Bad Samaritan asks the same question horror films have been asking for decades. How much is this new technology going to destroy your life? After watching Terminator, I feared murderous sentient robots. Doctor Strangelove: Or How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Bomb left us all wondering how many idiots stood between us and nuclear war.
The genius behind Bad Samaritan is that the threats are all much closer to home. In fact, the threat could be in your hand right now. After watching, I wanted to throw out my smartphone and delete all of my social media. I didn’t. I’m a millennial. I will die with my phone in my hand.
The film speaks directly to the millenial generation. The story follows Sean Falco, a photographer who would rather steal than work for a corporate overlord. Falco lives his life through technology. His phone, his camera, and his laptop are all he needs to survive. He justifies his actions by taking “only what won’t be missed.”
Falco works as a valet with his best friend, Derick Sandoval (Carlito Olivero). One day, Sandoval, eager for a little more money, urges Falco to rob an arrogant client. Enter David Tennant. Robert Sheehan brings a roguish air to the role. His Irish accent doesn’t hurt either. There is a good-heartedness to Sheehan that made me want to cheer on Falco despite his illegal invasions. Cale Erendreich is a douchebag who drives fancy cars and yells at waiters. What better way for a minimum wage slacker to get back at the elite than to steal Erendreich’s black card?
Unfortunately, while Falco is exploring Erendreich’s home, he finds someone he wasn’t expecting. Strapped to a chair is a young woman. She is covered with chains and leather straps. A horse bit has been shoved in her mouth. The key to free her is around Erendreich’s neck. Desperate to help, but fearing what might happen if he’s caught, Falco flees.
From here, Bad Samartian becomes a game of cat and mouse. Falco tries to convince every law enforcement entity that Erendreich is a murderer with his next victim already bound in his home. Erendreich systematically destroys Falco’s life. Erendreich tracks Falco’s girlfriend, his parents, his job, and his best friend until he has no one and nothing left.
Channeling Silence of the Lambs and Panic Room the film continues the trend of low budget horror with big budget impact. Tennant is an obvious standout. Operating as an unhinged calculator, Tennant’s a vicious threat to anyone who crosses him. A cross between a wolf and a snake, Tennant is the perfect movie monster.
Erendreich is a psychopath. His decisions are deliberate. Each of his crimes is meticulously planned out. Every detail of his life is organized. At times, Tennant is so savage as Erendreich that the audience was visibly uncomfortable.
Kerry Condon delivers a complex and layered sa as Katie; the woman kidnapped by Erendreich. Gagged for the majority of the film. Condon is able to convey a fighter’s spirit while playing submissive. She finds small ways to fight. Once, she is asked to walk by an open door. Body tense, it looks like she might run for it. But, in the last moment, she steels herself and follows instructions. Cautiously, Katie bides her time. Condon’s performance is riveting.
Rating: 3 stars
A valet (Robert Sheehan) develops a clever scam to burglarize the houses of rich customers. Things go smoothly until he robs the wrong customer (David Tennant), and discovers a woman being held captive in his home. Afraid of going to prison, he leaves the woman there and makes a call to the police, who find nothing when they investigate. Now, the valet must endure the wrath of the kidnapper who seeks revenge on him, all while desperately trying to find and rescue the captive woman he left behind.
Cast: David Tennant, Robert Sheehan, Carlito Olivero, Kerry Condon, Jacqueline Byers
Directed by: Dean Devlin
Written by: Brandon Boyce