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In/Sight - Movie Review by A.D.Harris

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Dark, grisly, tense and focused, In/Sight is a film that manages to take a tale that has been told time and time again and cleverly twist it into a new direction. It is determined to find the personal story within the thriller and use it to pull together a story which manages to grab your attention and keep a hold on you until the mystery it is hiding comes to light.

Opening in an LA hospital, Natalie Zea's Kaitlyn is the ER nurse on call when a woman is brought in with fatal, multiple stab wounds. Upon seeing the dying woman call out to her she gets too close as the doctor uses the defibrillator on his patient electrocuting her. The opening does feel a little rushed; barely two minutes have passed before the inciting incident occurs and it gives you no time to adjust yourself to the crucial moment. It also happens in blink and you'll miss it speed; before you know it Kaitlyn is down on the ground and someone without a clue on the films story may wonder exactly what happened. In/Sight proves to be exceptionally strong at creating and prolonging the tensions that a thriller should do, so it is perhaps slightly strange that the first acts most important moment is over before you have even begun to dig into your popcorn.

Regardless of the shaky opening In/Sight hits the groove almost immediately afterwards. Kaitlyn awakens to discover that things are not as clear as it seems. The woman was officially pronounced dead before she arrived at the hospital, the residents of the apartment building where Kaitlyn died didn't dial the police and most bizarrely she has a feeling that she is seeing things that the dead woman saw on the night of the murder. It is a wickedly fun premise and the cast and director Richard Gabai are all clearly having fun wrapping the audience up into the ball of mystery that the first thirty minutes puts you in.

Kaitlyn is undoubtedly the heart and soul of In/Sight. Every storyline is told through her perspective and vision and Natalie Zea does an exceptional job at finding the emotion, passion and courage that drives Kaitlyn's actions throughout the film. Head strong but with sadness and fragility at her mother’s health, Kaitlyn is a complex and deep character and as the plot begins to untangle it emerges just how clever and brilliant Zea's performance truly is. As far as thrillers go, Kaitlyn is undoubtedly the most complex heroine that that been seen on screen over the past few years and it is a performance deserving of your attention.

In/Sight's middle third does at times struggle to keep the same level of tension and intensity, but it is this time that is most important for setting everything into place. It is also great that the script gives so much time here to developing the various characters as it all has relevance as the story reaches a conclusion and the mystery reveals itself.

Everyone else in the cast also does fine jobs. Sean Patrick Flanery plays second fiddle to Kaitlyn as the officer assigned the murder case and manages to also find a performance of depth and emotion. It's rare that you see a police officer in a supporting role with this level of depth and it helps In/Sight in crafting the world it creates. Patrick Flanery for certain has rarely been better than this, and if there is any justice he will get bigger roles in the industry off the back of this performance.

Also worthy of note is Christopher Lloyd as neighbour Shep and Adam Baldwin as psychiatrist Dr. Barrett. Designed to ooze creepiness and suspicion both actors do well in the small roles they have, especially Lloyd who shows that despite his advancing years he can still pack a performance that is captivating. It is perhaps a shame he is given so little to do, his storyline flitters in and out of the film in tiny amounts.

Any story that relies so heavily on suspicion, mystery and intrigue will always be defined a success or failure by how well it manages to pull everything together and reveal its secrets. This is perhaps the films greatest strength, as it manages to take a path that you could have predicted but reaches it in a way that feels unique, fresh and powerful. You will find yourself backtracking, trying to remember what you saw, in what order you saw it and exactly who was where when it happened and it is in this brain teasing fun that In/Sight finds its crowning achievement. There's no denying the surprise of the final climax, Gabai managing to pack one last surprise in just when you feel that you know exactly what was coming.

Whilst you will feel that several plot lines were abandoned and were there only to trick and tease you, it doesn't really matter by the end as the characters you spend the most time with are given enough closure to satisfy as well as enough of an open ending so that you can try to imagine what comes next.

Overall, for a small independent thriller it is light years ahead of its competition, with a story that is deserving of your time watching it unfold.

When you look back at the blurred opening title which refocuses itself to become clear, you can see exactly what the creative team were trying to create.

Mission accomplished.


(This is an independent film that deserves some support and buzz around it, so how about helping out by checking out where you can watch it from this Friday, as well as liking their Facebook page!)


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Twitter: @AdDHarris
Facebook: Adam D.Harris Find all my Film Reviews HERE

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