Movie Review - Deadly Famous
I recently received an invitation to a private screening of an indie horror film called Deadly Famous. I didn't know much about the film, aside from the fact that my wife knew one of the film makers, but I found the trailer totally intriguing. It took a little digging to find the film's original title was Head Shot, and though both titles suit the movie, I actually prefer the change. Written and directed by relative newcomers Eric Troop and Jim Lane, Deadly Famous is an homage to the City of Angels and the identity crisis that lurks down every alleyway, bridging generational gaps and forcing people to collide in desperate and unexpected ways.
Alan Miller is 'old' Hollywood. The kind who experienced a taste of the so-called 'good life' and is since fighting off age while chasing the dragon. He is a man caught between the hedonism and debauchery of the past with the cold detachment and isolation of the present. After renting out his guesthouse in the Hollywood Hills to a young starlet named Pamela, he offers to help her with her career, which arouses both his interest and his ego. But when she deflects his advances and begins to see some success in her career, his jealousy rears its head in shocking ways.
The writer-directors create an atmosphere that is both tense and claustrophobic, using Alan's overbearing possessiveness to keep a tight grip around the throat of the audience at all times. From the shocking depravity of the opening sequence to the gritty realism with which the relationships are portrayed, Deadly Famous is quite a nasty piece of film making in the best way possible. On top of building the tension through taut direction, the film makers flawlessly weave a haunting minimalist score by Kevin Haskins into the fabric of the movie. And finally the performances of the entire cast, particularly Daniel O'Meara as Alan and Jackie Moore as Pamela, manage to ground the action firmly in reality. Overall this is a commendable achievement in indie-horror, and unexpectedly original. If you enjoy an indifferent look into the behavior of a disturbed and violent man in the vain of Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, than keep your eyes out for Deadly Famous. Highly Recommended.
- Leo Francis