able to pull out of his cast. Indie horror veterans such as Edward X Young, Deana Demko, Joe Parascand and Bradley Creanzo all play their roles to perfection. Relative newcomers Paul Gmitter, Tom Schorr and Caroline Pozycki also turn in excellent performances, and I hope to see more of them in the very near future. The rest of the cast does a great job as well.
In closing, "Faces" is one of the best indie films I have seen this year, and the crowd which attended the world premiere at the historic Landmark Lowes Theater in Jersey City, NJ shared the same opinion. When I spoke to several of the attendees, many of them filmmakers themselves, every single person had good things to say about the film.
This is one indie horror film you NEED to check out!
going to see friends at a horror convention, came to a table where friends were talking and looking at the films that were on the table, i picked up Faces and the gentleman behind the table explained the film to me ....seeing that a few friends of mine were actually in the film. i was intrigued. So i bought my copy and then it went to everyone and got signed ... went home and watched it... TOTALLY enjoyed the film...
This is an awesome flick! I highly recommend it! Props to Tom Ryan and all who were involved! The camera work was great, the creepy music was awesome, and the performances were top of the line. I especially liked seeing Joe Parascand who I'm familiar with from his work from Ryan Scott Weber's films.
A great movie to snuggle with your girl. In my opinion an old school scare flick. Friends and,I really enjoyed this movie. A real flashback to a time movies like these were at every movie theater. Great storyline , makes you need to see part 2 ! A twisted ending everyone will enjoy. Without giving too much away , the title hints at what your in for. Frank is an awesome character, he makes you feel for him even cheer him on. The film was filled with locations that fit his character very well, down to the car he drove and, the clothes all the details. The movie had a very dark warm feel, I wasn't expecting. Gave it a nine for the film was put together very well, I was entertained even surprised. Almost a ten, to be left wanting to see more is a good thing however , for me not so good. In a way I'm saving some for Faces 2 , so to be fair a 9 1/2
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Down on his luck ex-con Frank Walker (a fine and credible performance
by writer/director Tom Ryan) has his life take a drastic turn for the
worse after he befriends obnoxious loudmouth drunk Charlie Downey (well
played with winning aplomb by Paul Gmittor).
Ryan firmly grounds the rather familiar, yet still effective and engrossing premise in a plausibly grim'n'gritty working class reality (Frank has great difficulty in securing a job and has fallen behind on paying the rent for his apartment), makes highly inventive use of sound, keeps the stark and compelling story moving at a brisk pace, and maintains a tough downbeat tone throughout. The excellent acting by the tip-top cast holds the picture together, with especially stand-out work from Edward X. Young as hard-nosed shipping tycoon Henry Benson, Deana Demko as sweet and smitten neighbor Beth, Joe Parascand as the distraught Detective Jack Donnelly, Caroline Pozycki as perky barmaid Connie, and Tom Schorr as gruff landlord Jose. Christian Santiago's moody cinematography and Andrew LaBruno's brooding score further add to the overall gloomy atmosphere. Moreover, Ryan deserves extra praise for avoiding certain clichés intrinsic to the genre (for example, there's no hackneyed back story for Frank revealing that he's the toxic product of past abuse) as well as for ending everything on a genuinely surprising and unexpected note. Basically a dark and disturbing character study of a lonely and troubled soul, this one packs quite a fierce punch.
"Faces" takes a dark, emotional journey into the personal life of a
serial killer with intense, dramatic story telling. Ryan frames a his
horror story with a heartfelt approach that creates a personal
connection to his protagonist/antagonist Frank Walker. The acting is
above par for low budget indie cinema which allows for the story to
captivate the audience. The characters are believable, well developed
and intensely animated. The lead character/serial killer is both
relatable and terrifying.
The special effects used in "Faces" is more classic, practical effects which make the scenes believable. The angles, camera shifts create a suggestive horror that I found more invoking than straight on gore-effect splatter. Although there are definite moments of splatter fest present in "Faces". The blood and gore is crafted to be convincing, and they work. The creature effect/make-up used in the more dark humor elements of the film are a nice balance against the more intense, serious horror that "Faces" gives us.
The soundtrack and music score help to create a chilling atmosphere reminiscent of classic spaghetti thrillers of the late 70's and early 80's. The sounds combine with the character driven story to create a deeply emotive nightmare both entertaining, and thrilling. Overall "Faces" is a nice, well written and directed indie horror film worthy of watching. It is an impressive attempt by Tom Ryan to bring a more personable vision of the dark companion of humanity, the psychopath/serial killer, to the screen.
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