Julien Neaves, Caribbean Head Writer
Plot: A young man who is mourning the death of his girlfriend begins a new relationship. But things go awry when he starts having strange experiences and terrifying visions.
Context: For some time the film/TV content coming out of my homeland Trinidad and Tobago was mostly confined to documentaries, dramas, and gangster action flicks. But in recent years we are seeing more varied content, including romantic comedies, superhero shows, and some horror. And new short film Insight is continuing that trend of expanding TT’s offerings with its contribution to the thriller genre.
Review: I can’t go much into plot here as that would send us right into spoiler territory. I will say the film begins very strong, obvious rain special effects notwithstanding. Writer Lesley-Ann Bartholomew channels Christopher Nolan a bit as the narrative bounces and back forth through time, and at times from the real to the surreal. It is a jarring experience but it does mirror what the protagonist himself is experiencing, and connects to the themes of memory and loss.
But the rough scene transitions, however, were less helpful and should have been tweaked in the editing room by editor/director Emma (just one name, like Madonna). And speaking of technical issues, there is a disclaimer about the film’s audio issues but I found it pretty on par for these local films. And there was also a tad too much slow motion, but I blame that on Zack Snyder’s Justice League (just kidding).
Lead actor Marcus Gonzales plays Marcus (that’s helpful naming right there) and he is okay in the role, if a bit stiff at times. And there is an extended scene of him narrating which just did not work. Show don’t tell people! Chayann Rogers, who plays Marcus’s new love interest Sethunya, is pretty solid, and Dane-Joel Gittens, who play’s Marcus’s Doctor dad, is very believable and gives the film’s best performance.
It was hard to categorise this film while watching it for the first time. There are elements which make you think crime drama. Then there are some stuff that seem supernatural. And then there is one scene that is some pure distilled nightmare fuel that felt ripped right out of a horror movie. And great job on that scene by the way (trust me, you’ll know it when you see it) as the visuals, audio and music combine for one freaky experience. But after watching the full thing I settled on supernatural thriller.
And speaking of music, I must mention the wonderful and haunting themes by Mattia Cupelli, Scott Buckley, Kevin MacLeod, Gabriel Richards, and Stanislav Babich. The eerie soundtrack is definitely one of the film’s strong points.
The core plot is something I’ve seen before but with a minor twist. And the twisty story will have one ruminating after watching it, which is always fun. So Insight is a solid effort and a decent Trini spin on a well-worn genre.
Editor Jules’s Score: 5.5 out of 10
You can check Insight out for yourself on GT Caribbean Network TV by clicking this link here. For my review of TT horror short film Stranger Tings you can click here. Or for my review of TT supernatural thriller Mightier dan de Sun you can click here.
Julien “Jules” Neaves is a TARDIS-flying, Force-using Trekkie whose bedroom stories were by Freddy Krueger, learned to be a superhero from Marvel, but dreams of being Batman. I love promoting Caribbean film (Cariwood), creating board games and I am an aspiring author. I say things like “12 flavours of awesome sauce”. I can also be found posting about TV and movie memes, news and trailers on Facebook at Movieville. And to stay on top of all Redmangoreviews articles you can like and follow us on Facebook here.