Considering its pedigree, this is an awfully good film

Favor is a rather low-budget film by filmmakers with rather limited experience.  The writer/director, Paul Osborne, for instance has only a few credits to his name and the two stars have a decent number of credits—but not as leading men.  Yet, interestingly, despite its cheapness, the film doesn’t look cheap and is an unusual and exciting little thriller. Also, the actors didn’t look like actors and this makes the film seem much more realistic than a film with big-name Hollywood stars.  I like films like this, as it feels like you are discovering something yet to be discovered by everyone else.

Favor
Written & Directed by
Paul Osborne
Cast
Blayne Weaver, Patrick Day, Jeffrey Combs
Release Date
22 April 2014
Martin’s Grade: A-

When the film begins, it dives right into the plot.  Kip (Blayne Weaver) is upset and desperate when he shows up at his childhood friend’s home.  Marvin (Patrick Day) says he is more than glad to help and offers to do anything to help.  Perhaps he spoke too soon, as Kip informs him that his mistress has just slipped and fell and died in a nearby motel room—and he wants Marvin to hide the body!  After all, Kip reasons, he doesn’t want to lose his wife or have it hurt his career!  Marvin tells Kip not to worry and takes care of the ‘problem’.  Not surprisingly, this is NOT the end of the problem—otherwise it would only be a 15 minute movie!  Serious complications arise and the apparent moral of the film is that if you want something right, you ought to do it yourself!

Soon, Marvin begins stopping by Kip’s house and job all sorts of hours—often to chat or talk about the burial.  This is bad enough, but soon Marvin begins asking Kip for all sorts of favors.  First, he wants Kip to get him a date—but Marvin is out of work and rather boorish, so this is not small task!  And, when this doesn’t work out, Marvin feels that Kip has let him down and is angry!  Second, Kip needs an assistant at work and Marvin INSISTS that Kip should hire him—even though he’s grossly under-qualified and gets Kip in hot water with his boss for hiring such an incompetent.  Third, Marvin asks Kip for a loan of $5000!  The favors Marvin keeps asking seem to have no end and when Kip has finally had enough, Marvin becomes angry—very, very, very angry.  And, when this moment occurs, the film starts to get very strange and very violent.  Where all this goes is something to see, as there are some very interesting twists and turns—and they are sure to leave you guessing.

This is a very exciting thriller and is worth seeing.  It isn’t perfect, as there are a few amazingly brutal and disturbing scenes which I think could have been handled a bit less violently (yes, I am a bit squeamish and didn’t need to see such realistic murders).  Also, when you really think about what’s happening, it really seems far-fetched.  Yet, it’s constructed so well that you’ll probably find yourself like me—willing to suspend disbelief and able to buy into the story.  Well done and I hope to see more from these folks.

Review by Lead Entertainment Writer & Film Critic, Martin Hafer