A Confusing tale of Confused People
Liars All is an indie from first time writer/director Brian Brightly, and he’s clearly put a lot into it, but he’s guilty of putting a little bit too much into it, by trying to be clever with the twists in the story. It is possible to write a complex thriller that is at first confusing, but by the end, it should all fall into place. Like Christopher McQuarrie’s script for that twist filled classic The Usual Suspects, but if you aren’t careful, you and the editor, are the only ones who know what’s going on. This suffers a bit from that, but it’s more about not giving realistic motives to our suspects, whereby alienating the audience. For example, Mike (Matt Lanter, 90210) wouldn’t hover about over a woman who is clearly using him, and not even trying to hide the fact. If he was shown stuffing dead animals and mothers, just before going to London, then I would buy it, but I couldn’t seem to do it here.
The story is set in London, about a well known soccer player (Torrance Coombs, The Tudors) Dennis, who leaves his American girlfriend (Gillian Zinser, 90210), and gets engaged to Casey (Stephanie McIntosh). Missy (Zinser) is understandably angry, and you know what they say about women scorned. She decides to host a new years eve party, inviting a few friends, but also Dennis. One of her closest friends is Mike, but he is infatuated with her, and also has the annoying habit of filming everything at her request. During the party, a game of truth or dare is suggested, so out come the cards and they begin to play. A direct result of one of the dares leaves Missy dead, and no real clue as to what actually happened. Next thing we know, we’re in a police station, and a detective (Alice Evans, The Vampire Diaries) is questioning them one by one, getting slightly different versions of events. Who is telling the truth, if anyone?
There is a mix of US and UK actors, which was actually a nice touch, and it was also nice seeing the lovely Sarah Paxton manage another movie fully clothed. She is, of course, playing an American, Katie, another of Mike’s friends. The soundtrack was mostly not bad, with a lot of pumping techno for the more dramatic scenes. As I mentioned, there was a bit too much unnecessary detail, like our detective being pregnant, but I like when a director at least attempts something different, so kudos to Mr Brightly for that. The parts of this film I didn’t like were countered by little touches of style and originality, making it a respectable little indie that should please fans of this genre, and is worth going to see, but maybe you can follow along better than I.
A decent first attempt by Brian Brightly.
Grade: C+ (6.2/10)
Nav Qateel, Influx Magazine.