15 October 2014

THE WOLVES OF SAVIN HILL

THE WOLVES OF SAVIN HILL

Working Title:
Days Full Of Night

USA, 2014
Director: John Beaton Hill

7/10








What may sound like a werewolf-themed film, is actually a non-horror blend of dark crime-thriller and emotional friendship-drama, written and directed by young filmmaker John Beaton Hill who leads us to the underworld of Los Angeles and the sinister streets of Boston, telling the story of two childhood friends, Sean, a ruthless cop and Tom, a miserable alcoholic who both share a dark secret. After the strange death of Sean's wife (murder? suicide?) who is actually Tom's sister, the two friends reunite with each other, but not the way they both expected...


Hill's debut feature is an impressively made and stunningly ambitious film that tells a slightly well-trodden but very complex and quite innovative story in an unexpectedly fresh, unexpectedly intriguing manner with a very-well-developed and completely unpredictable narrative. In terms of  clever editing, it reminded me of early 90s Tarantino, but without the humor. In terms of gripping atmosphere and intense close-ups, it reminded me a lot of Adam Wingard's "A Horrible Way to Die", but without the Horror.

The colorful cast is strikingly awesome; fantastic performances by David Cooley (I'm totally jealous of his ace-looking beard), Brian Scannell ("The Alphabet Killer"), veteran actor Jack McGee ("The Fighter") and Marco Verdier as fun rasta-criminal. Even better, the really unbelievable soundtrack, consisting of amazing songs by Pink Floyd ("Fearless", "The Great Gig in the Sky"), James Brown ("The Payback") or Bob Dylan ("Tell Ol' Bill"). The movie's absolute highlight: a collage of old home video recordings, accompanied by Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata" that suddenly segues into the submarine-like pings of Pink Floyd's epic "Echoes", a baffling and totally outstanding moment!


It's not without its flaws: the editing is often a bit too over-the-top, the attempt in focussing on too many characters at the same time is often a tad annoying, and IMO the movie could/should have been 10-15 minutes shorter. Nevertheless, "The Wolves of Savin Hill" is a remarkable debut and I highly recommend it to open-minded fans of all things thriller, drama and arthouse.


Thanks to October Coast PR for the Screener!

1 comment:

  1. If this one shows up on one of my streaming services I might well check it out!

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