eyesandprize

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This is the story of four strangers, picked to live in an apartment and have their lives taped. But this is not the MTV series The Real World. Instead, things go to madness in Oliver Cane’s dark comedy.

Four random people have been chosen to live in an apartment for a new reality show. The lucky foursome consists of Marcus, Ron, Abby, and James. The rules are simple. They must stay in the apartment with absolutely no electronic devices. They must make the most of their environment and work to get along if needed. However, on the first night, during dinner, James has a sudden meltdown and leaves for his room. The other three find themselves getting along.

As time goes on, the roommates slowly begin to question each other as the situation begins to unravel. They begin to have a limited food supply and they must agree to work together. Marcus begins to question everything involving being inside the apartment while Ron finds himself immersed in the situation with pride. Abby slowly begins to question everything as well while James has also become skeptical of the situation they are involved in. How much longer will this group be able to withstand their situation?

Writer-director Oliver Cane has come up with a very interesting concept for this indie film that starts out as perhaps an arthouse drama but delves slowly into a dark horror comedy that revolves around the human psyche and how long it can last when in a situation such as this one. A meshing of reality shows such as The Real World and Big Brother with the catalytic event of the Korean hit film Oldboy, the film starts out promising as a film about four complete strangers who are part of a reality TV show only to discover something more sinister has happened. Those expecting creatures will be sorely disappointed.

The cast of just four actors are great in their performances. Gerald McDermott is the patriarchal figure Rob, who even when things go awry, intends to make things calm for everyone. He thinks it is all part of the show they are in and tries to keep everyone afloat. Jackson Bews, as Marcus, is the type who becomes the most outspoken of the group as he attempts to do what it takes to escape once he realizes what’s in store for him and his “roommates”. One can only sympathize with Alanna Flynn’s Abbi once the depravity sits in as she is relegated to slipping into chaos with virtually no emotion or care. As for Nick Blakeley’s James, well, his part in it is pretty predictable by the end of the first act.

With a bit of a slow start that plays like a ad-libbed drama, Eyes and Prize takes its turn at the near 30-minute mark and delves slowly into madness. The cast is great in the film with the thematic of reality show meets the depravity of the human spirit. The final moments are very disturbing and bring a shocking visual.

WFG RATING: B

Random Media and  I&Co. Ltd presents a BROD Films production. Director: Oliver Cane. Producers: Simon Wharf and Oliver Cane. Writer: Oliver Cane. Cinematography: Tom Hines. Editing: Oliver Cane.

Cast: Jackson Bews, Gerard McDermott, Alanna Flynn, Nick Blakeley.