There were some flashbacks with child actors (mostly in their early teens, I gathered). I'm gonna say it: I was impressed with their performances. normally, when you have the younger counterparts, the kids aren't very good, and in low budget indie filmmaking, it's tough to get good kids. But the director did a great job with them, and got them to perform actual characters, instead of taking the easy way out and just reciting lines.
Along the acting lines, I must talk about Bo Foxworth's "Cal". The man is the character who gets all the best lines, and you can tell he's having fun with them. (The non-expository lines, anyway). He's a lot of fun to watch. The other actors are good, but he seems to be having the most fun, and as a viewer, I had the most fun watching him. (But the ladies are much prettier than he is, it should be noted.)
I really liked the camera work (glorious scope 35mm, good to see people using it). And I liked that the editing wasn't following the trend of MTV (save for a few parts) of fast cutting and shock cuts for the purpose of scaring. And the music was quite good, and fit the scenes well, without taking over.
So where's the proverbial other shoe that's gonna drop? Well, i do have a few issues. Again, keep in my mind that the film wasn't 100% finished, and these are also the lowly opinions of a movie reviewer who couldn't make a film of his own. (I did try).
Well, first off there are FAR TOO MANY fade to blacks. Seriously, there are a lot of them. the problem I had is that almost every scene ends this way. It loses tension. Have faith in your cuts and the power of your images. It works sometimes, but towards the end, it does it way too much and I became annoyed, as opposed to being scared, which I should have been.
The explanation of the killer's motives feels a bit rushed, even though it nicely ties in a lot of elements from the throughout the movie that made me say "huh". But I did like how it was not some standard, one incident event that drove the killer to murder, or the "just plain old nuts" excuse. There was thought that went into it. Just felt a little fast, and a lot to catch up. It's also difficult to figure out what's going on, and where people are as it concludes.
Also, there's one moment that struck me as painful. Through most of the movie, nobody makes a stupid choice that they obviously shouldn't. I wasn't tempted to revert back to my Jersey ways and yell at the screen "Don't do that!" But towards the end, sure enough, for some unknown reason, there's a "We'll split up scene." It's followed by another one, and the line delivery is pretty cringe worthy. I'm sorry, but I get paid for my honesty, not just my good looks.
Like I say, though, there's a lot of good things in the movie. I heartily enjoyed it. I found nothing for me to rail against and harp on (I came close with the fade to blacks, but it wasn't enough to drive me to the normal acts of violence I inflict upon my roommate or unsuspecting passers by). I recommend the film to people with attention spans, because the pace of the movie sets it apart from most. But it's not your typical genre slasher flick. I can honestly say I look forward to seeing what comes next from Todd Kniss and his creative team.