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FILM REVIEW: 2020 Spooky Movie International Film Festival SELECTION - Josh's review of I AM LIS

Starring: Kristen Vaganos, Jennifer Seward, Manon Halliburton, Carmen Anello.

Directed by: Patrick Rea

Overview: While there are some good elements in the basic premise of I Am Lisa, this movie fails to deliver the goods. Centering around a young woman named Lisa (who runs a small town bookstore that she inherited from her grandmother), the film follows the unfortunate repercussions that occur after Lisa rejects the romantic overtures of Jessica. Unfortunately for Lisa, the sheriff just so happens to be Jessica's mother.

As a result, what follows is a beating by Jessica and her pals before being left for dead in the nearby woods, where the implication is that good 'ole Lisa would be eaten by wolves or so the sheriff thinks. However, instead of dying, Lisa is bitten by a werewolf and gains the creature's abilities (i.e sight and regeneration just to name a few). Understandably what follows once Lisa recovers, is a story of revenge on those he assaulted her.

While this movie draws upon classic revenge story elements from movies like Standing Tall and I Spit on your Grave, I Am Lisa doesn't bring anything new or interesting to the theme. For example, the scene where Lisa is assaulted was (in my opinion) badly filmed and the sound editing is so bad that the audience has trouble hearing what is said. In some shots, it doesn't even look like the Lisa's attackers are even hitting anything. Also while there's nothing wrong with not showing blood and gore in a horror movie, a film with a revenge theme might benefit from a bit of splatter to convey the passion the main character's vengeance.

The music scoring is also very poor. It often sounds like an old fashioned telegraph, which sort of sums up director Patrick Rea's work in this movie. The director of the award winning horror movie Nailbiter, doesn't so much phone this film in as telegraph it in. While Rea does get some good aerial shots of the town, they fail to drive the story or make the town itself an engaging character. If anything it adds to the plodding pace of the film. Kristen Vaganos who plays Lisa and Carmen Anello who plays Jessica, do their best to carry the film. Despite their best efforts, there's not much hope for this movie.

Overall grade: C

Premiered Thursday at the Spooky Movie International Film Festival.

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