It Cuts Deep
it cuts deep | nicholas santos | charles gould | quinn jackson | john anderson | nightmares film festival | better horror | comedy | united states | ben elder | alison fraser | christopher kazarian | john mcnamara | lea ostner | jackson quinn gray | chloe roe
Film: It Cuts Deep
Director: Nicholas Santos
Writer: Nicholas Santos
Starring: Charles Gould, Quinn Jackson and John Anderson
This was a film that I caught on the opening night of the Nightmares Film Festival. Much like most movies here, I just knew this was part of the comedy horror features and that was about it. This was a special one that I had a timeframe to unlock and start it as well. The synopsis is while on Christmas vacation, a young couple contemplates their future together. Ashley (Quinn Jackson) is interested in getting married and having kids which terrifies Sam (Charles Gould). When his more attractive friend from high school interjects into their life, it leads to murder.
We start this off with a couple meeting outside of her house. The boy is a bit dense and she has to spell it out for him. We see someone is watching them though. They go into the house where the boy takes off his clothes. Whoever followed murders them both.
The movie then shifts to present day. Ashley and Sam are going to his childhood home. They stop off and Ashley asks how much longer. Sam seems annoyed she needs to use the bathroom so much, but she seems used to his sarcastic nature. She broaches the subject of going to the next step in their relationship. For her, that is marriage and children to which he gets weird. For him, he feels that it is butt stuff. She is annoyed that he isn’t taking it seriously.
They arrive and settle in with Sam making her dinner. He keeps hearing the faint crying of a baby that is haunting him. Dinner gets awkward when the meat that Sam cooks is overdone and he goes into a coughing fit. It ends up with him on one knee and Ashley thinks he’s proposing. This would be in his character if he meant to, but he stops that thought immediately. She is upset and goes to bed.
Ashley goes for a run the next morning and sees Nolan (John Anderson) working on the side of the road. He smiles at her and she pretty much ignores it. While they’re in town having breakfast later, we learn that Nolan and Sam were friends growing up. They grew apart though after Nolan’s sister was murdered. Sam doesn’t want him around and when Nolan keeps interjecting himself in their lives, he believes that Nolan is out to take Ashley from him. This is driving him insane, even though Nolan is married to Lauren (Lea Ostner). Nolan does do and say some inappropriate things that contributes to Sam losing it. To make matters worse, Ashley is rethinking everything due to this weekend with him as well.
Now that’s where I want to leave my recap of the movie as that gets you up to the jist of this movie. I should re-iterate here that this is a horror/comedy film for sure. My original plan was to watch this with my girlfriend, as we’re in the same place as this couple except that we both want to move forward unlike we get here. I can also relate with some of the jokes that are made here as well. That did help me to settle into this movie for sure.
That’s where I should delve into is the relationship between Sam and Ashley. He doesn’t want to move on and I do think that Gould plays this awkward character amazingly well. He’s content with what they have and only considers marrying her when Nolan comes into the picture. This is only because he’s afraid that Nolan is going to steal Ashley from him. I will admit, some things are said that are a bit awkward and can be taken in the context that it does, but he is married with a child. Sam does have something dark in his past that is haunting him. Part of it is in the form of a baby crying. This aspect didn’t necessarily work for me though to be honest. It just feels oddly out of place.
The real character here that I felt for was Ashley. We never really establish her age, but she’s an adult. She’s put in this time with Sam and wants what many do. She wants to be married with a family. Since she has put in the time with him, she feels that the next step is all of that. What is interesting though is this weekend and how he acts toward things makes her reconsider and realize, she is settling with him. It appears that he has trouble taking responsibility for things which is a major thing over this week that really bothers her. Things get pretty wild as well.
I don’t know if this movie would work if not for the acting for sure. I’ve delved into the characters, but the actors behind it really feel like these characters. Gould just has this awkward look about him and how he plays it feels perfect. Jackson is attractive and I feel like I have friends who are in her position. Anderson is also somewhat awkward, but he is better looking. I can understand why Sam is worried, but a lot of it is in his head and psychosis. The rest of cast does help round this out, but it is focused on these 3 for the most part.
Really the last aspect of the movie would be the effects, cinematography and sound design. I’m lumping these all together as none of them are that major as a part of the movie. We get effects right in the beginning and for the climax. They went practical which works. It does appear that the blood is a bit watery, but it doesn’t bother me. The cinematography was well done. I didn’t really remember the soundtrack too much. It did fit for what was needed. I did like the sound design of the faint baby crying. It does feel like it is haunting Sam, who is the only one to notice it. There are also times where he’s a bit unreliable where he hears people say things they don’t actually say as well. That does work for me.
So I do have to say, despite everything that I went over here about what I liked, it doesn’t necessarily all work for me. I like the aspects of the relationship. I like the acting and thought they worked in these roles. The effects, cinematography and sound design all did as well. The movie does get a bit boring though. I don’t necessarily buy where things end up and the explanation of the beginning didn’t work for me. The awkwardness gets to be a bit much, but I can appreciate that still. Overall I’d say this is an above average still, despite my issues.
My Rating: 6 out of 10