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Dangerous to Know Movie Review

Written by Ryan Holloway

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Written and directed by David Simpson
2020, 183 minutes, Not Yet Rated
Frightfest World Premiere on 22nd October

Starring:
Bridget Graham as Bridget
Andrew Robert Wilson as Jordan
Hayley Gray as Danika Smith
Demelza Randall as Dr. Flannagan
Moishe Teichman as Sheriff
David Simpson as Tom

Review:

Dangerous to Know, directed by David Simpson, is a psychological thriller starring Bridget Graham and Andrew Robert Wilson, and is the result of a successful 2019 Kickstarter campaign. Simpson, most famous for his sci-fi proof-of-concept short film Post-Human, edits, scores and stars in a film that clearly has a lot of passion behind the scenes, but does that passion translate onto the screen?

Bridget (Graham) is a troubled woman who, after recovering from a suicide attempt, stays at a secluded cabin, with the only other human contact coming via weekly visits from her assigned psychologist. On a course of strong medication, unable to contact her ex-boyfriend Jordan (Wilson), who has a restraining order against her, and cut off financially by her brother Tom (Simpson), she is soon experiencing unexplained incidents in her home and starts to wonder whether it’s all in her mind or if someone is toying with her in her vulnerable state.

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Too much explanation will lead to massive spoilers but tonally the film feels much like 2018’s What Keeps You Alive, but with the pacing of one from Terence Malik.

Starting with the positives, Graham is incredible as Bridget, she is able to perfectly encapsulate the fear, anger and vulnerability of someone going through such a life-changing psychological episode and under Simpson’s direction she is able to keep the audience on her side, despite the occasional mood swing and outburst. Simpson himself clearly has a good eye, some of the shots are gorgeous and manage to give the film a look of one with twice the budget.

Sadly, there are some very real issues with the film that make it hard to be fully convincing.

Firstly, the runtime; the film weighs in at 183 minutes. You’d be forgiven for expecting a film of such length to be tight with no baggage and certainly no time to waste on needless scenes of overblown dialogue, however, it’s the opposite here, scenes go on forever, often stabbing home the same point over and over again until any intended gravitas is quashed by a cacophony of overly wordy philosophical nonsense that is nowhere near as intelligent as it thinks it is.

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While Graham is believable, the rest of the cast is a touch lacking. Andrew Robert Wilson is putting on a strange British accent (we think) and puts in a decent enough performance as the ex-boyfriend who we see early on breaking up with Bridget – the catalyst for her suicide attempt – but becomes less convincing when the script requires it. Other characters such as Moishe Teichman’s scene, and panty, stealing Sheriff come and go, promising much but never really adding a great deal.

What makes the film feel even longer is that the end seems to come half-way through, but there then follows another hour that could really have been done in 20mins. There’s just so much talking in this film, so much that you start to lose the thread during every scene.

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As mentioned, Simpson is director, editor and composer and, while impressive, it’s this complete control that hinders the film being something tighter. It’s often the director and editor’s job to make the difficult choices, losing scenes that although are well performed don’t move the story forward, but here those decisions aren’t being made, resulting in a 3-hour film that could have been vastly improved by being half of that length.

While Simpson’s passion and hard work are more than admirable, it’s a real shame that more people weren’t involved in the creative process because there is some good stuff in there. It’s just weighed down by too much existential padding.

Grades:

Movie: 2 Star Rating Cover
Buy Amazon Uk

About The Author
Ryan Holloway
Staff Reviewer
As far back as he can remember Ryan has always had an obsession with films, and horror in particular. 'A Nightmare on Elm Street' and ‘Alien’ were the first films that really stuck in the psyche and rather than scarring his tiny mind and running up a huge therapy bill, those films created a fascination with the dark side of life and art. Brought up by Freddy, Jason and Michael Myers (not literally), horror will always fascinate him no matter how absurd, dark, twisted, barmy or just plain wrong. Horror DNA gives him the opportunity, and excuse, to legitimise his macabre tastes and watch whatever strangeness comes his way.
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