Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Green Eyed Monster

Green Eyed Monster 2007
Director: Gabriel Barboza
Writer: Gabriel Barboza
Starring Michael Lee Arnold, Andrea VanEpps, Estella Gomez, Nicholas Barton, Kwame Okeene, Akron Watson and Tyler Clark II

Greed is a powerful plot device and when you combine it with Hispanic magic folklore it comes together to make a really palatable supernatural horror film. The film combines elements of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre with The Blair Witch Project. This is a film peppered with greedy and opportunistic characters and they are really characters you come to loath as you are drawn into the film. There is really only one character you care about and the way the film moves that is really all you need. As the characters begin to divide and suspect each other, you really get a sense of paranoia and that really helps when the supernatural aspects begin to raise their ugly head, The film has a uneasy almost Evil Dead aspect to the proceedings and that really plays well with the sense of propriety and greed that the characters portray. This is a tenses and frightening film that to me does far more right than The Blair Witch Project ever did.
The plot basics are this, a group of friends hear a rumor about a amount of $10,000 dollars of cash is buried at a abandoned farmhouse and they decide to investigate and see if they cannot rustle up the cash. They discover the cash but as the trip progresses they discover something else. Something horrible happened at this location years ago, and now it seems as if something supernatural and unreal has come back to enact its revenge on all of them. Soon, people start disappearing along with their ill gotten money and they all point fingers at each other and their paranoia and suspicions run rampant. It seems as if a malevolent spirit is picking them off and they need to learn to trust one another if any of them will get out of this ordeal alive.
This was a tense and frightening film. Barboza's direction is very tense and from the opening scene, he sets the mood well. The way he films all the characters you can see that every one has a hidden agenda and their own scorecard to keep track of. He films the scenes in the woods well and when the supernatural stuff starts to happen you can really feel it. The script, also by Borboza is tight. He fills the story with characters you really loathe and cannot wait to see die. The one that stands out the most to me is Frankie, (Michael Lee Arnold), he is just in general a douche bag and gets more abrasive as the film progresses. The script also keeps the supernatural apart hidden so you never know if it is truly happening or all part of the characters suspicions and paranoia. The cast is excellent, Michael Lee Arnold as Frankie really carries the film with his distasteful character. Andrea VanEpps plays Sandra, really the only likable character and the true protagonist of the film. She is the voice of reason that no one seems to listen to, and that is why you gravitate towards her throughout the entire story. The SFX and effects of the film are minimal but used quite effectively. Such, as the opening scene with what originally happened at the farmhouse. The score by Anders Petersen is a nice touch too, as it sets the claustrophobic and isolated mood that the film portrays. This is a fine film that combines the elements of a curse film with the elements of the treasure hunting film. And it does so expertly.
Tis one gets 4 out of 5

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