MovieCriticND's blog

Romeo's Distress

James (Anthony Malchar) has a few more problems than your average nerdy 20-something. He never knew his parents, having been raised by his now largely helpless grandmother (Renee), and he doesn't have any friends. Photography is a bit of an obsession with him, including photographing graveyards. He often gets beaten up by Bobby (Adam Stordy). Of course he's also madly in love with a pretty girl named Jane (Kimberely A Peterson), which isn't a surprise for any 20-something, though the violent opposition from her father, Dale (Jeff Solomon), is a little unusual.

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James in his natural habitat, the cemetery.

Quality Control

The trouble with waiting rooms is that you're so often waiting for something bad. Maybe you're there to see a dentist, to have a serious talk with your child's teacher, or going on a job interview -- which could potentially be good but is definitely going to be stressful. The people in the waiting room at the start of Quality Control have it even worse, though. They're waiting to see if they'll get to survive the day.

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Auditor 451 and 36. You never know when someone's watching you.

The Winemaker

As a man walks the lonely halls of a winery, they soon become less lonely as he catches glimpses of two children. They seem perfectly at home, but it also seems as though they shouldn't be in any of the places where they appear... and perhaps they aren't in those places, not really.

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Yes, it's very trippy in parts.

VooDoo

After a rough couple of years back home in New Orleans, Dani (Samantha Stewart) is taking a much-needed vacation in Los Angeles with her favorite cousin, Stacy (Ruth Reynolds). Stacy ran off to start a rock band, and now shares a house -- a creepy house, according to Dani -- with her fellow bandmates as they struggle to make it big. There's Spencer and Trey (Dominic Matteucci and Daniel Kozul), but the bandmates are mostly interchangeable.

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An arcane symbol. I'm sure it means something, but it's never explained.

Under the Flowers

Jackie (Katie Stahl) has dropped out of college and doesn't quite seem to know what to do with her life. Worse, she's being plagued by a recurring dream that's almost a nightmare. A young boy she doesn't know (Jacob Wilner) beckons her to follow him across a little wooden bridge and down a wooded path, but she's afraid to -- fear always stops her before she reaches the bridge. Best friend Ella (Gabby Huggins) tells her not to get too worked up, but that's easier said than done when Jackie starts seeing the same boy while she's awake.

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Under the Flowers logo

Night Job

Things are starting to look up for James (Jason Torres). He's had to take a break from college, but he's just finished training for his new job, working as a doorman for a New York apartment building. As the title says, though, this is a night job, and he isn't used to working the graveyard shift, plus he was called in at the last minute to cover for someone who was sick, so when he starts his shift he's already been awake all day. And when the very first person you have to deal with is a priest (Robert Youngren) saying he's there for the exorcism, you know you're in for quite a night.

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Local bodega employees initiate James into the bizarro world of the night shift.

Cruel Summer

It's nice to be able to get away from it all once in a while. Teenager Danny Evans (Richard Pawulski) loves camping, for example, and in Cruel Summer he's planning a camping weekend on his own as part of his Duke of Edinburgh Award. Everything has to be just so -- he's high-functioning, but he is autistic, and he puts a great deal of effort into being prepared for everything.

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Calvin tries to stand up to Nicholas, with mixed results.

The Forest of Lost Souls

A Floresta das Almas Perdidas -- The Forest of Lost Souls for those of us who don't speak Portuguese -- is aptly named. Most who go there go to commit suicide among the trees or perhaps at the large glacial lake inside the forest. And yes, this particular wood is inspired by Japan's infamous Aokigahara forest where so many go to die. Like its inspiration, it's a beautiful woods despite the sadness of it, and you can almost understand why Ricardo (Jorge Mota) has chosen it as a place to die.

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Carolina and Ricardo on the shores of the glacial lake.

Marvelous Mandy

Harvey Fowler (Jonathan Stottmann) isn't having an easy time of things. His wife left him and he's struggling to look after their young daughter, Clementine (Kenna Hardin), who gets teased at school for not having a mother. She might also get teased for being named Clementine, but that isn't clear. Harvey also tells dubious jokes at a comedy club because he can't afford therapy. Then he meets Mandy Simpkins (Paula Marcenaro Solinger), author of the Marvelous Mandy children's books, and everything changes.

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Note the more than slightly alarmed look on Clementine's face.

The Sublet

The hunt for affordable housing is no fun, especially when you're talking about a young couple with a baby trying to find a place to stay while Daddy works on becoming an actor. This is probably why Joanna (Tianna Nori) and Jeff (Mark Matechuk) are glad to find The Sublet even though the place hasn't been redecorated since at least the early 70's. There are antlers in random places and some of the scariest religious items you've ever seen. But there's plenty of space, nice-sized closets, and the rent must not be bad, because they take it despite some initial misgivings.

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Joanna plays a truly creepy game of dress-up.