Friday, February 11, 2022

Help (2022)

Movie Name/Year: Help (2022)
Genre: Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Length: 96 minutes
Rating: Unrated
Production/Distribution: Ridder Films
Director: Blake Ridder
Writer: Blake Ridder
Actors: Louis James, Emily Redpath, Sarah Alexandra Marks, Duncan James, Blake Ridder, Amy Jim, Stuart Wolfe-Murray
Blurb from IMDb: A young woman's life turns chaotic when she uncovers a deadly secret about her friend.

Selina’s Point of View:
This is a rough one.
There’s a lot to unpack with Help. It’s going to be difficult to go into the ups and downs without hitting on spoilers – but I’m going to do my best.
Right off the bat there’s a relatively triggering 15-second scene. It’s pre-title card, it’s not super graphic, but it’s going to immediately turn some people off. Personally, I think the inclusion of this scene is essential. I don’t often say that with flicks that start off with a flashback, but I believe the inclusion of this one really kicks off the mind-fuckery.
Unfortunately, I do believe that Help is woefully miscategorized. It’s not in any way, shape, or form, a mystery. People looking to watch a puzzle unfold on screen will be disappointed here. I think that’s going to lead to negative reviews that could have been avoided. It has a few significant twists, yes, but not in that ‘solve the puzzle along the way’ feel that mysteries have.

Where the twists are concerned, they are relatively good. I did predict one from about 20 minutes in, but the others were decently foreshadowed without being too obvious. In fact, when those surprises start coming, the flick goes from 0 to 100 real quick.
The rest of Help feels a bit slow. It wouldn’t be that big of a deal, a lot of dramas go slow, except that the dialogue really doesn’t feel natural either. So much of it is out-of-place and forced. Some of it even seems to be shock for shock’s sake. The script needed a great deal more work before being put into a final project.
That said, I think this is a healthy full-length feature film debut for writer/director Blake Ridder. You can’t expect the best work of someone’s career to come first, and Help does feel like a fine first step. Ridder will learn a lot just from making this film and he’ll bring it into the rest of his career.
I am interested in seeing what he does next. Properly genred, of course.

Cat’s Point of View:
I didn’t have any preconceived notions about Help before watching. Well, that is, not this movie at least. I think I got it confused with another movie by the same title released in 2021. I quickly figured out that this Help was something altogether different and I was on board for the ride.
Help is labeled as a thriller, but you might feel it wasn’t categorized correctly if you judge based on the beginning of the film. This one is a slow burn that takes a bit to get going, all the while building tension. I could tell that something was afoot, it just wasn’t clear where the plot bus was headed.
Once the story in Help picked up steam, it became a veritable runaway train careening towards its ultimate conclusion. I didn’t see these twists and turns coming, though I probably should have.

The cast delivered some intense performances, though there was an occasional awkwardness to what was happening on screen. I’m not sure if that was intentional, however. It would generally make sense in hindsight, but as events were unfolding on the screen things didn’t exactly flow as smoothly sometimes.
I was left a bit stunned as the credits began to roll. Help went to some shockingly dark places. I wish I could provide a trigger warning without spoiling things, but it would be impossible. If one were to measure the success of a film by whether or not it lingered with you after its finale, we would need to chalk Help up as a win. I don’t see myself watching it again in the future, though. It just wasn't my cup of tea.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 50%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – None
Metascore – None
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score – None
Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating 3/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating2.5/5
Trust-the-Dice’s Parental Advisory Rating: R
Movie Trailer:

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