Seconds Apart DVD Review
Directed by Antonio Negret
Written by George Richards
2011, Region 2 (PAL), 100 minutes, Rated 18 (UK)
DVD released on 30th May 2011
Orlando Jones as Detective Lampkin
Edmund Entin as Jonah
Gary Entin as Seth
Samantha Droke as Eve
Louis Herthum as Owen Trimble
Morgana Shaw as Rita Trimble
Twins are creepy. Take any horror film, add a set of twins and it’s instantly 20% scarier. So Seconds Apart, the new horror release from After Dark, which has its focus on twins just HAD to bring in the horror goodies.
The story centres around two brothers, identical twins Seth (Gary Entin) and Jonah (Edmund Entin) who have a disturbing gift, telekinesis. Being the evil twins that they are, they do not use this power for the greater good but start a twisted project in which they involve their classmates of the strict Catholic school they attend. One by one their classmates get caught up in their mind games with horrific consequences. As high school kids start to die bizarre deaths, Detective Lampkin (Orlando Jones) become suspicious of the twins involvement, but nothing about the case is normal and he begins to investigate their past. When new girl Eve joins the school and befriends Jonah, Seth sees a change in his brother and the weaknesses he harbours because of Eve. Cracks between them and their “project” start to show and their world begins to break down.
The premise to the film may seem clichéd and predictable but instantly it is apparent this film is going to be different. There is no build up, we are thrust into this crazy story as we witness popular jocks become the subjects of the twins' interesting “project”, there are no explanations and it’s a pretty fantastic opening scene. It does not let down from here on in as the deaths become stranger and the storyline becomes more warped.
This film would have fallen apart if the two leads did not have the right look or the talent to back it up, fortunately these guys are perfect. They mirror each other exactly, making the scenes where they terrorise classmates all the more chilling. When weaknesses start occurring in Jonah’s personality it’s really exciting to see how they play off each other and intriguing to see their relationship change.
Along with the altogether unusual brothers, the parents are thoroughly weird as well. Specifically their mother Rita, who is excellently played by Morgana Shaw, and her relationship with them becomes the most interesting element to the film. Also, a long way from his days in comedies such as Evolution and his work on MAD TV, Orlando Jones is barely recognisable in his role as Detective Lampert. He is gaunt, morose and troubled, which is a nice change as it shows his capabilities and range as an actor. Sadly his back story becomes one of the gruelling tests of the film. He is laboured with the feeling of guilt and responsibility after his wife’s death in a house fire, this case seems to be a personal mission for redemption. It gets old.
Gore fans may be left wanting more, the death scenes are grisly and very imaginative but a lot of it is left to the imagination. However, I found this worked on another level, it’s like we become part of the twins' mind game ourselves as we imagine the realities of the victim onscreen. Also, extravagant gore scenes would just be really out of place in this film, subtlety is definitely the right choice.
Visually this film makes for a very appealing delight. There are blasts of white harsh light when the twins are on screen which contrasts with the hazy flashbacks of Detective Lampert’s inner turmoil over his wife’s death, it adds to the atmosphere of the film and ultimately makes it more eerie and sinister.
What is great about this film is that nothing really goes the way you think it’s going to go, it has all the makings of a generic thriller, but it keeps you guessing with some twists and turns along the way. The storyline with the detective is fairly predictable and it resolves itself the way you would imagine, but the end sequence is really well orchestrated and we feel things heating up well before they climax to a blistering end.
Director Antonio Negret has a promising career, he is already on Hollywood Reporter’s Top 10 Latino Directors to Watch List, and in Seconds Apart he has created an intense atmosphere suiting a strong script from George Richards. It has its flaws in that it begins to lag towards the middle, but when it gets started again it is worth it.
This is a very unique style of film and it is surprising considering this is Negret’s second full length film, he has proved he is someone to keep an eye on and this is a compelling feature to feast on.
Audio, Video and Special Features:
Not Graded as this was a screener.