Feedback was a genuine surprise, and that is meant in all the best ways.
Directed by Pedro C. Alonso (The Shallows) and starring Eddie Marsan (Sherlock Holmes, The World’s End, Atomic Blonde) as Jarvis Dolan, this is a new spin on the home invasion genre… in that it’s a studio that gets invaded. Revolutionary! But seriously, this is a beautifully taut and uncomfortable thriller that doesn’t quite end up where you might expect.
Jarvis Dolan fronts a successful radio show called “The Grim Reality” and is well known as someone who isn’t afraid to speak his mind, regardless of the consequences. Unfortunately on this particular night things aren’t going his way. He’s being forced to let his former co-host, Andrew Wilde (Paul Anderson), back on the air with him, the heating in the studio isn’t working, the cameras aren’t working, and two armed men burst into the studio and take him and his staff hostage, demanding that he confess to a scandal that could destroy his life. Dolan claims he has no idea what they’re talking about and things escalate from there in an almost Tarantino-esque fashion. There is a lot of talking in Feedback, punctured by occasional scenes of brutal violence with very little warning given before the blood hits the walls.
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This film is very much in the vein of Phonebooth, Dog Day Afternoon, Panic Room and the like. Confined characters, limited space, the focus entirely on a small cast where most of the work falls to the lead to keep the narrative moving and keep the audience interested. In that respect Eddie Marsan is simply brilliant in this film, presenting Dolan as a nuanced character, where you’re never entirely sure if what he’s saying is what he truly believes, but at the same time bringing all the emotional range that’s needed in a situation like this. He holds you in the moment, the audience is there with him in all his confusion, passion and rage.
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A tip of the hat, also, to the near criminally underrated Richard Brake (Mandy, Batman Begins, Outpost), who is also a delight to watch as Brennan, taking the audience on a journey that parallels Dolan’s. This is an actor who has only got better as he’s got older, though I will always hold a soft spot for him as the somewhat sleazy character of Portman from 2005’s Doom (which is a bad movie. A very bad movie which bears virtually no resemblance to the game it’s supposedly based on. But that’s a rant for another time).
Also there are people wandering around in fursuits which is kind of amusing but ultimately sort of pointless in the grand scheme of the plot, but still funny to see Dolan’s reaction (or lack thereof) to them strolling through the office.
Feedback is not a horror movie as such, unless you also count The Purge series as horror, but it is a very effectively told thriller that will keep an audience guessing till the very end about who, if anyone, is telling the truth about what happened that night.
Feedback is released on Digital HD on 26th August from Signature Entertainment.
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