March 9, 2007, - 4:43 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
Many filmmakers send me movies to review. Some are big movie studios who want to reach my audience. Others are unknown, independent, small-budget first-timers trying to make it big. Their movies have never made it to a movie theater near you.
Many of the first-timers and/or low-budgeteers usually don’t have the greatest of movies, and I wonder where the time went I spent watching something that wasn’t entertaining. “With You” is different. For a horror thriller, I think it’s pretty good. And the production values are quite good, too.
“With You” is written, produced, directed, and edited by Jason Christensen on a shoelace budget. It’s really amazing what he was able to do with very little.
The movie, which is an hour and 40 minutes long, is about Jim Polk–a Gen-Xer desk jockey who is tired of the grind of his job and his insufferable boss. He quits and decides to move to the country, take a menial job, and write. But Jim soon finds that the farmhouse he is renting is haunted and looks out on a mansion in which a murder took place. No-one has ever made it out of the farmhouse alive.
The movie is scary and haunting, the way it was meant to be. I like the way the film uses spiders and other such tactics to scare you. It’s novel and new. The hearse adds to the haunting aura of the flick. And the use of selected scary music and sound effects is masterful. The best performance in the movie is that of actor Mike Pish, who plays Sloan, a neurotically suspicious but loyal friend who is actually on to something.
Although parts of the movie move slowly and it could be shortened by at least 10 minutes (and probably 20), the movie achieves its goal of frightening the viewer without unnecessary gore and blood.
For an independent film, this one impresses and definitely has the creep factor down. The movie is convincing, and I also like the movie’s somewhat ambiguous ending, which keeps you thinking about what actually happened. Not everything needs to be neatly explained by movie’s end.
Visit the “With You” website, scary music and all.
Tags: actor, Debbie Schlussel Many, Jason Christensen, Jim Polk, Mike Pish, With You