(director/writer: Zach Gayne; screenwriters: Precious Chong, Alex Essoe; cinematographer: Dough Martsch; editor: Gary Chan/Zach Gayne; music: Dough Martsch; cast: Precious Chong (Linda), Alex Essoe (Michelle), Tony Matthews (Wilson), Kris Siddiqi (Robert); Runtime: 76; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Precious Chong, Lex Emanuel, Alex Essoe, Zach Gayne, Josh Mandel, Kyra Rogers, Ben Umstead;  Uncork’d Entertainment; 2019-Canada)

“I had a difficult time accepting such an absurd plot.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

In his directorial debut, Zach Gayne helms and co-writes this twisted comedy, essentially a two-character film. It’s co-scripted by the star’s Precious Chong and Alex Essoe. It’s brought down by a faulty screenplay, a sluggish pace and the disquieting guitar music of Doug Martsch’s 50’s pop soundtrack. It’s uplifted by at times laugh-out-loud moments.

Michelle (Alex Essoe) is an interior designer in her mid-30s. She’s married to Robert (Kris Siddiqi), and trying to get pregnant. Linda (Precious Chong) is a friendly woman in her late-40s that the reserved and very polite Michelle meets at an exercise class, who becomes too supportive and starts taking charge of her life when Michelle visits her place and asks her to redecorate her home. Michelle can’t escape since Linda prevents her from leaving by locking down everything (even locking the doors from the inside). The lonely woman wants to take charge of Michelle’s life, if you can believe.

The film’s early lightness turns edgy over the imprisonment, and eventually into an intense psychological thriller.  Michele seems genuinely petrified of this crazy woman, trying to steal her life.

The theme being that one’s life expectations might not happen, and some folks have a difficult time accepting that. Linda is one of those people, and when she becomes overly aggressive she lives up to being a homewrecker.

I had a difficult time accepting such an absurd plot and, for the most part, tuned it out. Though, I must say, the performances by Chong and Essoe caught the nuances of their flawed characters. But that doesn’t mean they made things convincing.

essoe and chong