Bad Samaritan (2018)
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But was it scary? I'd say it was in places and was not in some, it was as simple as that for me. Some of the scenes/situations/jumps got me, and I got a little tense, but some other scenes just didn't do it for me, maybe because I'm so desensitized to brutal horror movies. The acting was also hit and miss, some actors did a fine job while others, were just... meh... And to be fair some of the good acting added to the intensity. I also didn't like some of the editing choices. I liked the color scheme of the film, the dark and deep colors, something you would expect from a James Wan or Hammer Films movies. I really want to say I liked it, because i definitely did like some of it, but some of it just didn't tickle my horror bone like it could have, but overall it was not too bad, much better than I expected.
The title character is named Sean Falco (Irish actor Robert Sheehan), a young man whose step-father brought him and his mother to the U.S. because of a job opportunity (for which Sean resents him). Sean is an aspiring photographer with a beautiful and intelligent college girlfriend named Riley (Jacqueline Byers) who knows nothing of Sean's real passion - stealing. Sean and his best friend, Derek (Carlito Olivero) work as valets at an expensive Italian restaurant... which is where they choose their marks. As one of them mans the valet stand, the other uses the vehicles, GPS devices and garage door openers of their unsuspecting customers to rob the patrons' homes, while they're just trying to have a nice meal.
One not-so-fine evening, after Derek has to abort his attempt to rob the home of one family enjoying a night out at the restaurant, it's Sean's turn. For his next victim, Sean chooses Cale Erendreich (Tennant), a man who seems very rich... and very mean. As Sean is searching Cale's home, he comes across a door with an unusually strong lock. He figures that a door secured that well, must have something especially valuable behind it. He uses Cale's keys to gain entry and finds Cale's computer - and a young woman (Kerry Condon), who is gagged, bound with straps and chains and sitting in a chair bolted to the floor.
Sean spends the rest of the movie trying to do right by Cale's captive. Sean tries his best to free her, but Derek tells him via cell phone that Cale has come outside to get his car. Conflicted but panicked, Sean promises the girl that he'll come back... and races back to the restaurant. This guy tries calling the police, breaking back into the house and any number of other things to save Cale's victim, but it's no small task going up against the highly intelligent Cale with his extraordinary attention to detail. This guy knows how to cover his tracks and seems to enjoy messing with the lives of anyone trying to stop his evil plans.
"Bad Samaritan" is an unexpectedly good thriller. Tennant and Sheehan are terrific in the lead roles. The rest of the actors are pretty good, but the overall quality of the movie may have been improved with a more talented cast. Regardless, this film's strength lies in its writing and directing. The plot has very few holes and plenty of twists and turns. The story is very well constructed and well executed, making the viewer sharply attentive, suitably tense and well rewarded with an entertaining cinematic experience. This film may fly under the radar of many Movie Fans, but it's well worth the effort to seek it out. "A-"
In addition, this movie doesn't cut any corners in the storytelling; there aren't any holes in the plot that you wonder about later while watching the movie.
In conclusion, this is a very well executed thriller and I would honestly recommend this movie!
I really wanted to like 'Bad Samaritan', especially because I'm a sucker for a good horror movie that can make your skin crawl. There are definitely some moments in the film that will make audiences jump and cringe. However, a lot of those scenes that make you cringe are the ones where David Tennant's American accent starts to slip. I'm not sure why they decided to make his character American, possibly to make Robert Sheehan's Irish accent stand out more, but it's definitely not one of Tennant's strong suits.
There are plenty of other things that are cringeworthy in 'Bad Samaritan' other than the occasional accent slip. Brandon Boyce tries to create a creepy serial character to act as the menacing villain of the movie, but fails miserably when it comes to his background. Tennant's character, Cale Erendreich, is a unimaginably rich trust fund brat who was so obsessed with horses that breaking them no longer thriller him. So, he took to breaking humans much like horses. It's a premise for a serial killer that feels more suited to being a 'Criminal Minds' psycho of the week than a big screen villain. Even ignoring the motives behind Erendreich's character, he never comes across as threatening. Sure he has money to throw at problems and proves to be incredibly cunning, but he lacks the right kind of presence for something like this. His performance though it incredibly chilling at certain times. There's no question that Tennant is a great actor, but the character he's given to work with is kind of pathetic.
The title of the film itself comes from the protagonist who is vallet that burgles people's homes while they're at dinner. Sheehan manages to make the character charming at times, but he feels incredibly out of place when it comes to this movie. For some reason the character is made Irish, which really doesn't add much to the overall story at all. More than that though he seems incredibly unsuited for the situation he finds himself in. The script makes him more bumbling than he needs to be when it comes to trying to convince the cops or those around him that Erendreich is a monster walking among them. It's just another one of the horror movie tropes that I can't stand.
Then again, despite the fact that 'Bad Samaritan' is riddled with cliches, it does get a few things right. With Tennant more focused on psychologically breaking his victims rather than just killing them off when they become problematic, it allows the stakes to continuously rise for the hero. His life is slowly taken apart by a man who is not only smart, but has the resources to destroy the struggling millennial. It's during this sequences of events that Tennant manages to do his best work. The scenes where he gives his maniacal rants though seem forced and cumbersome. In a lot of ways, Tennant does his best work in 'Bad Samaritan' when he isn't talking.
There isn't a lot in 'Bad Samaritan' that we haven't seen before in one way or another. It's filled with the same cliches from so many other horror movies/ thrillers and plays it safe for much of the film. In a way though, that's good because it pretty much follows a paint by numbers when it comes to what audiences like from these sorts of things. Though it stumbles from time to time because it tries to pound square pegs into round plot holes, there is enough salvageable here to at least let fans of the genre have some fun while watching it. Of course, if you're looking for something really scary then you're better off just skipping this one.
This is about a struggling artist who, along with a friend, use a valet service to commit burglaries using the keys their clients give them to park cars. While in an attempted burglary, our main character finds himself in the home of a serial killer where there is an abducted woman chained up, pleading for help. He tries to free her but can't. He returns the car to the owner then makes an anonymous call to 911. He returns to the home in an attempt to make sure that the girl is rescued but the officer leave the scene without her. By now the serial killer knows what is going on and starts to turn the tables onto our main character.
This was so much better than I thought it would be. The idea was fresh, at least to me, and it was a well made movie. The actors did a great job and the serial killer gave off a Charlie Sheen vibe. He looked and acted alot like Sheen. I really don't have any complaints about this other than wishing there would have been a little more to the ending. I would so recommend this one!
Sean Falco (Robert Sheehan) is a part-time photographer and the burglar who finds a woman being held captive in the home of Cale Erendreich (David Tennant). Sean has a moral compass that guides his thievery and does not steal from "good people". Cale is a sociopath, lacking any conscience for the things he does wrong. Katie (Kerry Condon) is the tortured victim, taken and kept against her will.
I felt for Sean's plight, trying to save Katie. His desperation on-screen to bring Cale to justice and help Katie was palpable. I wanted to see him those he went to help him make all of this possible. I liked how his character was willing to do whatever it took to do what was necessary.
Katie was a completely believable character. From the moment I met her, I wanted to jump through the screen and help her. She was nice and sweet, assisting Sean in any way she could. I hated seeing her treated as she was.
Cale was brutal and sadistic. Cold, calculating, and unfeeling were the emotions that radiated from his presence. From the outside, he's not the kind of guy anyone would suspect of kidnapping. But upon crossing him, one would feel his wrath. Vengeance was his, and he dealt it out with his own way - and time.
This movie is NOT for children. There is a lot of swearing and some nudity. Decisions are made on the characters part that make one wonder what they would do in the same situation.Though we never see the kidnapping happen, we see what has happened since, and it has been brutal. I couldn't wait to see how the movie would end. Once it concluded, I was satisfied.
"Bad Samaritan" is a surprisingly great thriller despite the clichés, with a full of action cat-and-mouse game and well-developed characters. The performance of David Tennant and the beauty of Jacqueline Byers are other attractions of this film. The director Dean Devlin gives the right pace to the screenplay, keeping the tension to the very end. My vote is eight.
Title (Brazil): Not Available
Kilgrave and now Cale. The man is truly believable as a psychopath. Now if you are looking for the goofy, lovable Puppy that is Tennant's 10th Doctor, lets just say this is NOT the movie you are looking for.
Try Decoy Bride instead (great movie by the way!).
But Tennant shines when he puts on the mask of a psychopath. While it's true there were some parts I wasn't thrilled with, overall I really liked the movie.
Can't wait to see what this amazing actor has in store for us next!
Movie: Bad Samaritan
Director: Dean Devlin Writer: Brandon Boyce (screenplay) Stars: Kerry Condon, David Tennant, Robert Sheehan
Decent Pacing: If you've read my work, you know I like movies that movie, which Bad Samaritan does. I'll admit it takes a while to lift off in an attempt to set the stage, but as the robbery goes bad and the thrills start, things start to pick up. From then on, it seems to move, only hitting rough patches of diverging slowness for small amounts before looping back to the story.
Acting: Another plus here, the cast has quite an art to helping keeps the audience invested in the story with performances that are quite believable and well developed. The secondary characters are fine for their limited appearances, but the two leads are by far the pillars of strength keeping this movie up. Sheehan as the protagonist plays the man at wits end quite well, a nice force of morale integrity with a drive to make changes his world needs. It's a nice puzzle of emotion and he was able to bring all the pieces together to make a protagonist you want to get behind. Yet it's David Tennant who will most likely grab your attention. The former Barty Crouch Junior has taken his insanity up a level, still having that strategic genius of a serial killer, but this time being much louder and less subtle. Seeing how deep his madness goes is probably the only mystery at hand, as one tries to figure out what caused such devoted madness. The rivalry between these two is the relationship that drives the whole film, and certainly the thrilling component of the movie.
Thrilling at Times: The movie has a dark edge to it, and dark often brings thrills and suspense to the screen. Bad Samaritan has those moments that are real on the seat sequences that you crime show lovers enjoy. All of them attempt to make you jump and potentially look suspiciously over at your fellow audience member, but most of these moments are short lived. What does bring suspense though, is that feeling of unknown as to what Tennant's character will do next. That uneasiness is truly the source of the thrills in the movie and perhaps one of the more realistic scares of the year in movies.
Predictable: What drowns the movie's suspense is how linear and predictable this film is. Bad Samaritan holds few surprises in this regard, much of the plot can be seen from a mile away and seldom surprising me outside of how short some of the suspense moments are. It's much of the same story that crime shows love to take full advantage of in their relentless need for repeats.
Lacking Villain Development: The extent of his madness is visible in this film, his back story, not so much. Bad Samaritan's villain is just shown as crazy, with only fleeting memories of animal torture (another thing I hate) to give you any sort of understanding. Eventually, the bomb is dropped into the incident that developed his psychopathic tendencies arose, but it's only in the form of a three-sentence part to wrap it all up. This lack of details and impasses to uncover his history means one thing... boring. Part of the fun of a thriller is getting more insight to the monster at hand and it just didn't deliver in this movie.
Underutilization of secondary characters: Sigh, the protagonist had so many connections set up at the beginning, each an important cog to Sheehan's character's life, but also a valuable pawn in the killer's game of chess. Unfortunately, these pieces are super underdeveloped, dropped in for only small time talk before quickly being used for more life altering madness. Most of these stints are just flown over, but a couple do try to bring that nasty bite to get you feeling the pain they want you to. Had more of these guys been brought into the game, Bad Samaritan may have again developed the edge it needed.
The Stupidity/Mistakes: Bad Samaritan falls into the usual trepidations of characters making stupid decisions and paying heavily for it. These bad decisions are essentially the core of the movie, and while a few could be appreciated, some of these moments were sheer displays of how dumb the writing was at times. How did this master of seduction/schmoozing screw up so much for this kid to best him? Why would they be so stupid to leave obvious clues? Why were the cops so ruthlessly dumb/ignorant? It's just those background noises they want you to annoy, but in this movie that is hard to do given the set up they make. The inconsistencies are a tad annoying to me at times.
The Ending: Sigh, another movie that is left to tease and feel unfinished. Bad Samaritan's final moments are rushed display of mistakes, coincidental serendipity, and a sudden cut to black worthy of the Sopranos. It opens the possibilities for another installment yet could provide lackluster closure to those who want it. Nevertheless, this film didn't quite end as strongly as one would hope, leaving many questions unanswered, and many ties still unknotted.
Bad Samaritan is an okay movie, capable of finding ways to make you jump and trying to keep you engaged in this manhunt. With good acting and a good pace, the movie certainly feels like a crime show that has a film worthy budget. Yet, the movie still holds some rather big deficits that rob it of the thriller aspect it wanted to bring. More character development and suspense are going to be needed for further installments, but it at least sets the stage. Worth a trip to the movies? Can't say it is for me but give it a shot at home to not worry about being robbed of your money for an anticlimactic ending.
My scores are:
Horror/Thriller: 7.0 Movie Overall: 6.5
It tells the story of two friends who through their valet job proceed to rob people while they are at the restaurant. But on this occasion one of them finds a little more than he expected as the home contains a chained up woman.
Now Bad Samaritan immediatly suffers from a flaw that a lot of movies have have lately. Namely protagonists that I can't care for. Why am I supposed to root for criminals? These people are robbing folks, why am I supposed to care about them? Sadly this has been a big thing lately and really badly needs to stop.
The story is great, David Tennant is excellent (As always) and it all plays out really well. But our lead being a thief just kept nagging at me and bothered me considerably more than it perhaps should.
Putting that aside I can confidently say Bad Samaritan is a smart little film, well constructed and well performed so if the bad protagonist thing doesn't bother you then it's well worth your time.
Very well made little thriller
Things I Learnt From This Movie:
David Tennant needs more high profile work
Bad guys need to play bad guys, thieves should not be the protagonists
Women still haven't established that allowing themselves to be photographed topless/naked is a bad idea
This is a long review, and you will likely finish it by thinking I hated the script. I don't hate the script, and most of it was honestly pretty well done. That being said, I have several issues with the movie that didn't ruin it for me, but not for lack of trying.
First and biggest of the issues is the role of law enforcement in this movie. The only police officer we get to know at all seems competent, if weary and cookie cutter, and even has a scene where he's questioning Cale (Tennant) in the house where the girl was supposed to have been tied up that gives all the telltale signs that he's starting to suspect something, but is savvy enough to play it off in the moment. This is apparently a wrong impression, as he immediately afterward all but accuses Sean (Sheehan) of stalking and harassment. This was very much a ludicrous turn, as Cale is very obviously lying, the cop gives all the signs of coming to the same conclusion during the interview (including the whole "Oh yeah, one more thing" thing that suspicious cops do in the movies), and then goes the complete other way.
The FBI also gets involved, as the aforementioned cop directs Sean to them to file a missing persons report (which seems odd, as I'm 95% sure police do that as well), and each and every one of them sounds like their lines were written by running every CSI episode through an algorithm that finds bland dialogue and then makes it worse. They were at best phoned in, and frankly, the plot didn't even need them. They filled in gaps, that were entirely unnecessary to know, of Cale's background, and arrested him at the end, his having already been thoroughly subdued by Sean and Katie (Condon) to the point that they became almost a redundancy.
Secondly, the plot does not have a satisfactory resolution. Yes, the bad guy gets caught, the captive girl gets saved, and we can assume that everything else went fine after that. But that isn't good enough. My main issue with this is that Sean's girlfriend, Riley (Byers), is in the hospital on a ventilator (more on that in a bit), and hates him for things that were not his fault. We can assume that things are resolved between them, but we have absolutely no way of knowing that. While this isn't necessarily a problem, the way it was handled is. There's a certain feel to a scene that is given by all the techniques of storytelling and filmmaking that tell you what to expect in that arc of the plot. The way the plot with Riley was told, the hospital scene expected a resolution that was to come, that never came. There is no ending of that arc, and it's clear (as there's no reason for it) that this wasn't intentional, it was just bad story telling. I was caught off guard by the end of the movie because I was expecting that resolution, and as I'm entirely sure they weren't just leaving it for the sequel, that's not a great thing to leave the audience with.
Lastly, some plot point questions and grumbles:
1) Riley gets her head smashed into a brick wall twice, and then is thrown down some stairs, landing on her back/neck. She is later seen in the hospital, when Sean goes to visit her to try and explain things. She is conscious, with no neck brace, is able to freely move her head, and is of a mental and physical capacity to reach for and write normally upon a notepad. She's also hooked up to a ventilator, implying that her trauma made it hard for her to breathe. All of that combined seems immensely implausible, especially as it's indicated that Sean would've gotten to her within a few hours of the incident, having been summoned by a call from her phone made by someone going through her emergency contact list. Came across as lazy writing.
2) Cale blows up his house after setting a trap for Sean, who he (correctly and reasonably) assumed would come back after seeing Riley in the hospital. He does this by turning on his gas stove, letting it spread through the house, and setting up a bomb in his oven with a timer, and remotely locking all of the doors once Sean is in the house. A few points on this: Sean gets in through a window, which is not remotely controlled, and could easily be used again, though it isn't; if you're a bad guy trying to get away and possess a sophistaced level of smart home functionality, setting up a bomb instead of just an innocuous ignition source, seems poorly planned; if you're a bad guy trying to trick someone into a house that's going to blow up, you probably don't want to give away the game with more than 30 seconds to go before the explosion, nor would you put a bomb with a timer that's easily visible and inherently gives useful information to your would-be victim; where did Cale get sticks of dynamite, and who makes bombs that look like something a Looney Toons cartoon would have? It's just silly on its face.
All in all, I think that someone had a good idea for a movie, had some genuinely good ideas for making the script come to life, and then filled in the gaps with whatever came to mind first. So, good, but not great, and a little disappointing on reflection. It had a lot going for it in cast and general plot, but the little bits hold it back.