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The Dunes

USA 2019
produced by
Greg Mohrman, Grant Mohrman, George Constas, Chuck Wheeler, Tyler Bacon (executive), Klayton (= Celldweller) (executive) for Method House Films
directed by Grant Mohrman
starring Barton Bund, Kathryn Thomsen, Ele Bardha, Danielle Cochran, Anton Bassey, Aidan Callahan, David Wolber, Suzanne Regan, Daniel Lemieux, Will Waldman, Anne Marie Damman, Mitchell Koory, Greg Mohrman, Tony Boyl, Chuck Wheeler, Grant Mohrman, Carmen Craft
written by Greg Mohrman, music by Klayton (= Celldweller)

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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Hitch (Barton Bund) is a domestic counselor, counseling people, especially women, who are experiencing domestic violence, at a help center he runs together with Father Logan (Anton Bassey). His own domestic situation has gone slightly off the rail though ever since his wife Marnie (Kathryn Thomsen) has left him and has gained custody over their son Scottie (Aidan Callahan). And now that she wants to move to the West Coast and in the process moving Scottie out of his reach, he tries everythin in his power to keep Marnie from doing so. He tries it the legal way as well as via mediation, but he soon has to realise there's little he can do other than trying to sway her over by being stubborn - something that's simply not going to happen. So he tracks down Grace (Danielle Cochran), a victim of domestic abuse, and offers her his counseling. Through her, he tracks down her ex Stewart (Ele Bardha), and eventually, he sees to it that Grace confronts Stewart's new girlfriend with the fact that he's a convicted abuser - and Stewart's new girlfriend just happens to be Marnie. Maybe Hitch has hoped that seeing Stewart's true colours would drive Marnie back into his arms, but things just don't work out that way, not only because Marnie finds out who's behind it all. A slight setback to be sure, but it has proveded Hitch with a valuable ally, Marnie, and while he only wants to get his son (and hopefulla also Marnie) back, she wants Stewart dead - so in a twisted way, they want the same thing. Thing is, while she's just a woman who has vengeance on her mind that's at least somehow justifiable, he gets more and more unhinged the further their plans proceed - until things can lead to nothing but disaster ...

 

The Dunes might not sound wholly original in writing - and indeed, films with similar premises are a dime a dozen -, but actually the film finds many new aspects in the formula and doesn't just present its world as black and white but discovers shades of grey - for example, while Hitch is unhinged, his motives are very relatable, and he actually turns out to have been right in the end, while Marnie's acts are often driven by selfishness. And thanks to a very solid cast, these rather complex characters come to life rather beautifully, while a subtle but atmospheric directorial effort adds the right mood to the proceedings.

Well worth a watch for sure.

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Tales to Chill
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
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Tales to Chill
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Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
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WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
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written by
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starring
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out now on DVD