SF IndieFest 2012: “Exley”, “Kill List”, and “Silver Tongues” Reviews and Trailers

Before I start, I just want to say that I love Indie Fest. No matter what movie you watch, good or bad, you are going to see something you have never seen before. To me, that’s the most important thing a film festival can bring to the table.

Exley

The main premise of the film is a man, Exley, trying to make a quick $1000 to catch a cross country flight and visit his dying mother.  He travels through a surreal and shady world of criminals, weirdos, and scum who are all more unusual than the last.  The one thing they all have in common is that they are so annoying they transcended the world of the film to actually annoy me, the viewer.  Any time my thought process when referring to an annoying movie character goes from “that would be so annoying” to “that is so annoying” to me the movie has made a critical error.  I suppose an experimental film could use this technique to make a point, and Exley does have a certain experimental tinge to it, but any movie that has a clear narrative should not have characters that require multiple alcohol beverages in order to tolerate.  It’s also hard to get sucked into a movie that’s so visually unpleasant that it makes you want to break the DVD into splinters and then use them to gauge your eyes out.  This is an all to common and unfortunate side effect of micro-budget filmmaking that I just can’t overlook.  Add to this mix that I didn’t care what happened to the main character one way or another, and you get a film less appetizing than a lukewarm Hot Pocket.  Exley has an interesting plot but comes up short on the execution and presentation.

Kill List

Mix a family drama with a violent hit man film, sprinkle a little WTF on top and you get Kill List.  The heavily atmospheric film succeeds by building a truck load of suspense and unleashing it an absurd and exciting climax.  I will say that I saw the ultimate ending coming and wasn’t shocked.  In fact, I was slightly let down by the predictability, but this didn’t ruin the film for me because the mood still felt right.  To me the story always takes a back seat to the feel of the film and the emotions it creates and this is where Kill List nails it.  I wont go as far as some fellow critics who have hailed it as “the best british thriller in years,” but was it better than most thrillers that come out?  Yes, it was.  As a final note, I’d like to urge viewers to pay attention to clues, some more subtle than others, that are dropped throughout the film that may help you better understand it’s bizarre nature.

Silver Tongues

Would you rather have a con-artist steal your money or just completely fuck with you for a couple hours, possibly throwing your life into complete turmoil?  Silver Tongues is essentially a film about emotion con-artists whose rocky romances are only outdone by the sheer distress and confusion they wreak on everyone whose path they cross.  As the games they play get darker, their relationships starts to spiral towards abuse and uncertainty.  The film is brilliant not simply for its originality, but because it’s put together with such care that even when the final shot has ended, the mystery that shrouds the main characters remains.  Not to say the film didn’t have a rewarding conclusion, it did, it simply gives us all the information needed to appreciate the film and nothing more.  I toyed with giving this film 5 stars, and might upon a second viewing, but all I want to get across to our readers is that you should not pass up a chance to see this.



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Categories: IndieFest, Reviews

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