Abstruse (2019)

abstruse

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The latest film from the director of Eternal Code unleashes this thriller that constantly twists and turns and offers some very powerful performances from some veterans.

Amanda, Mindy, and Jess are three friends who love enjoying life. Amanda also loves seeing her father, Max, who is set to be released soon after serving time in prison. One night, the trio meets Justin and his friend Daniel. Mindy hits it off with Justin while Amanda hits it off with Daniel. Justin comes with an idea and asks his father, Senator Stevens, for help. The Senator agrees with certain conditions.

One night, Amanda and Mindy go on a date with Justin and Daniel. When Justin sets up a video camera to make an adult film, things start out fine until Justin accidentally kills Mindy when he chokes her. A stunned Amanda goes to the police. However, due to his affluent lifestyle, Justin relies on his father to keep everything covered and to make things worse, Amanda finds herself being accused of being responsible for Mindy’s disappearance. When Max is finally released, he vows to find the truth.

Harvey Wallen is quite the indie filmmaker. With his tendency to add loads to twists and still manages to flesh out the overall story of the film, he once again succeeds with his latest film. The story of a woman who tends to prove her innocence with the help of her ex-con father once again leads many twists and turns that helps drive the performances of its cast even more, notably Tom Sizemore and Dennis Haskins.

Sizemore makes the most of his screen time as Max, an ex-con who eventually comes around in time to help his daughter, played by Kaiti Wallen, prove her innocence and track down the responsible party for her friend’s murder. Haskins, who will be forever known as the funny Bayside High principal Mr. Belding on Saved by the Bell, goes a full 180-degree as Senator Stevens, who is responsible for his son’s affluent behavior but grows tired and has had enough when he confesses to the murder.

The film’s breakout star in this reviewer’s opinion is Kris Reilly, who plays the affluent son Justin. As the catalyst for the film’s events, he’s exactly the type of character you love to hate. Justin thinks that he’s always going to get away with everything because of his father, but soon learns the harsh truth. This especially comes when Justin, in an effort to protect himself, begins threatening and killing and it comes to a very dangerous point where even a parent may have to do the unthinkable. There are even supporting characters, including cops and family friends involved altogether, which make the plot twists even more sound crazier but for some reason, are executed perfectly. The film ultimately makes good use of its near two-hour runtime thanks to these intricate plot twists.

Abstruse is a very tense thriller that has plot twists perfectly weaved in at the right moments, which makes the performances of its cast even more exciting to watch, especially the former Mr. Belding’s 180-turn as an unscrupulous politician.

WFG RATING: A-

Green Apple Entertainment presents a Painted Creek/Auburn Moon/Caribbean Fury Production. Director: Harley Wallen. Producers: Harley Wallen and Nancy Oeswein. Writer: Harley Wallen. Cinematography: Michael Kettenbeil. Editing: Michael Kettenbeil.

Cast: Tom Sizemore, Dennis Haskins, Kaiti Wallen, Kris Reilly, Harley Wallen, Jesi Jensen, Jessika Johnson, Dennis Marin, Mo El-Zaatari, Shelby Bradley, Henry Frost III, Joe Piazza.

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