There’s no doubt that this is a low budget film. The constraints
show in that virtually every aspect of the film could stand some
improvement. Some of the dialog needs tightening up, the actors
probably wish that they could have had another take on some scenes and
the score is often just kind of sitting there for no apparent reason.
The overall production values remind me of a daytime soap opera. They
don’t make the product unwatchable, but they don’t add anything to it
That’s as ruthless as I’m going to get though. I attribute all
of these problems more to a lack of budget than a lack of talent
because they are sporadic. Sometimes the acting, writing, editing and
even the score are good. And most importantly, the film has a strong
story line. I guess that’s another similarity to a soap. When an actor
pauses for too long, or a piece of music isn’t right for the scene, you
don’t care so much because you want to know what happens next. The
difference, of course, is that I could care less if Sammy wakes from
her coma on “Days of Our Lives,” but I was fully taken in by this story
of a boyfriend who is gradually exposed as a monster.
The big question of the film is whether the boyfriend is literally a
monster, possibly Satan, or just an evil asshole. The answer is not
totally clear, and possibly the film is meant to be ambiguous on this
question. My interpretation, however, is that the boyfriend is just an
evil human and that the Satanic imagery is meant to be symbolic. This
approach is an improvement over the old “Satan incarnate” shtick. Why
get lost in superstitious mumbo jumbo? The idea of a girl falling for
someone who acts as Satan is more interesting than a girl falling for
The Devil because the former could actually happen. I mean, why is a
destructive, evil being so much more interesting if he turns out to be
the devil? On the one hand, you have someone murdering your friends,
warping your mind and ruining your life. On the other hand, you have
someone murdering your friends, warping your mind, ruining your life and he has a funny birthmark.
The other thing I likes about this film was the ending. It cut
through the BS in the same way as the film’s premise (assuming I’ve got
that right) did. I won’t give it away too badly, but the film’s
protagonist is in one of those situations where you say “why doesn’t
she just do X?” But before you can even ask the question, she does X.
Check out the website for Orphans and Angels here.
Special Ruthless Ratings:
- Number of times the movie was paused to do something else: 1
- Pints of whisky needed to enjoy the movie: 1
- Does that mean that the movie sucks? No.
- Is it reference to something in the movie? Yes.
- What? A pint of whisky.