October 13, 2017 Seizure (Movie Review)
Desire drives men to the edge of madness: the want for money, sex, fame, whatever it is, it can lead us to recklessness, overcome our entire being, and propel us to the darkest depths. The new Supernatural Horror flick Seizure – originally released in April of 2017 and now available on VOD as well as DVD thanks to QuickFoot Films, Cut Entertainment Group, and MTI Home Video – proves this point with one hauntingly dark and immoral tale.
We begin in Romania where a beautiful young girl (Aiste Gramantaite: The Hybrid 2014, Bridget Jones’s Baby 2016) has been snatched by international sex traffickers. Quickly relocated to the English countryside to be sold to a new organization – who, according to an old Romanian legend, will sacrifice her in hopes of gaining invincibility for their cause – the girl finds herself one of only two survivors when rival cartels open fire during a deal.
When the smoke clears, the girl is brought to an old, abandoned farmhouse in the English countryside to await further instructions on her transfer. Now in possession of this human pawn are a dangerous but ragtag group of criminals: doctor and drug addict Rebecca (Lindsay Bennett: Lions & Tigers & Bears 2016, The Still 2016); vicious and virile Dave (David Galbraith: Frank Finds Out 1998, Audax 2014); and “Gatekeeper” or gang go-between Rom (Chris Blackwood in his acting debut). Somewhat of a ringleader, the alcoholic Jim (Jimmy Allen: Coronation Street series, Best Little Whorehouse in Rochdale 2011) appears, at first glance, to also be the father of the attractive, young Petra (Geraden Borthwick: The Great Yorkshire Bank Robbery series, Luvvies tv movie 2017), though we later learn that he has, in fact, purchased the boy.
With their key exchange mediator Rom quickly meeting a mysterious and bloody demise on their very first evening, the others are tossed into disarray, wondering if they will still be able to exchange the girl for the promised cash payment. Spending the night with her handcuffed to a ratty old mattress and drugged up, the group quickly begin to experience odd dreams, visual and auditory hallucinations, as well as a general, pervasive and haunting sense of unease. As their situation deteriorates, outsider Petra slowly develops a relationship with the girl that will further complicate an already tenuous situation.
Written and directed by Cymbal Simons – the pairing of Jamie Cymbal and Ryan Simons in their directorial debut – Seizure is a blend of Supernatural Horror and Crime Drama that leans closer to Horror and yet has a decided criminal element. Clocking in at 85 minutes, this is an unrated movie, but please do note that there is a rape scene here, as well as allusions to rape throughout the film; sex trafficking is at the center of the tale, after all.
In truth, Seizure is neither a horrible Horror film nor a particularly great one either. While the beginning ten minutes are a bit rough – so far as following what is happening and ascertaining each of the characters who come into play – the film does eventually calm down enough that following the story is easy. The story itself is a touch convoluted, yes, but the end result is a film that is neither terribly memorable or entirely forgettable; it is just another blend of Supernatural Horror and Crime Drama, full of curses and hallucinations, drugs and money.
The ensemble cast do a solid job of portraying their roles: Bennett (Rebecca), Galbraith (Dave), and Allen (Jim) are good at communicating the malice inherent in their roles, while Borthwick is superb in the complicated role of the confused Petra. For her role as the girl at the center of all the madness, Gramantaite is not given a whole lot to work with – she spends the bulk of the film handcuffed to a bed – and yet she does a stellar job of communicating an intricate role through fairly limited means.
Seizure might not be particularly scary and it definitely lacks in jump-scares, though even with your butt planted firmly in your seat there is still a haunting nature that radiates even when the film is long over; whether it’s the idea of an age-old curse brought to fruition or the reality of trafficking human beings, there is something here that emanates evil. There is, of course, a message too: that greed breeds evil, that man’s own twisted desires lead to his ultimate demise. A solid Horror film that will make for an eerie October night, CrypticRock give Seizure 3 of 5 stars.