Title – The Samaritans (2019)
Director – Doug Bollinger (Gravedigger)
Cast – Keith Collins, Doug Bollinger, Timothy Laurel Harrison, Annelise Nielsen
Plot – A group of co-workers get stuck in their manager’s basement playing a potentially deadly game of spin the bottle with a demonic presence when they gather together to finish off a work project.
“No good deed goes unpunished”
Review by Eddie on 09/04/2019
Filmed over a mere 4 days with 6 people lending a hand, utilizing one set and uncovering much of its tension and nerve shredding through dialogue and performance, The Samaritans is a low-key/high concept horror that proves all you need to make a proficient feature is the right attitude, commitment and endeavor.
A small independent offering directed by the hard-working Doug Bollinger, that follows on from his recent efforts such as Gravedigger and Rock, Paper, Scissors, Samaritans sees Bollinger and his regular partner in crime writer/actor Keith Collins come up with a devious game of cat and mouse, that see’s four APP developers trapped in a basement with a demonic presence, as a game of spin the bottle takes a potentially deadly turn.
It’s a unique set-up and one that’s clearly plotted out by Bollinger and Collins, who also take on acting duties as lead male performers Eddie and Frank respectively and as the story begins to unfold of these seemingly innocent everyday people, you’ll be frequently surprised by where things take you along the twisty and turning narrative arc.
Most impressively for a film shot over such a brief period, Samaritans features an extremely on point cast with Bollinger and Collins joined by the equally game and up for the challenge Timothy Laurel Harrison and Annelise Nielsen who give it their all to round out the four person cast.
It’s a great showcase for all performers and one that suggests they all deserve greater opportunities moving forward, with a large portion of independent films and in particular low-key horror offerings suffering from poor casting, the Samaritans bypasses this regular flaw thanks to the proficient acting turns that keep you engaged throughout.
With proceedings playing out solidly thanks to this, you get the feeling that The Samaritans simple yet gleefully playful set-up is the perfect type of material for a future incarnation as a stage-play, sharing the similarities found in many plays with small casts and singular locations, although its more exciting to think about where the partnership between Bollinger and Collins may move to as their working collaborations grow and prosper into the future, regardless of genre.
Final Say –
Overcoming its low-budget roots and staying clear of many of the downfalls of similar projects, The Samaritans is a smartly constructed and well put together horror offering that should be sought out by genre aficionados ASAP.
3 ½ basements out of 5
Viva Pictures will release THE SAMARITANS On Digital and On Demand on April 16, 2019.