Thursday, September 2, 2010

M (2010)

M is a low-budget indie movie from Derek Cole and Shane Cole and Masked Films. I didn’t know much about the film before watching it as there wasn’t that much online info on it. However, going into a film blind sometimes works out for the best and actually adds to the enjoyment of the film. Without knowing much I couldn’t really have any expectations of the film and so I went into M as a pretty blank canvas.

The first scene involving torture didn’t really interest me, but as soon as it moved away from that and introduced the other two characters I started to get intrigued. Roy (Stephen Twardokus) is taking time off work to celebrate his and his wife Jessica’s (Sabrina Carmichael) anniversary. However, their romantic celebration is interrupted by a masked man who invades their home, ties them up and slowly tortures them over the next couple excruciating hours and into days.

Meanwhile, the police are trying to track down a killer who has left several victims in his wake while trying to piece together why he has chosen particular victims. As Roy and Jessica’s torment continues, the police get closer and closer to discovering the link between victims…but will they solve the case fast enough to find the couple alive?

M is a very solid indie feature. The first thing that grabbed me was the competently done camera work. The filmmakers use interesting angles and different techniques to keep the viewer engaged in the story. The movie also looked very professional for an indie production. The lighting, direction and cinematography were all very well-done and made me want to keep watching.

For a film that mostly takes place in the small room where the victims were held, M does a fine job at building tension. Sure, there were a few instances where the pace dragged (the beginning got off to a rocky start and a dream sequence seemed out of place), but for the most part it was suspenseful. I also liked the overarching mystery of what linked all the victims together. The explanation why the masked killer was torturing and murdering people was pretty satisfying as well.

Speaking of the killer, I loved the design of his mask! It also helped that he was stoic and never talked. He reminded me of a mix of Jason from Friday the 13th and Michael from Halloween…which isn’t necessarily a bad thing but I think more could have been done to make him stand out besides his face mask.
The killer did dole out some pretty cringe-worthy torture, though! For a low-budget film I thought the effects were really well-done! Now, there was nothing too complicated here, mostly just lots of blood and a few body parts, but it definitely looked realistic. Various gory scenes included: a man getting a screw drilled through his leg, a woman’s leg getting chopped with a machete with some chunky gore being pulled out of the wound, someone got a spike through a thigh, and so on.

M certainly isn’t a terribly original film, but it is entertaining and does make a nice calling card for the Cole brothers and Masked Films. And it definitely makes me interested to see what they do next!

Visit Masked Films’ Official Site!

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