Indie Informer- SIMON leaves a mark
UK filmmaker, Warren Badenski caught my eye a few years ago with his short film, SIMON which follows the title character as he feeds his need of mutilation and murder while avoiding capture and dealing with his personal demons. Stylistically shot and scored the short had me craving a feature of Simon’s deeds. So here we are in 2016 and I was given an exclusive sneak peek at the now finished feature of SIMON. After viewing the film I’m thrilled to report that it exceeded my expectations. Chris Bell brings the character of Simon to chilling reality. He plays Simon differently than the endless serial killers that we’ve seen on screen as of late. His performance echoes that of Mark Harmon in THE DELIBERATE STRANGER with an added touch of emotional suffering that is played just right. Warren does a fantastic job of not beating the viewer over the head with every detail of the character’s backstory while still giving you enough to fill in the madness that drives him. Katie Alexander Thom exudes attitude and confidence as Sarah who is a reporter out to discover who is behind the rash of murders. Lexi Wolfe pulls double duty playing the characters of Becky & Dianne who are sisters. The roles are a showcase for Lexi’s acting ability as she seamlessly transitions between the two roles.
As was the case with the short the score here ratchets up the tension and stays away from the synth faux Carpenter scores that are aplenty as of late. The melding of the dramatic and horrific elements is played to perfection while touching on the topics of mental illness, relationships, & loss and not coming off like a Lifetime movie of the week with the horror of the tale being restrained from a gorefest yet still delivering gut punches both visually and emotionally when needed. Thankfully the film avoids jump scares and instead opts for a melancholy sadness that will stay with you after viewing.
SIMON is a fascinating study in the differences of indie US and UK horror. You can find quality indie horror films from almost every state these days in the US as for the UK it seems a rare occurrence that an indie horror film comes along that has the ability to make a mark. Some of my all time favorite horror films come from overseas and if this is the start of quality indie imports I’m all for it. A firm release date for SIMON has not been announced but is expected shortly. Stay tuned to Terror Time for an update on when you can see this fantastic debut from a very promising director.