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Cast: Nick Apostolides, Elizabeth Deo, Phil Amico, Lee Hamilton, Chad Eric Smith, Regen Wilson
Director: Robert Hamilton
A property appraiser fights for his sanity when he's trapped on a rural farm inhabited by sinister beings overseen by a mysterious caretaker.
"The Suffering" tells the story of Henry, an appraiser who has taken a job for Remiel, the owner of an estate. As Henry sits and waits on a bench for his ride he falls asleep and has a bit of a nightmare. Things get even stranger when Remiel's driver picks him up and they have an awkward conversation. And if that wasn't bad enough Henry is greeted at the door by some creepy, old housekeeper. Nothing about the job seems right but Henry says he needs the money because his wife is pregnant.
At first things go pretty well, Henry can basically wander around to different parts of the estate and take pictures of things to appraise. There sure is a lot to do because the grounds are full of antiques and history and Henry is immediately taken in by everything but one day while visiting the attic he finds a rotted corpse hanging which completely changes the game. He seems convinced to just high tail it out of there but Remiel does a good job of talking him into staying and finishing the job by offering him a lot more money.
But things continue to get worse for Henry when he starts hearing and seeing strange things. He also develops a strange rash on his side. Is this all a figment of his imagination or is there something more sinister at play here?
I had a good feeling about this film when I first watched the trailer for it and I was right about it but in a lot of ways it exceeded my expectations. One of the first things you are going to notice about the film is how well it is made. The cinematography and sound are both incredible and the setting of the old estate in the middle of nowhere is perfect. The old home and the magnificent use of lighting or lack there of really add to the overall atmosphere. Combine that with a story that keeps you cloaked in mystery the entire time and you have an eerie tale that gets inside your head and under your skin almost immediately.
Right from the start when you sense things are off you want to know more about the estate and about Henry who seems to be hiding something himself but what I loved about the movie is that it only gives away its secrets a little bit at a time so it keeps you constantly wanting more. I can sit here and go on and on about what happens in the film but that would only ruin all the surprises that wait for those wanting to see the film. Instead I will just say that "The Suffering" is an intriguing film where nothing is as it seems. Director, Robert Hamilton does an amazing job telling this complex story which he co-wrote with Marco Scola. The film has so much going for it, superb direction, amazing lighting and camera work as well as the film's score and the use of sound effects that just makes your hair stand up on the back of your neck.
And just when you think the film has a lot going for it there's the cast, Everyone in the film does a fantastic job but the film's three lead actors are brilliant. Nick Apostolides is awesome as Henry, he brings so many emotions to his character that it sucks you right into his life. Phil Amico is also terrific as Mr. Remiel and last but not least, Lee Hamilton who gives a fantastic performance as the unsettling housekeeper, Mrs. Gates.
Any more Independent Cinema is the place to go for original story telling and "The Suffering" has to be one of the best examples of that. This is a twisted, suspenseful and frightening horror film that delivers on all levels. It has drama, thrills and some very effective scares. It doesn't waste a second of its time on anything that is unneeded. If this sounds like something you would like then I highly recommend checking it out. I was sucked into Henry's life right from the start and I was left as trapped as he was until the shocking end.
I know I have called "The Suffering" a horror film but let me say it is much more than that. I highly recommend that you pick it up and discover this gem for yourself.
Released by Breaking Glass Pictures
***** Out Of *****