For those in the creative arts, no matter the field or medium, it's a constant, uphill, arduous and internal battle to create something that will consistently speak to people and make them feel something. Sure it has its moments of breezy inspiration; where creativity and art seem to almost effortlessly pour out of one's self. But 80% of the time, it's a struggle, and it's work. You know it's there inside you, but it's actual hard work to access it and convey it to people.
And then there those times for certain people, much like the character of Hermann Haig (Sean McGrath), where it feels as though an important part of inspiration and creativity is missing, and no one seems to respond to any piece of art they make. That feeling to an artist is one that is ugly and hopeless. But, right as Hermann is left with no other choices, and at the recommendation of his mother (Mary McDonald-Lewis), he reluctantly calls his Uncle Felix, a hack artist (John Nielsen) for advice. It is then his Uncle suggests he go and stay at the apartment he once stayed at to gain inspiration. While there, Hermann encounters the flirtatious advances of a young Land Lady named Layla (Monica Graves), and even stranger yet, just when he wants to harm himself in order to escape the inner torment he is feeling, he also encounters a hole in the wall of his apartment. One that communicates with him. At first, dispensing small rolled up pieces of paper with typed messages on it, then begins to vocally speak to him. The voice is played fantastically by veteran voice actor Denise Poirier. Whose impressive resume reaches as far as back the 90's, with such notable work under her belt as lending her voice to the popular animated show AEon Flux!
What I found brilliantly rendered is that the voice coming from the hole in the wall has no name. It's clearly a woman's voice, but it has no identity. And yet by the stellar vocal performance Denise gives, she breaths life into that character. It suddenly has emotions and consciousness. It has the ability to manipulate, to love, to be heartbroken, to be sexual, and seemingly even feel pain! You feel for that character, and it's not even human! And what I love about that is that you never find out what she or It is. It just seems to be this enigmatic, ominous source of inspiration for Hermann. A dark Muse if you will. Sean McGrath also gives such a strong performance as a tortured man who has known what he's wanted to do his whole life, and still cannot reach the peak of his potential. The film is full of solid performances in a story that cannot be pigeon-holed in one genre or another. It's sad, it's humorous, it's dark and bizarre.
Which brings me to writer/director Michael Medaglia. He delivers such a fantastic debut feature length film, one that connects with people through its story and characters. It doesn't presume to dumb anything down to only deliver blood and guts, which don't get me wrong, the movie does have its fair share of it, but it also contains a story and well rounded characters that you can actually either identify with, despise, or even root for; so the blood and guts have a warranted purpose and reason to exist. With this being Michael's very first feature film, he has most definitely proven himself to be someone to pay attention to and whose work you should without a doubt keep an eye out for!
now available on VOD (amazon, itunes, xbox, etc) and also DVD on Amazon
Deep Dark Movie Review
by Phillip Wilcox "Our Movie Demon"