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Review: Catch 22 (2017)


5 guys, 1 dead hooker and more drugs than the NHS interwoven in a story written by rising star playwright Seanie Sugrue, what’s not to like?

The plot, to elaborate further sees 5 complete lowlifes waking up in a flat after an evening of drugs, booze and debauchery only to find a dead Asian whore in their bath tub. Each with their own current life issues, not to mention past convictions, no one wants to either fess up to killing the girl, or call the cops and let them do their job; what ensues is the next logical thing, band together and concoct a hangover induced body disposal plan.  

We follow the group through the execution of their plan and see events unfurl which threaten to fracture the groups already frayed friendships.

Whilst this movie will no doubt be touted as a horror movie, and with good reason, context aside, there are a couple of decent gore scenes scattered throughout and copious amounts of nudity (delivered by adult film ‘star’ Charmane Star), this film is essentially a dialogue driven thriller.

It’s a good job then that the writing is the films strongest element.

It is no mean feat to create a set of characters who are in every bit like the symbolic cockroach scattered in scenes throughout the movie, and make them likeable. Not so much that you feel sorry for them, after all rapists and drug pushers are not stereotypes most have the inclination to empathise with, but to gain some gratification from the fact that, through this plight, they gradually become more self-aware of what shitty people they are, and begin to take some responsibility for it. Through well-crafted scenes of exposition, usually used to good effect in breaking up some of the movies tenser sequences, we are introduced little by little to the groups backstories, and where relevant their relationship to each other. Bring us back into the room with them all, huddled around the corpse of a slowly decaying hooker the story can move forward once more with character actions that now have a basis of reference and context. This means that for once in a genre film, the actions (as silly as they are) are somewhat justified by the development of character. A good balance of hooker dismembering action and character development helps bring the film to a substantial crescendo making the destination as satisfying as the journey to it.

The acting is outstanding throughout, again, these characters are shitty human beings, so to make them engaging to the audience the whole cast would have to bring their A-game.  Each member of the cast draws on their diverse acting experience to good effect conveying a refreshing integrity within the roles which is a testament to both Josh Folan’s direction and their competency as actors. To begin with the whole stoner limited dialogue and interaction was grating (think F-bombs used in the place of commas), but thankfully it didn’t take long before the film finds its feet with the characters diversifying and each member of the cast having their opportunity to deliver emotionally charged performances in a myriad of undesirable sequences. I remind you, this is a film limited by location and theme, heavy on dialogue, if the acting hadn’t been as convincing the film would have flopped.

Overall, it didn’t, and I don’t want to risk divulging information regarding the films plot or outcome which could jeopardise your enjoyment of the movie. To elaborate on my opening gambit: strong performances, a tightly written, tension building plot, 5 guys, 1 dead hooker; what’s not to like?

‘Catch 22: Based on the Unwritten Story by Seanie Sugrue’ is out on VOD now. Go see it!

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