Sunday, October 23, 2011

Kenneyville and A Dark Descent into Madness: A Movie Review

*full disclosure: a DVD screener of this film was provided by the producers of Kenneyville.

Director: Brooks Hunter.

Writers: Vincent Galvez, Geoff Heintzman and Brooks Hunter.

Cast: Marc Alarie, Irena Angelousta and Vanessa Broze.

Kennyville begins strangely enough, with the voice of a drugged out female wanting to give her all to a frightened and gagged male. Her voice is almost lamenting, and her motives uncertain until she reveals what is in the syringe she carries. Everything that she believes is beautiful is contained within it. The mystery of how important this sequence ties in to the rest of the film is interesting. Viewers have to stay sharp in knowing who is who by their voice.

Otherwise, the rest of the film focuses in on the case that Patrick (Dany Gehshan) and Kelly (Vanessa Broze), two private investigators, have decided to undertake. Kim (Kelsey Oluk) has gone missing in a hick town known as Kennyville, and the family, concerned for her safety, hopes she can be rescued. But on the road less travelled, there is no turning back. Welcome to Hotel California. It's such a lonely place where locals whisper amongst one another when outsiders decide to sit for a spell. All they get are jeers.

There is an interesting tale to be found here which involves weird science and a mad hatter with the name of Dr. Adrian Black (Michael Scratch). The Alice in Wonderland style narrative is appealing and vividly executed. But this is not an atypical Disney film that's being revealed. What happens to Kelly is a dark descent into madness that also includes pain, torture and realities being turned upside down.

When Patrick and Kelly get involved with the locals, they discover a secret that everyone in the town knows and are embarrassed to reveal. There are shades of an Area 51 conspiracy here, but in this case, what happens is not about aliens. Instead, it is all about abduction, military agendas and slavery.

Thankfully, the exposition helps guide viewers along to what is happening, but the hidden meaning that director Brooks Hunter is hoping to convey may be missed. The video packaging literally has to explain that this movie is a metaphor for bipolar disorder, which is what Hunter wanted to explore. Only a press release or an insert will tell all when packaging details for the DVD are finalized.

While realities are certainly being broken when Kelly becomes the next unwitting victim, just how she may survive her ordeal comes in small doses. Throughout her torture, moments of the intro are interspaced to convey a meaning of what is going on and it is supposed to key in to those important themes that Hunter is trying to paint. But sadly, the weak acting undermines the messages being churned out. Maybe if it were more of a James Bond style of film, emphasizing detective-work, this movie would have stood a better chance at commanding attention. All the young actors just did not quite have the polish that was needed to pull off the surrealism that is needed to make Kennyville a scary place to live in.

The town is just too redneck to make it happen.

Overall: 6 out of 10.

*released on DVD Oct. 11th.

More on the film is available at the Kenneyville fan page:

Kenneyville at Facebook

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