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Cast: Katherine McNamara, Anthony Michael Hall, Mason Dye, Catherine Missal, Amy Carlson, Ryan Munzert
Tyler is a young man who is desperately seeking direction from a world that seems to have abandoned him. Everyday at school he fights for survival, as he is easy prey amongst the endless hallways of fellow student predators. Searching for answers, he looks to his friend Ingrid, who appears to have it all figured out. Tyler takes Indrid's ideology and adopts it as his own. Not long after, Tyler sees the whole picture more clearly, but is this new vision for the better? Or could it be more damaging than he could have ever imagined? Soon, Tyler finds himself in the middle of the storm and gets caught up in something he may not be able to change.
"Natural Selection" tells the story of Tyler, a young man whose world has fallen apart on him. He moves to a new town with his mom and attends a new school hoping that his life will get better but after arriving he still has to take care of his mom who has never gotten over the loss of her husband and he finds out real quick that there are some students in his new school who are not very welcoming.
Just when things start to get worse at school he meets Indrid who not only sticks up for Tyler but also becomes a close friend, or so Tyler thinks. Indrid seems like a nice guy and all but as time goes time Tyler begins to see Indrid's not so nice side. The problem is Tyler is slowly getting drawn into having the same ideologies as Indrid who is headed now a very dark path. Will the love of a beautiful young lady and his own beliefs be enough to save Tyler and the rest of the school from Indrid?
"Natural Selection" gets your attention with its opening scene, it shows a young man walking in the woods with a hunting rifle but as he turns to the camera we can see that he is shot. As he falls to the ground the scene quickly changes to present day and the film begins the process of introducing us to all main characters. That opening scene really gets your attention and you are immediately engaged in the film because you want to know more about this young man. We do find out more about the young man but the main focus going forward is on Tyler and his mom, Indrid and Paige, the beautiful young lady that Tyler has fallen for. The problem is Indrid lives a horrible life and he doesn't want to see anyone else happy either so there is a good bit of game playing by him in the film.
"Natural Selection" is a film about gun violence but it is also a film about bad vs. evil and it sends the message that love triumphs over hate. The film also asks questions about religion and evolution but at its heart it is a story about love and hate and the battle that ensues. The story is well-written and well directed by Chad L. Scheifele, the story started began as a Short Film Chad made back in 2009 and years later he decided he wanted to expand on the story and create a feature film which happens to me his debut as well.
One thing I really liked about the film was the characters, they are all believable and realistic and it is very easy to care for each of them in one way or another. Chad Scheifele hired himself a terrific young cast to play the film's leads including, Katherine McNamara who plays Paige. Katherine is both beautiful and talented and she does a fantastic job in the film. Mason Dye is also amazing as Tyler, his role is difficult because he has to bring out all the emotions that Tyler is feeling and he does a great job doing so. Ryan Munzert is also very impressive as Indrid, he does a terrific job playing this young man who always looks like he is on the edge of losing it. And last but not least I have to mention the great Anthony Michael Hall. A lot of us grew up watching Anthony become a star and it is great to see him on screen again as the school's security guard, Mr. Stevenson. He is a true professional and he is great as always in the film. The rest of the supporting cast was all great as well and a lot of them played key roles in the story.
"Natural Selection" opens tomorrow in Theaters and on VOD. It is never easy for an Indie film to go up against Hollywood films but I would recommend supporting this film because it tells a story that is very relevant and it sends good messages as well. Plus it is an entertaining film that gets your attention right from the start and it keeps you glued to the screen all the way to its pulse pounding conclusion. I enjoyed the film a lot and I look forward to seeing what this talented film maker and the talented young cast have coming out next. A thought-provoking and engaging film that will leave you thinking about it long after it is over.
Released by ITN Distribution
*** 3/4 Out Of *****