Directed by: Marcus Scott, Heath Hetherington
Written by: Marcus Scott, Heath Hetherington
Genre: Horror / Thriller
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Waking up, finding myself chained up in some crappy basement would not be my idea of a good time. Hostage situations just don't have a place of love in my brain. That saying to keep calm and carry on just wouldn't cut it in a situation such as this. I tend to believe most people feel the same way, so when Philip wakes up in that very situation, you know he's not in for a good time. Marcus Scott and Heath Hetherington's feature length production, "Recovery" puts us smack dab in the middle of this nightmare scenario. Only in this case, torture is not the name of the game. The sketchy reasoning of this little abduction is atonement, and Philip is not the first abductee, or the last one. He "is" the focus of this little adventure though, him and his captor Wayne, who happens to be a religious fanatic. Welcome to the basement apartment from hell where tenants arrive but never leave. Alive that is.
The setup of this title, as far as micro budget movies go, is perfect. Very few locations and mostly taking place indoors, allowing control of the environment. This is a brilliant way to do things when the cash flow is tight. As I expected, "Recovery" looks pretty damn good for an indie micro film, and I'm sure the controlled locations helped quite a bit. Yet surprisingly, "Recovery" did have scenes outside the main location. Larger ones, including a great scene at a local bar. All things considered, this not only added depth to the production, but also a sense that "Recovery" was much bigger than I'm sure it was. Although these scenes were brief, they added an entire world of complexity both to the story and "feel" of the budget. I should add that these scenes didn't feel like an afterthought. Something I see a lot of with indie, micro budget films.
As for the story overall and the actors playing their parts? "Recovery" is a hostage movie at heart. Our villain of sorts, Wayne, is portrayed excellently by A.J. Salisbury. He believes himself to be doing the work of God and this includes multiple acts of murder, in the name of salvation. Our leading man Philip is played by Adam Cryne. His performances start off much more subtle than I personally liked, but by the end of the film, these two actors and their onscreen banter, feel perfect, and quite interesting. Stick a nicely done, but not totally surprise twist ending, and "Recovery" ends up being a well above average micro film. A title with a little for most every viewer. Attention was given to most of the atmospheric aspects and it shows. There are times in this movie akin to the twisting of a barbed wire. This more than makes up for the few unusual post production choices made, and really allows this film to flow onward with almost no dragging moments in sight.
I can't say this is the best micro movie I've seen this year, but it does rank on my list. The story is definitely not the freshest idea I've seen put to screen, but that doesn't make it a bad film. In the grand scheme of movies today, what really is completely new? Nothing much that I've seen. It all comes down to the acting and production. "Recovery" not only has these elements going for it, but also happens to have a nice "spin" on a familiar idea. Marcus Scott and Heath Hetherington have made a story we know into something that leaves a fresh taste in our mouths. Can't complain about that. If you're looking for a layered fiction, that manages to wind you up like a ball of thread, you may just have found it. What can you do in the meantime? As you wait for this one to be released? Keep calm. Carry on.