Hollywood in Toto

‘Union Bridge’ Asks Too Much of Its Audience

Will Shipe seems misplaced by means of a lot of “Union Bridge.”

He’s a grown man who nonetheless listens to his mamma and worries about secrets and techniques safely tucked away in his hometown.

Or are they?

It’s a considerate premise, and that’s earlier than we see a stunted soul who can’t cease digging for buried treasure… or no matter lurks simply beneath the floor of this small city. The questions stack up lengthy and tall, and earlier than the ultimate reveal we worry what awaits us can’t totally justify this untidy story.

Scott Friend stars as Will, a part of an “vital” household hunkered down close to the Mason Dixon line. Will’s return stirs up his small, tight-knit neighborhood, from outdated mates to his unctuous mom (Elisabeth Noone of “The Wire” fame).

Will seems as misplaced as Benjamin Braddock in “The Graduate,” however we’re by no means advised why. He’s understandably unhappy to see his childhood chum Nick (Alex Breaux, “Depraved”) turn into the city vagabond in his absence.

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Poor Nick trudges out to the neighboring fields every evening to dig for one thing vital. What is it? Why is he obsessive about the duty? And how does this tie into the movie’s Civil War-era flashbacks?

What about Mary (Emma Duncan), Nick’s cousin? She spends her days by a neighborhood lake, stirring up rumors of witchcraft. Nick and Mary shortly join, however there’s one thing heavy, and joyless, between them.

The mysteries hardly cease there. Yet “Union Bridge” isn’t charming sufficient to make all of them matter.

Will’s mom holds the important thing to the movie, and she or he’s requested to shoulder an excessive amount of of that burden. Area townsfolk come and in the past, however they don’t go away sufficient of an imprint. That means much more work for Noone, and it’s an excessive amount of for anyone actor to deal with.

Breaking Glass Pictures has acquired North America rights to the Lynchian southern gothic thriller Union Bridge, the debut function from author/director Brian Levin. Available on #DVD and #VOD 19 May.

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— Attack from Planet B (@attackplanetb) May 10, 2020

Buried secrets and techniques abound in “Union Bridge,” however first-time author/director Brian Levin isn’t eager on sharing them. We’re requested to string the lacking items collectively, and at instances the burden overwhelms. The Will-Mary bond is palpable, and essentially the most concrete aspect of the movie. Still, the film expends an excessive amount of display time on their “attending to know you” montages.

Levin creates a formidable ambiance from begin to end, aided by a robust rating tasked with the emotional blanks. His eye for small city life is equally sturdy, and after only a few minutes of “Union Bridge” you’ll really feel such as you’ve identified this cities all of your life.

Yet as a lot as Levin holds again he ought to have stayed the course within the third act. We’re lastly aware about some, however removed from all, of what’s buried beneath this city. The reveal isn’t as revelatory, or satisfying, as what the movie calls for.

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HiT or Miss: “Union Bridge” presents an uneasy mix of supernatural storytelling and small city secrets and techniques that’s bold however exasperating.

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