“The bottom line is Seahorses is an interesting film with some unusual plot elements–but it’s also occasionally uneven.”



by Martin Hafer

Seahorses is a low-budget film written and directed by Jason Kartalian. The bottom line is that Seahorses is an interesting film with some unusual plot elements — but it’s also occasionally uneven. Don’t expect a fancy Hollywood film — but rather, an independent film with some really nice acting.

This film is very unusual because aside from a few brief appearances by other actors, the two leads are the entire focus of the movie. So, there’s a lot of pressure on Justine Wachsberger (Lauren) and Ian Hutton (Martin) to carry this film.

Written & Directed by
Jason Kartalian
Justine Wachsberger, Ian Hutton, Orson Chaplin
Release Date
Martin’s Grade: B-

It begins with two folks meeting for the first time. Lauren is very hesitant to be with Martin — and he has to work hard to convince her he’s a nice guy. Eventually she enters his apartment and soon goes to the bathroom … and Martin waits … and waits … and waits! He’s so concerned that he phones a friend to ask her what to do. And, when he calls in to Lauren, she says she’s taking a bath! However, Lauren isn’t quite the scared innocent you think she is, as she’s wearing a wig and makes some phone calls — calls that make her sound rather imbalanced and, perhaps, dangerous. Over time, Martin starts to think that perhaps she’s imbalanced, as she spends more and more time by herself in the bathroom. So what’s next? Well, what follows is interesting but sometimes hard to believe and inconsistent. Overall, Seahorses seems like it could have been polished up to make Lauren and Martin’s actions consistent with their characters.

The reason to watch the film is for Wachsberger and Hutton. While they aren’t exactly famous actors, they sure seem to be quite good at their craft. Their scenes together are very good and there is a likability about them — particularly Hutton, who creates a sympathetic lead. As for Wachsberger, her character isn’t meant to be as sympathetic and she does a good job playing an emotionally unstable woman.

So why do I give the film a B-? Well, it’s great to see this nice acting and the story has some really interesting elements. But, as a retired psychotherapist, I just cannot see two folks like this having any chemistry or reason to be together. In particular, Lauren would simply find Martin too boring to spend even a moment with and their romance seemed a bit forced.

Still, it’s an admirable film and it’s worth seeing. Just don’t expect a romance. While there are some romantic elements, I cannot see this as a date night film!