Monday, September 15, 2014

Movie Review: Pieces of Talent (2012)

Thank you to Simply Legendary Publicity for sending me the DVD (with the beautiful cover art and signatures from the director and actors) for this indie horror flick, Pieces of Talent.

Charlotte is an aspiring actress whose not getting any work and has to deal with her freeloading mother living with her and stealing from her. One night she meets up with local filmmaker David, and they become quick friends when she takes care of him after a beatdown from the bouncer at the strip club where she waitresses. David is not your average filmmaker, though, and the inspiration he gets from Charlotte is of the very dangerous and bloody kind.

David Long is played by... David Long. Not sure what this is saying about the actor when he uses his own name to play a murdering psychopath, but surely he's not like that in real life, right? Anyway, Long is wonderful in the role, and easily plays equal parts adorable, curly-haired weirdo and obsessed nutjob. His cute smile and the infectious enthusiasm he has when making his movies can be read as either completely normal or completely psychopathic, and those are always the kinds of killers that are the most fun to watch and the most terrifying. The ones that can hide in plain sight are the ones to watch out for the most.

Kristi Ray is also adorable and completely natural and sweet in her portrayal of Charlotte. Her character is someone who is obviously kind-hearted and independent, but maybe not as strong as she needs to be to deal with her mother and the pressures of acting. I think perhaps her "friendship" with David will change that. Actually my favorite of the piece was Barbara Weetman as Charlotte's mom Mary. She felt the most real of all the characters to me - a woman who has scraped by with the bare minimum her whole life and is jealous that her daughter will do more with life than she ever did. Weetman is also able to pull off the dual roles of her character well, which includes a love for her daughter but also a resentment that allows her to take advantage of Charlotte in whatever way she can. Weetman does a brilliant job portraying all of this by giving Mary lots of believable and natural quirks - loved her.

The cover art above describes the film in the same way I described it after first watching it - beautiful horror. Perhaps no one but horror fans will ever understand what that means, and the makers of Pieces of Talent certainly do because the look of the film is impeccable and gorgeous throughout. It shows all the talent of a filmmaker who really knows what he is doing in terms of cinematography, coloring, and lighting. Actually, my favorite sequence is the little bit after Charlotte wakes up and realizes she's not alone in the house. Just the right amount of suspense with just the right amount of payoff. What did feel a bit out of place, though, was the title cards that say "the leech" and "the fox." The dialogue that goes with them are obviously about certain characters in the film (shouldn't Charlotte's mother have been the leech though?) and it is probably all a part of the movie that David is making, but that is not clearly stated in the movie so it all feels too random.

Obviously the most beautiful scene is David's fantasy sequence where he is covered in blood, with disembodied hands and arms caressing him. Both the visual and sound effects are amazing in this standout scene, and it is probably the thing that viewers will most remember. The rest of the gore is also bloody brilliant with nice effects and perfectly colored blood. The exploding head shot is most impressive!

By the film's conclusion, I couldn't help but feel a bit cheated out of something much more detailed and in-depth in regards to the story. Charlotte and David's interactions throughout the movie are meaningful, but not powerful enough for me. The more impressive scenes are the ones David has with his victims. The whole climax sequence is just as beautiful and well-filmed as the rest; however, it is a bit lackluster action-wise, and there is so much that is left open in regards to both main characters. The credit sequence does say that this story is "to be continued" so hopefully a sequel will happen that will explore these questions further.

Pieces of Talent is simplistic and intriguing, and with a charismatic main actor to follow, the straight dialogue scenes become just as interesting as the more exciting sequences with murder and mayhem; though this off-and-on pacing does slow down the film in a lot of places, which may underwhelm some viewers. Still, it's definitely one to check out for horror fans, who will love and appreciate the quality film work.

You can watch Pieces of Talent on Vimeo here.


  1. A really beautiful film indeed, but too tedious for my taste and I really didn't like David Long's character, even though he's a great actor.

  2. Loved the girl. I hope she gets more fun movies to act in.