Scalene Review

Chris Savage

I First came across, Zack Parker’s Scalene way back in 2010 when we first got word of his new film and I’ve gradually followed every trailer and quite frankly I’ve been mesmerised. So lets jump forward into 2011 and the film has played at many film festivals and has gained extremely high praise and will make its way to DVD this October 11th, which brings me to my review of Scalene.

Now going in, Scalene, isn’t exactly horror or even a thriller but more upon the lines of a hybrid between the two which has been shot in such a way that we get three points-of-view in what is being called as a perceptual thriller. While watching this, its hard to believe its an indie flick, the picture itself is so clear and slick and was a truly great film to watch.

Scalene is obviously a well written and thought-provoking flick which centers on a young man and his mental disabilities, never an easy task to bring such a topic to the screen , but what we get is a mesmerizing unique tale.

The film features three main characters, the strict mother, Janice Tremble (Margo Martindale) who takes care of her mentally challenged son Jakob (Adam Scarimbolo) and Paige Alexander (Hanna Hall) who befriends her mentally challenged son.

So as we start off, the film hits with an almighty bang as we witness Janice Tremble (Margo Martindale) in full Annie Wilkes mode as she confronts Paige with a gun in a small battle and struggle. This is the lead up to the end at the beginning but we are soon thrown back in time to witness how these events unfolded. So I’ll try not reveal what exactly happens along the way.

We witness the daily struggle of Janice trying her best to look after her mentally challenged son and she gives off such an incredible performance, she is definitely the highlight of the film and such a character, that you know must be hiding such secrets. So as the story progresses, Janice tries to gain some sort of social life outside of caring for her son, so she advertises for a baby sitter or someone to care for someone.

This leads us to Paige who soon becomes attached to young Jakob and their bond intensifies throughout, both put on great performances throughout the film and we gain an understanding into Jakob’s life as we are soon thrown into his perspective and we witness such horrors throughout his life which also explains how he became what he is today.

I can’t give too much away as it is detrimental to the story but we see the story progress through each of their points-of-views which often gives such ‘what if’ moments and could they have taken a different route?. But, the film is a mesmerizing ride which had me hooked from start to finish, trying to understand the characters, but, thankfully the script is tight and that adds to why the film has become as loved as it is.

Also I must add, the soundtrack is brilliant and in parts reminds of moments from such classic films as The Shining and of course Misery with Margo Martindale’s outstanding performance who recently picked up an Emmy for Best Supporting Actress in a drama series, which you can tell from Scalene, she pulled out all the stops and gave an awesome performance.

Please don’t go in hoping for the red stuff as you won’t find much, the film is story driven and a true pleasure to watch, if you’re a fan of slow-burning thrillers, Scalene is definitely one you should check out. his is high on my list for films this year, I award Scalene a rip-roaring 8.5/10. Zack Parker has outdone himself this time around, and thank god for the indies they keep the fire burning.

For those interested, please head on over to Along the Tracks to pre-order this one and for more insight into the film.

4.5 / 5 stars     


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